Ms. Shawn Nicholas. General Secretary, United Progressive Party. St. John’s Antigua.
Dear Madam Secretary,
I penned this resignation letter today on the Sabbath of the Lord thy God captioned “Enough is Enough.” I stayed home today and write this resignation with no trace of malice or ill-will, no grudge, no prejudice and I write particularly on the Sabbath so that no trace of lie or deceit should get in the way. I wanted to write this with a free conscience and a relaxed mind. When I left the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force on 2nd April, 2016 subsequently I planned a church service to thank God for my 29 years of service to the Antiguan people. At that church service I echoed the words of Job 32: 17 – 20 in my speech to the audience. These words were what I used to spring board myself into a new path in life as a man who left the police force on a HIGH NOTE of INTEGRITY.
My intuition told me that I would not have it easy with a certain criminal patch of police officers that I knew would come after me so I took the high ground and waited for their attack on me and hence Job 32:17 – 20 became alive in my life when I got arrested on 8th June, 2016. Verse 17 – “I said I will answer also my part I also will show my opinion.” I was able to answer my part and show my opinion concerning the police force in a book entitled, “Integrity comes with a price” which is presently at a publishing press in South Carolina. Verse 18 – “For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraint me.”
Even at my church service I wanted to say some things about the justice system and the Police Force but I restrained myself until I was able to tell the world in my book. So for over 4 years I felt as if I was in captivity until I release that matter in my book Verse 19 – “Behold my belly is as wine which hath no vent – it is ready to burst like new bottles.” Before my book was lodged at the printing press this verse brought out my feelings – there were times I had to bawl out in my car when I was alone to stop this proverbial bottle from bursting I thought I would lose my mind but thank God I overcame. Verse 20 – “I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.”
I was able to tell the next half of my life that has not yet been told in my book Integrity comes with a price – if I die today the world will know because I left my legacy in a book. I am indeed refreshed after I chronicled my thoughts, my life, and my all in a book. I did not do it for fame and popularity but to assist and to effect change in the sociopolitical and judicial landscape in my beloved Antigua and Barbuda. As it relates to opening my mouth and speak the words of my book will speak for me and also I will make several appearances in public for the year 2021 where I will speak to the nation. I set this opening part of this correspondence in a way to prepare a platform on which to stand as it relates to my feeling about the UPP party.
As I spoke the words of Job 32:17 – 20 in the church in the presence of some key members of your party I never believed that this same text would be attributed not only to the Police force and the sometimes unfair justice system but to the United Progressive Party. As to how your leaders and some ordinary members treated me with disdain after I would have given up my all to join this party. Just in case you forgot what I gave up let me remind you; My career job of policing for 29 years My family The only thing I did not give up was my faith in God, that’s the only thing that kept me and allowed me to keep my sanity while UPP had its knee on my neck.
Madam Secretary, I write this resignation letter to you clearly on the backdrop of some intelligence I gathered that came out of your executive Whatsapp chat as it relates to me being locked up for a second time on the 20th august, 2020. When I got arrested I called upon my lawyer Chaku Symister who came to see me in the cell early Friday 21st August, 2020 and never returned. I had to call on another lawyer who came to look into my affairs. What was instructive though is, about fifteen minutes after I got bailed on the said Friday I received a telephone call from one of your executive member who told me “tek u foot in u han an run lef UPP executive, they don’t like you.
I asked the individual why they said that and the person went on to say that your lawyer posted in the chat that you got arrested and you don’t want to see what these executive members are saying about you. They are happy that you were arrested. My brother, leave these people alone. When I went home that Friday night I began to reminisce and two things came to my mind; When I visited the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Honorable Gaston Browne sometime soon after my retirement When someone from the hierarchy of the UPP called me by phone leading up to the leadership convention of the UPP 2019 and advised me where I should put my support whether for Harold Lovell or Richard Lewis.
VISIT TO GASTON BROWN OFFICE: Mere months after my retirement from the Police Force I went to the Prime Minister’s office primarily to ask him as the Finance Minister to expedite my pension so that I can sent it to my son in University to pay for his tuition because since I retired I have been lagging behind in my payments and he told me something. Before I left the PM’s office knowing Gaston Browne he engaged me in some politics and these were his remarks, “that’s a lot of sacrifice you are making for those people in UPP and they don’t love nobody.” “I can guarantee you if Harold Lovell get Malaka Parker to run in Rural East they are going to change you. Young UPP will use you.” I told him I have no intention to go back to the Police Force once Cutie Benjamin was over the Police Force because in the first place the Attorney General is the main reason why I left the Force. I left the PM’s office not knowing that sooner rather than later his words would come to pass.
THE CALL FROM THE HIERACHY OF THE UPP: Months leading up to the leadership race between the Hon Senator Richard Lewis and Harold Lovell, I received a call, the person’s first question to me was, “Young who you go back for leadership?” I replied I will answer that with my vote when the day comes. The person went on to say that the executives thought that I was a good candidate but guess what, only one thing is wrong with you this time around –I asked the person what is it and the person said,” they say they don’t want no foreigner in ah dem sudden this time.” I replied, “after all I gave up?” the person said support Richard Lewis and he will give you the nod in Rural East because he himself married to a foreigner.
I seriously buy – in to what this person told me because just after the 2018 elections when the executive and the candidates met for a postmortem of what took place, the Chairman of the Party Giselle Isaac said in no uncertain terms that non-nationals caused the UPP to lose the election. I addressed the matter and asked questions like what happened to the 12 thousand people who did not vote, what happened to the Joanne Messiah/UPP issue and some other pertinent points. I rose to debunk that uncalled for statement. At one point the chairperson went on to say that they will make sure things are in place to bring back the diaspora to vote for the upcoming elections; no wonder the party is now seeking to establish two constituencies oversees where diaspora can vote without coming here physically. Let me say it here now, there is a serious disconnection between the UPP and the non-nationals and this is the gap I primarily joined the UPP for to mend as a non-national myself.
Any effort to doubt this statement would be mis-leading for it is clearly identified in my first letter to the organization that my inclusion in the UPP is solely to attract the non – national vote. I think I did a good job in this regard because I was able to enlist several of them in the party, not forgetting the Rural East Branch. However the work was still in progress. Madam General Secretary, I saw my demise coming when I publicly started to support Richard Lewis for the leadership of this party. Another thing that prompted me to write this resignation to your party is when I Trevor Theo Aldolphus Young witnessed the nasty conduct of the UPP Executive leading UPP to and during the convention for the leadership. I could have sworn that it was the same labour party you all talk about when it comes to foul play and maleficence that I joined.
It made me come to the conclusion that you all are worse than the Labour Party. Your executive helped to steal the leadership race elections out of Richard Lewis hands because you all had the money, the manipulative influence to do so and you all did it very callously without no remorse. Making people feel that the elections were transparent and you all know fully well that it was not so. Richard requested a secret ballot at the convention which was never afforded him all because you all wanted the environment where one person could have been seen voting at least more than five (5) times for sure. It was recorded on tape. Let me reiterate that I stayed home from church today because I wanted to write to you with a straight mind. Can you imagine that I was the candidate for the Rural East Constituency in 2018 and in the 2019-2020 convention I was struck off the list and with a poor excuse at that.
The excuse was, the executive is not sure where my membership is, whether it was in Rural East where I ran or in St. George’s where I reside. If this is true then it sheds a bad light on you governing in the future. A man ran on your party ticket for an election and one (1) year and months after you don’t know where he is registered? So where is your record keeping? That means there is no continuity in your records? And according to my police training where there is no continuity there is no integrity and compromise is the result. What made it more demeaning to me is that only on the day of the convention I found out that my name was not on the delegate list. On my arrival at the convention that morning I visited the reception desk and Dulcie Horsford offered to write my name on a piece of paper and pin it on my shirt and I refused the suggestion vehemently. I walked away and went in the room without a name tag. That day I felt like a cockroach in a fowl pen. From that day I felt reduced around the party to a hapeney (in modern terms a one cent).
I did not feel like I belonged and I asked myself what I really left my career job for. This is the first time I had regretted leaving my career. I felt like a dwarf. Another occasion where I felt embarrassed and out of place was during my visit to the Political Leader, Harold Lovell office months before the leadership convention; this was before I declared publicly that I was supporting Richard Lewis. I told him I heard of various meetings being held at the Trade Winds Hotel which are geared to replace candidates from the 2018 elections who are suspected supporters of Richard Lewis for leadership. He said he heard about it and was not a part of it and that it was Devon Benta who was spare heading those meetings with Anderson Carty. I went on to tell Mr. Lovell that Rural East was not printed on my forehead and at least if they had intention to move me they should do the honorable thing and tell me rather than digging me behind my back.
I reminded him of my arrest and the sacrifices I made to enter politics, Mr. Lovell said to me and I quote, “Young ah you one make sacrifice?” “Is you alone ever get lock up?” I could not help again than to reflect back on what Gaston Brown said to me. If I was not mentally and physically strong I would have lost my cool but I believe that God will take me out of this political mayhem I find myself in. The time came for the selection of candidates for the 2023 constitutionally due elections.
On the 13th of May this year, I was summoned to a meeting initiated by Political Leader Harold Lovell at his office about 3:00pm. Present at that meeting was the Honorable Jamal Pringle, former Prime Minister Honorable Dr. Baldwin Spencer, Political Leader of the UPP Harold Lovell and myself. Harold Lovell started off the meeting by blaming Covid 19 Pandemic for not naming the candidates already he said that the party is behind its timeline because it was in March he was supposed to present candidates to the electorate. He went on to ask me if I do not emerge the candidate if I will support whosoever is chosen and the party. I said to him give me a primary and a poll and I would be guided by these two factors. He went on to say that due to the pandemic time is too short for a poll and a primary. Then he started to make some promises to me stating that in the event that I am not the candidate what he would offer me.
I told him that I don’t trust his words and there was where the Honorable Baldwin Spencer interjected and said that as long as he is around he will see to it that what Harold was promising delivered. I told Dr. Spencer I do not trust the UPP Executive any more, the only thing Harold did not promise me was eternal life. At one time I thought we were in Heaven’s Throne Room after the amount of promises from Lovell. I then said to the three of them on a more serious note, Rural East was not painted on my forehead when I was born so I will give it up under one premise and that is if they reinstate Joanne Messiah and her followers into the UPP. Here is where Honorable Jamal Pringle came in and said, “no way Bro. Young you don’t see Joanne Messiah is there just to keep UPP out of power for the Labour Party to win?” and I said to him I do not know about that because for what I see the party did to Richard Lewis at the last convention I can’t help but develop empathy and sympathy for Joanne and her team because Richard Lewis complaint and Joanne’s are the same.
This is where the political leader promise to hand over leadership to them and changed his mind among other things. I went on to say that people at the convention voted more than five times and Harold Lovell interjected and said that if it is the situation that is on tape that is customary in a conventions. I told him whether it is customary or not, illegality is illegality. I went on further to say, I see UPP as a piece of material cut out from the fabric of the labour party. I see no difference and no one replied. I said other harsh stuff which I may not remember now. The only consolation I left that meeting with that afternoon was when the Honorable Baldwin Spencer said to me, “Mr. Young if you feel that you have the influence how to bring back sister Joanne home I welcome it.”
The meeting came to a close and before I left Mr. Lovell said he would get back to me. On June the 8th I was summoned to Mr. Lovell office again for another meeting, it was in the afternoon the 4th anniversary exactly when i was arrested. When I entered the meeting place it was Harold Lovell alone this time around he spared no time to let me know that the Candidate Committee and himself had chosen Sean Bird as the candidate to represent Rural East in the upcoming elections and that I must try to live with it. He went on to make numerous promises to me that would compensate for me not being the selected candidate. He insisted that I should support Sean Bird and the party. I asked him to give me some time to discuss the matter with my wife then I will come back and tell him if I will continue my support to the party and the candidate.
A week had not even passed when I heard former UPP member and past candidate Gregory Athill speaking on a morning interview on the radio and he made it clear that the process of how the political leader Harold Lovell and his committee were going about choosing the candidates was totally illegal and he was not going to sit idly by and see that they go against the constitution of the UPP. Within the same week on the Friday morning when the Honorable Jamal Pringle was on the same morning show he was asked about the way the party goes about choosing its candidates and he replied, “primary or no primary the results is going to be the same.” That said week Harold Lovell had his secretary invite me to a virtual meeting on the Saturday after Pringle made this unfortunate statement. The Saturday night came and the meeting was called to order. Present were members of the UPP Executive, members of the Rural East Branch, Sean Bird the chosen candidate, Mr. Cornelius and myself. All three prospective candidates made their presentations. I know this was only a matter of form because Lovell would have advised me that Sean Bird was chosen.
Mr. Lovell during his presentation said a primary would be conducted in Rural East and that nomination day would be the Monday and the election would be the Thursday. Because of what Mr. Lovell told me on the 8th May, 2020 at my second meeting with him I told him that he was a man that goes back to his vomit and I don’t. I went on to say that he is a flip-flopper based on what transpired in the meeting on 8th May, 2020. I went on further to tell him that I lost the little confidence I had in him. Obviously I opted out of the so-called Rural East Primary since I found out from Pringle that primary or no primary the result would be the same.
The following day which was the Sunday I realized that I was removed or blocked from the UPP Rural East Whatsapp group chat; when I called the administrator to find out why they blocked my number, she said that she was instructed so to do. I was also blocked out of the St. Georges Branch chat of which I was a member. This event took effect after the high handed rip-off leadership convention. To cut a long story short I see the UPP Executive as a group that cannibalize each other and to tell the gospel truth I Trevor Theo Adolphus Young not ready for that. I see you as the late Roy Boyke saw you when he was advisor to the UPP regime.
He saw UPP as a people that would be destroyed by self-inflicted wounds. Variance is bad on the outside but when you get it from the inside the outcome would be much more severe. I see you as a bunch of elitists that intimidate persons to the point of losing their self-esteem. Last but not least I see you as a group of people who love no one but yourselves and pretend to the public that it is “people first” when in truth and in fact you all are fakers. Let me say very profoundly I ever regret the day when I stepped into this elitist group. I was happy to see that what the people had warned me about came to pass and by the grace of God I now take my exit from the United Progressive Party. God’s speed.
Trevor T.A Young