Sherfield Bowen came back to Antigua a polished young US trained lawyer who decided to make a run for politics and was naturally attracted to the Labour Party as most young men from the villages. Most villages were dyed in the colour red from the bloody battles that Labour had fought for their parents and grandparents, bringing them out of the cane fields and as our dear Papa Bird would say, ‘the women going from bag drawers to chick-let panty.’
Mr. Bowen was full of American progressive action and was not aware of the base undercurrent in his political party as he sought to institute accountability in the leadership. After a year or more of agitating for the Party Leader to either resign or step aside temporarily while an investigation into the rumours of sexual impropriety and underage sex violation had proved his innocence. On May 1, 2003, Bowen called for a Vote of No Confidence in the ALP Parliament.
The Speaker REFUSED to table the vote when it became clear that 5 Opposition members plus Bernard Percival, Sherfield Bowen and Longford Jeremy had already signed a memorandum addressed to the Governor General stating that they had no confidence in the Prime Minister. The Speaker ruled the roost!
Bowen then convened a Mock Parliament under the Bethesda Tamarind Tree, where 50 years before another group of Bethesda boys went to jail to secure our freedom. That day saw the largest assembly of persons ever convened in Antigua, and the motion was debated by the nine members of Parliament and passed.
Soon Bowen became the target of his party’s mischief makers, and the need to keep him in the negative news became almost an obsession among his ALP colleagues and their goons. The youth group of the Labour Party enjoyed themselves at the discomfort of anyone who ‘messed’ with the Party, it’s Leadership and just any one who did not tow the line. On December 16 2003 the plan hatched!
They said it was never planned to harm anyone but Bowen as the two ALP conspirators hid with the girl in the dark downstairs, waiting for him to leave his office in the Dollar building on Nevis Street. The action they planned would hit the newspaper the next day, and the reputation of Bowen would take another dive in the muck. They soon saw him, he had gone buy his dinner and was heading back to his office when the girl jumped him from behind. Totally alarmed in the darkness of the moment, he pulled his gun and the rest is history, but not quite!
Upright and knowing his rights as a lawyer, he cooperated so fully with the police and their investigation that a major fact eluded him. It was only after he had spent his first night in jail that he began to think seriously about what really happened, when he realized the bullet grazed his finger. The young woman took the brunt of the bullet, and all the bullets in his gun were accounted for!
Only on Appeal and after 2 years spent under a wrong sentence, did Bowen begin to understand fully that the plot was to bury him.
But he is still breathing!
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