Retired educator lashes prominent persons and organisations for their silence on trafficking of West Africans


REAL NEWS: Dr. Ronan Matthew is adding his voice to the call for a commission of inquiry into the Antigua Airways debacle and the resultant migrant-smuggling scandal that has overtaken this country since 17 West Africans were lost at sea last week.

Further, in his appearance on Observer Radio on Sunday, April 2, the retired educator boldly named and shamed several prominent persons and organisations for failing to take up the issue and call for justice.

“It is my belief that non-governmental organisations should also step up and support the call for a public enquiry,” Dr. Matthew says.  “For example, I think it would be most worthwhile if the Chamber of Commerce released a statement indicating their support… [and] the Antigua Bar Association should also do the same.”

However, Matthew is particularly critical of the silence of the Antigua Reparations Support Commission – known to be an advocate for compensation from the developed nations for African chattel slavery.

“How can you be in full support of reparations for the crime of slavery and not be in support of finding out what caused our government to be involved in the crime of human-trafficking of our brothers and sisters from West Africa?” Dr. Matthew asks.

He singles out the leader of the group, Ambassador Dorbrene O’Marde, noting that while he is “loquacious on many topics,” his silence on this particular issue is loud.

Looking at academia next, Matthew takes to task Dr. Hilary Beckles of the University of The West Indies – another reparationist of Caribbean renown – “who is also deafeningly silent,” he says.

In contrast, he is critical of what he sees as Sir Hilary’s willingness to be caught up, otherwise, in local politics, and – on account of his purported involvement in the appropriation of the Five Islands Secondary School – brands the professor “an opportunist.”

Peter Wickham, whom Dr. Matthew describes as “the self-proclaimed political pollster and analyst who is frequently on our airwaves spouting nonsense,” also comes in for scathing criticism.

“Has he said anything about our government’s involvement in human-trafficking?” Matthew asks.  “If he has, I have not heard him.  But I did hear him berate a fellow Bajan in a political ad for the ALP after his countryman had criticized our government over the human-trafficking issue,” Matthew alleges.

Not sparing anyone in his sweep of condemnation, Dr. Matthew then points the finger at Ambassador to the United States Sir Ron Sanders, a prolific writer in local newspapers.

“My question, Ron Sanders … do you consider our government’s involvement in human-trafficking of our brothers and sisters from West Africa as showing respect for democratic principles and values? Please answer,” he encourages.

“Where is your editorial on this pressing issue of human trafficking?” an aggrieved Matthew concludes.

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  1. Ah who he? The reason sensible people are not jumping on the bandwagon is simple. From the onset, the UPP chose the road of xenophobia and hatred. It is undeniable that from the very onset, there was clear and present hatred of Africans in the utterances of many UPP operatives and their supporters.

    Additionally, the Africans left here freely and of their own volition; no one forced them on the boat. Whether we like it or not, their ultimate aim is to get to the USA, by whatever means necessary. While the people who deal with such cases have outlined the law and have shown no human trafficking took place, people like Ronan Matthew keep speaking about human trafficking. Sensible people will not be a part of that kind of emotive rhetoric.

    Also, people like Ronan Matthew and the UPP apologists conveniently ignore the fact that the government invited international agencies to investigate what happened. These agencies are in the country and have already started to do their work. Instead of allowing them to do their jobs, the UPP and its minions frothing at the mouth with childish rantings.

    It is for these reasons sensible people are not taking you seriously. Be mature and put the petty political posturing aside.

    • My brother you are a senseless prattle the government did not invited these agencies to come and investigate them it is an international Crime committed you will see

    • Well Said Wash an Basin. They are (not wanted) job stealers, possibly terrorists, illegal voters, unhygienic shouted the UPP on its various platforms. Deport them wrote UPP supporters, on this very platform (where was the voice of this educator whose call to fame is that he is from Ovals?). Now watch them with their fake tears

      • Bring on all TEN pseudonyms to appear to have support for the usual gaslighting.

        I hope whatever monies are given to the government for the African refugees being in this country will find its way to those people. Let’s see if they will be treated better than the Barbudans that are still waiting for their donations since the hurricane.
        Disgusting, greedy, lowlifes that takes items belongings to people affected by a disaster — And the government turning a blind eye because they can’t win the support of Barbudans.

    • You damn and well know that these agencies do not conduct criminal investigations. The only reason your government invited them is the the $$$ that countries are entitled to for housing refugees.
      Stop trying to appear as if you give a phuck about these people after facilitating their trafficking/ smuggling out of African with the intent to illegally cross the US border. Your continued attempt to rope UPP into this debacle is despicable and desperate.

      You would be better served by remembering that this cyberspace and the world is watching.

    • Nice deflectionary tactics from all the Prime Minister’s misgivings @ Wash an’ Basin “xenophobia and hatred” from the UPP.

      Ok then, if – as you say – we are treating the Africans with disdain, what are the likes of the ABLP supporters doing to make the Gaston Browne trafficked Africans feel welcome?

      And what have you done personally @Washy to make Gaston’s illegal immigrants feel at home here?

      Are you going to open up your own home to them, to help your PM out?

    • You are so correct with what you said in this response. They said PM brought them in to vote, so that he can return to office. That didn’t stick. They then said that he killed them and that again didn’t stick. We are a set of people that speak so much about black pride but hate black people. First on the list was Guyanese, Jamaican, Dominican and to lesser extent Trinidadian. Mr Matthew and others need to check themselves and the evil that they are casting over this nation, all because of politics

  2. Thank you, Dr. Ronan Matthew.
    Thank you, Dr. Ronan Matthew.
    Thank you, Dr. Ronan Matthew.

    Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
    De ‘ole Dutty Peg👣Foot Bastard

    Vere C. Edwards

  3. My people I am again reminding you do not fall the psychological trap the government is attempting wanting us to believe we are not welcoming to the Africans and that we embrace other nationalities. Let this wicked and heartless administrator know that we are welcoming to all, we have issue with them being trafficked here, that is what people are concerned about. We are even concerned about the Chinese that are trafficked here even though they don’t love black people.

  4. The UPP, Observer , Twin Islands Media and ZDK, will always find dissenting opinions to give them airtime in order to get their opinion given more strength. But who the heck cares what this educator has to say about immigration and human rights issues. If he speaks about education, I will give credit to his opinion. Twin Island even went all the way to some idiot in Canada, who in his discourse accuses the prime minister indirectly of a crime. When just the other day migrants die while fleeing from Canada into America. And do you think he would accuse Prime Minister Trudeau for that? No that was reported as an unfortunate incident.
    ” AKWESASNE, Canada — The bodies of two more migrants who died trying to cross from Canada into the United States were found Friday, bringing the death toll to eight, including two children, according to police in the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne.”

    • The Canadian Government was never in collusion with any fabricated and non existent Chamber of Commerce to lure any Africans to its shores to enhance any criminal operation. It’s just time now and knowing what else came with the human cargo and that’s exactly why our government is opposed to a public enquiry. Sensible people became aware that dishonesty was at play when members of the Antigua Labour Party Propaganda Unit started to contradict each other; even the Cabinet members are not in unison. These people can die like their job us done, the cargo has been received.

      • @Ravi they say the way you think explains who you are. Clearly you are trying to reflect your ways on our government. There is no evidence to justify your false statement. The government was planning to invest in an Airline which turned out to not be viable. It won’t be the first government to contemplate such since there are many who have actually invested in airlines that later went bankrupt. Unlike the talker, government must examine the risk and take risks it deems worthy. We will have direct flights to West Africa to enhance our tourism product

    • @From The Sideline…since, the ABLP is into Africa and the Africans, why haven’t they declared May 25th a NATIONAL HOLIDAY?

      Why hasn’t the Government led by the ABLP introduced African Studies into the Schools curriculum, from kindergarten to the State College level? UWI probably have some form of it, African Studies, into their Social Services Degree Program(s), or at least, I hope that they do.

      How many of you personally, support African Liveration Day?

      Mighty Swallow sang about it decades ago.
      …LIBERATION DAY, de 25th of May!
      …the whole Black Nation, declare it’s #FREEDOM DAY!

      We not only smell #hypocrites when they talk, the #rattling bones🦴🦴 of #Mami_Wata and #Papa_Elegba have already predicted the destructive forces, of this SCAM and SHAM which you’re attempting to cast blame on others for the shit which Gaston Browne administration has raining on Antigua & Barbuda.

      …the SCAMPS,
      …in, the ABLP SCAMPISH Government,
      …got SCAMMED
      …by the #Next_Level SCAMMERS,
      …out of Nigeria!
      …#who’re masters in SCAMPISHNESS!
      …so, a SHAMe r u SHAMe!
      …fu goh, fu de SHAM
      …and, get SCAM!

      Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
      De ‘ole Dutty Peg👣Foot Bastard

      Vere C. Edwards

  5. I would only add this. I have never seen another place where the church, civil society, the bar association, the chamber of commerce, the trade unions and other groups are as docile and as timid as those in Antigua. Something as big and as consequential as this issue and they are mostly silent.

    • Here here Audley, especially the church. They were so vocal for the government regarding the outlandish vaccination programmes, and I’m yet to hear a pip-squeak out of them regarding the trafficking and humanitarian issues regarding the Africans stranded in Antigua.

      I note with keen interest that the only devious tactic that the ABLP and their supporters are using against anyone who is GENUINELY concerned for the welfare of the trafficked Africans are. xenophobia; hatred and so-called racism aimed at any opposition to what Gaston Browne has caused.

      All of a sudden his supporters who were hiding under rocks and bushels for so so long, have now come out using these inflammatory and intolerant TROPES as deflectionary tactics to save the government’s skin.


      • Remember, the ABLP have to create this culture war amongst us, so that they themselves do not come under scrutiny – a well worn political path used by many governments around the world who are in dire straights!

    • @Audley Phillip -Yes Audley the chamber should have responded to the many ridiculous article you wrote where you demanded that the government deport refugees. Ignore their international commitments and give in the fears of you and the other UPP minions. Its easter, yet you still have no kindness in your heart. I saw some post some time ago explaining your inhumane attitude may explain why that young lady (ex beauty queen) took valuables and escaped your home

    • @Audley Phillip…please be reminded,

      A…the Church of England, and the Vatican, both of which still control the “sanctioned” religious institutions in Antigua are the ones and same which invested and profited from the Atlantic Slave Trade, through their inquisitions and impositions.

      B…how much money do law firms make from crime and criminal activities? They can’t kill the goose, that lays the Golden egg!

      C…Perks! Perks! Perks through the Government will keep the Chamber of Commerce quiet.


  6. Antigua will pay a heavy price for this debacle..
    Can’t people see that because they were stranded here that’s why they risked their lives to go elsewhere..
    Blood is on who ever facilitated this venture..
    Right is right and wrong is wrong!!
    Curse will fall on them and their children and their children children.
    Karma is nothing to play with.
    Be forewarned!!

  7. I thing that the inquiry is absolutely needed into this fiasco. Yes the government admitted to flight number one . Then who are the players in flight number 2,3&4 . We are hearing about a Nigerian man that live somewhere in Johnson/Carnival gardens area that collected 2,500 USD for each person that landed on Antigua’s soil. Yes this same Nigeria was questioned and his blood pressure went up so high that he was admitted to the hospital. Then there is the other Nigerian that is the agriculture officer / Antigua chamber of commerce Nigerian Chapter registered player. He said enough on radio to incriminate. So yes we need to dig deep deep into this mess.
    During the elections the UPP operatives did speculate about voting etc , which was incorrect. Similarly the ABLP officials to include- the Minister of foreign affairs, the minister of tourism and other tourism officials, the Honorable Prime Minister, The Nigerian agriculture officer all tried to mislead the Antiguan public and take us for fools.
    So in the absence of proper information, in the absence of truth , in the absence of an investigation, in the absence of any inquiry people will speculate and that is only human.
    Those that holds the reins are the only ones to be blamed. Until the inquiry people will speculate about billions of dollars in cargo and all sorts of stuff- only human. So to end the speculations commission the inquiry PM. Otherwise one day and pretty soon UPP will be in power and will be compelled to have an inquiry into the Antiguan Airways- it will never ever go away.

  8. By the way it is rumored since the tragedy that more boat loads have left Antigua for the US Virgin Islands.

  9. I am amazed why Antiguans are forgotting its country is built on immigration and remittances from Antiguan migrants help build the country.

    • @Caricom Man
      No, we have not forgotten. I have no idea which Caricom state you are from but I doubt if it is as lax in accepting people from other states as Antigua has been.I remember when Antigua had a population of about 40,000 people, now some say it’s nearly 100,000 and Antiguans are now almost in a minority in their own country. Controlled immigration yes, free for all, no. It’s political, where the votes come from. Got it?

  10. Tenman, please do yourself a favor and stop insulting your own intelligence. There is nothing wrong with establishing air links with Africa, however the manner in which it was done and the subsequent debacle this country now finds itself in is the issue. The minister of information suggested their was 1 true flight via Antigua Airways and then says another operator piggybacked on the name of Antigua Airways and was able to fly not 1, not 2, but 3 bogus flights to this country. In his own words they were duped. Question to you is, am I wrong as a citizen for wanting an investigation to find out how this was possible? Don’t the the government want to know also, what areas of our Airport protocols were breached so something like this can’t happen again? I know you need to keep your board cheques rolling but please do me a favor and stop insulting my intelligence.

    • @Sing For Your Supper, the explanation of how it was possible was given when those flights were stopped. Had to do with lack of controls in terms of charter flights. Would suggest you go and re-listen to the cabinet press briefing which can be found on ABS facebook page. Not sure why would you would need to investigate something where the answers are already known. You volunteering to pay so we don’t have to waste tax payers moneys

  11. @Dr Ronan Matthew
    Your observations on the plight of the stranded Africans are fully justified. I would ask you to be prepared for the onslaught of the usual suspects who daily sing for their supper at the table of our very own homegrown ‘Marvelous’ Prime Minister. You must be aware that any pertinent question or criticism directed to government on this or any matter will label you as a hater or worse. NGOs, as you say, along with church leaders are eerily quiet, not a peep out of their mouths but the worst of the lot in my opinion are the Reparationists who never fail to carp on seeking reparation for brutality and other injustices they themselves never endured. Why the deafening silence? They might know something the rest of us do not. I have one description for this bunch of non sayers who now have glued tongues is simply—Hypocrites, for that is what they are. Ask how many of them have taken stranded Africans into their homes and given them shelter and the truthful answer would be revealing. Of all the talk of reparation, I would not be surprised that no thought has been given to erecting a monument to those brutalized slaves whose suffering is now been used as a ATM by these chronic hypocrites. The usual suspects will singing for their supper before long but I will end by saying, Dr Matthew, well said.

  12. While Dr. Ronan Matthew addressed a number of issues and mentioned a litany of names who has had a deleterious impact on Antigua and Barbuda. Few wants to address the issues raised, for the situation serves them well.

  13. @Caricom Man
    No, we have not forgotten. I have no idea which Caricom state you are from but I doubt if it is as lax in accepting people from other states as Antigua has been.I remember when Antigua had a population of about 40,000 people, now some say it’s nearly 100,000 and Antiguans are now almost in a minority in their own country. Controlled immigration yes, free for all, no. It’s political, where the votes come from. Got it?

  14. Sorry but the churches have become smarter. They will not let their religion be used for others political agenda. Instead, the churches have been given a helping hand to the Cameroonians. Just last week in my church the Catholic Church the father announced that we have raised over forty thousand dollars to assist the Cameroonians. And that is just with a very low-key offering. If the government were treating the Cameroonians inhumane than the church would have taking a stand. But even the church leaders understand that these people are fleeing from a war-torn region. And for them America is the promise land. Not Antigua. As they themselves have said, they never knew about Antigua before. They are only here in transit. But ofcourse according the UPP they came here to vote in our election.

  15. So answer me this then @ Sidey, if as you say “… The churches have become smarter. They will not let their religion be used for others political agenda.”

    Well if that is the case then, why did so many religious leaders come out at the hight of the PANDEMIC came out and supported the government’s stance not only on Antiguans taking the dangerous mRNA vaccines, but was behind the ABLP targeting women and children on Teargas Sunday?

    I know many friends who followed their church leaders advice in taking the vaccines 12-18 months ago (including the booster jabs) and now deeply regret following their terrifying and threatening advice.


    However, I do enjoy pulling up your lies and falsehoods. Enjoyable sup!

    • The churches had to make sure to warn their parishioners about the danger of Covid. It was a matter of live and dead. Antigua luckily enough lost only 146 to covid. Antigua and Barbuda
      Coronavirus Cases:9,106
      Was it not for the fact that many of us listened to the Medical Professionals and got vaccinated who knows how many more we would have lost.
      Therefore, it was a moral duty of the church to press on their parishioners to get vaccinated.
      By the way, there were many churches in the USA that were preaching against taking the vaccine. Of course with the consequences that followed.

  16. @From The Sideline.
    The churches have become smarter, you claim. Here’s a chance for them to become even smarter: tell them to speak out publicly on the scam perpetrated by Marvelous Mike on the Cameroonians and his bamboozlement of our own homegrown Marvelous Prime Minister. Speak out loudly and clearly for everyone to hear. Having a collection to assist them is a good thing but expressing their concern publicly would also show their compassion. The Cameroonians are fleeing their war torn to enter the US via Antigua which they have never heard of before; no surprises there. After all you can be more than sure they did not know there is another place called Antigua, a small city in Guatemala which Marvelous Mike himself might never have heard of either, so the brand new glossy airline called Antigua Airways in which our government is said to have a 20% share, flies into the wrong Antigua (I assume) and is greeted with a fanfare of water spray (keep in mind water here in Antigua is a scarce commodity to say the least) and a planeload of Africans expecting to trek across the Guatemala border to their promised land, The United States Of America. Visas in order? Oh yes, give me a break. Enough of that for now. Tell us Sir/Madam, have you given any of these stranded folk a room for shelter in your home? 5 star hotel accommodation not required, just a roof over their head will do. Why should UPP hate these folk as you suggest? They are simply asking the pertinent question, how did this fiasco come about? Seems a logical question by any political party regardless of red or blue but then UPP must keep silent and watch as a tragedy unfolds before our very eyes. These haters need to know their place and wonder at the tomfoolery of Marvelous Gaston and be grateful for small mercies—not!

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