Akaash Maharaj, a member of the Global Organization of
Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) says that a public
inquiry into the Antigua Airways/African migrant-smuggling saga is
necessary in order to bring democratic justice to the people of
Antigua and Barbuda.
He says, as well, that an inquiry should be commissioned to give
justice to the 17 West Africans who were lost at sea in late March, as
they sought to get to the United States Virgin Islands from Antigua.
The facts that have come to light, so far, make it clear that there are
too many unanswered questions to allow this matter to rest,
At the same time, the political commentator notes, there are many
political actors who are trying to convince the public that they, too,
are victims and have been duped by the people behind the airline
And if that is true, he says, then it remains to be tested in an inquiry
and would be an indictment on the decision makers. After all,
Maharaj says, it was their responsibility to conduct due diligence,
since many aspects of the airline did not pass the required tests.
It was evident from the inception that the West Africans who were
brought here were not tourists, says Maharaj. Taking all the factors
into account, there was some negligence or some complicity in the
undertaking, he states, and it is obvious that the airline was involved
in human trafficking.
A conventional investigation would not go anywhere in revealing
the entire truth of this matter, the good-governance activist says,
and therefore truth demands a public inquiry.
Maharaj shared these observations on Thursday night, June 8,
during a public forum organized by the United Progressive Party, in
which he addressed the political and humanitarian perspectives of
the call for a commission of inquiry.