MP Walker says adjudication exercise is a land-grab and an attempt to erase Barbudans’ identity

Barbuda MP Trevor Walker says Barbudans are facing a very serious
challenge, at this time, from the Gaston Browne Administration.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the United Progressive Party’s
12 th  Biennial Convention on April 20, Walker said the prime minister
continues his attempts to get ahold of Barbuda’s lands.

Walker was referring to a letter received by Council Chairman Devon Warner,
on April 15, advising that all of Barbuda had been declared an adjudication
area by Legal Affairs Minister Steadroy “Cutie ” Benjamin.

The adjudication exercise is set to commence on May 15, led by Sir Clare
Roberts KC, who has officially been appointed the adjudication officer.
If the Browne Administration continues along this path and gets what it
wants, Walker says, the average Barbudan, “as we know it, will be no more,”
because the people of the sister-island will have no identity.

The Barbuda MP reports that at last Friday’s village meeting, it was decided
that, as one people, Barbudans will bind themselves together and speak with
one voice against the Browne Administration’s tyranny.

Praising the UPP for the enactment of the Barbuda Land Act, 2007, which
established that land on the sister-island is owned in common by the people,
Walker says this legislation sought to keep the traditional system in place.
However, that law has since been repealed by the Browne Administration.

The MP notes that land has never been sold on Barbuda. Yet, now, after 300
years of that tradition, he says that plans are being put in place to sell lands
through this adjudication exercise.

This is an attempt to marginalize the people who have existed on those same
lands all their lives, Walker charges.

Accordingly, he is putting Prime Minister Browne and the Government on
notice that, as long as he represents Barbuda in Parliament; as long as the
Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) exists; and when the UPP regains
governance, the people of Barbuda “shall overcome” and stop the land grab.
Making an analogy to the Israelites and their years of captivity, Walker
declares that Barbudans will never go back to Egypt and be taken advantage

of; rather, they will press forward to victory and reclaim their communal land-
ownership system.