Hodge Appeals For Greater Focus On Federation’s youth

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“Government has a moral and social responsibility….”

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
December 07, 2009 (PAM Secretariat)

Shadow Minister within the People’s Action Movement Juni Hodge has issued a passionate appeal for the Ministry of Youth to place greater focus on young people in an effort to aggressively address the many social ills plaguing the Federation.

Hodge said that such efforts are critically and urgently needed if any success is going to be achieved in confronting the many challenges and difficulties faced by residents and citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.

He noted that the Minister of Youth, the Hon. Sam Condor, should recognize that his Ministry has been unable to implement any effective initiatives and or programmes to address these major issues. He stressed that his party, the PAM, is genuinely interested in lending whatever assistance needed in bringing about success.

“We within PAM would like to reiterate that we are willing and prepared to support any initiative that seeks to reduce the issue of violence and crime among our Federation’s youths. However, this can only be achieved with the relevant programmes being implemented so as to ensure that the public can be afforded an opportunity in playing a much greater role in shaping the lives of our young people, with the view of deterring them from using crime and violence as a means of survival,” Hodge said.

Hodge said that taking a closer look at the criminal trend in St. Kitts and Nevis, he foresees the problem continuing unresolved if the appropriate systems are not implemented. He called on Government to reach out to various stakeholders, among them being civil society and NGO’s, so as to create the appropriate platform in efficiently addressing the issues.

The PAM Constituency Six representative pointed out that the Ministry is clueless, which resulted in the Federation’s murder rate being some 26 persons who have lost their lives so far for 2009.

“The reality is that if nothing is done immediately to seriously address the problem, the murder rate will continue to increase. It’s time that government seek help from stakeholders including the opposition to eradicate this problem, as in the end St. Kitts and Nevis belongs to everyone and not just Labour, PAM, CCM or NRP,” he declared.

Hodge, a former police officer, said that reducing crime and violence needs the cooperation of all, adding that politics and political involvement should be kept away from addressing the issues.

Hodge reiterated that Government has a moral and social responsibility in ensuring residents and citizens are properly protected from criminal elements within the society. “I would like to remind the Prime Minister that it is a responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of all, and from all indications it’s evident that the Government continues to fail miserably in this and other areas,” he declared.

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