The United Progressive Party will picket the office of the prime minister on Tuesday, to protest a decision by the government to grant asylum to the Africans who are entangled in the chartered flight fiasco.
Last week, the UPP leadership called on the Cabinet to halt its unilateral plans to regularize the status of more than 600 West Africans “stranded” here
The UPP’s contention is that there was absolutely no consultation with the people or their elected representatives.
In a statement released by the party on Thursday, the UPP says like thousands of citizens and residents, they demand to know who has offered the African visitors a choice; who has reported that they are likely to choose to stay; and what arrangement, exactly, will be made to ensure their status is legal?
The UPP promised to give more information on Tuesday’s picket before the actual event.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas disclosed that about 637 Africans are currently on the island. According to him, 911 arrived on different chartered flights from Nigeria. This means 274 have since left the island.
The Africans, mainly from Cameroon said they fled their country as a result of the ongoing war there, pleading with the government not to have them repatriated.
Nicholas said on Thursday that the government was prepared to repatriate the travelers at its own expense, also offering to accommodate those who might want to remain on the island by offering them legal status.