Some people forget that clause 113 was put in the Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis for a very special reason. Or they conveniently ignore the fact that at the time it was created, about 95% of the population of Nevis did not want to be joined in a political or Federal Relationship with St. Kitts. Nevisians emphatically wanted their island to be a separate, independent, self-governing entity, and only entered into the Federal arrangement under duress, but with the clear understanding that Nevis would be able to secede if at any time after eighteen months had passed, 66â…” percent of Nevisians still felt that way and expressed that desire in a referendum. Let me reiterate bluntly and honestly, Nevisians were coerced into a situation they did not want, and only went along with because the insertion of clause 113 in the constitution, guaranteed them a way out at some specific point. They did not want be locked into this unwanted situation forever. So those who say that secessionists are trying to “mash up de country,”or are unpatriotic or “don’t love Nevis,”are spouting utter nonsense. To follow and apply what the constitution guarantees, is surely one of the hallmarks of a true patriot and lover of one’s country. Those who say otherwise are most likely deliberately dealing in falsehood and pure maliciousness. The referendum which was held in 1998 failed by just a few percentage points. Yet the Federal Government leaders brazenly boasted that the people of Nevis had said “NO’to secession, even though it was clearly evident that the vast majority of those who voted said “Yes.”This type of minimizing of Nevisian aspirations has been typical of the relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis and fuels the argument of those who say that Nevis is always being marginalised by St. Kitts. When the clear majority of the electorate have said “YES”, it is demeaning, patronizing and untruthful to state that “The people have said no!”Although at the time of the referendum, I had no suspicions of any hanky-panky being involved at the polls, more recent revelations of serious electoral infractions in Nevis, have caused me to wonder whether the referendum might have surreptitiously been used as a testing ground for the actions which ultimately led to court decisions against some NRP and Electoral officials. I will skip over most of the details but just recollect that in 1998 certain officials on both sides of the waters, were predicting with utmost certainty that the outcome of the referendum would not lead to independence for Nevis. “Told you so,’they were able to gloat with glee when the tally showed 62% had voted YES, 38% voted NO. Similarly they were loudly predicting Brantley’s failure in Nevis’ 2011 election. But his resulting defeat by 14 votes or 14 spoiled ballots was too spurious to overlook and was eventually rectified by court action and re-election. The behaviour of the ruling parties in St. Kitts towards Nevis has always been overbearing, often disagreeable and sometimes downright scary. Most proud Nevisians find that difficult to live with, hard to accept. These brief comments are meant only to serve as a reminder for those celebrating the 30th Anniversary of this awkward relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis, that Nevis has not yet managed to get what she really bargained for, is entitled to, and is still enshrined in clause 113 of our constitution. – Independence!