By Steve Thomas Observer Nevis Editor
stevethomas@thestkittsnevisobserver.com (Charlestown, Nevis) ” There’s no doubt about it: Mr. Everton Powell, aka Obi, has big plans for the future of Nevis and he’s ready to get the ball rolling. “I think it’s time to have a discussion about the political future of Nevis, especially because it’s been 10 years since the referendum,” Mr. Powell said. He was referring to a 1998 vote that failed to win enough support to allow Nevis to declare independence from the Federation. The stage for Mr. Powell’s efforts is a non-partisan symposium on independence for Nevis, which has been scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 7 at the Nevis Red Cross Building in Charlestown, Nevis. The event, which is chaired by Mr. Powell, begins at 9 a.m. It is sponsored by NICE ” Nevis Independence Coalition Empowerment. The symposium is free and open to the public, he said. “One of the things to get out of this is to produce a document from the symposium with the idea of a rough draft of the path to independence,” Mr. Powell said. “It’s like a road map. It could literally be a reference document.” The event will not be about individual political parties or politicians. “One of the purposes of the symposium is to take the talk out of the hands of the politicians,” he said. “It is the people’s discussion.” There will be presentations and breakout sessions until 3 p.m., covering topics ranging from an overview of the history of the Nevis independence movement, making the case for independence and a look at social and economic consequences of independence, plus many others. Speakers will include the Hon. Robelto Hector, Mr. Powell, Mr. Colin Tyrell, Ms. Nailah Tyrell, Mr. Washington Archibald George, aka Washie, Mr. Conrad “Niah” Liburd and Dr. Everson Hull. At 7 p.m., also at the Red Cross building, there will be youth debate featuring Nevis 6th Form college students on the topic, “Nevis is ready for independence at this stage in its development.” The event is sponsored by the Nevis Independence Coalition Empowerment. “I think this will be a highlight,” Mr. Powell said. “There has to be more learning about (this issue) from young people.” On Tuesday, Aug. 12, the 10th anniversary of the referendum, there will be a two-hour panel discussion on VON Radio from 8 p.m.-10 p.m.