NEW DEPUTY SPEAKER CALLS ON ALL CITIZENS TO DISPLAY JUSTICE, DIGNITY AND COMPASSION IN INAUGURAL SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT

Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 19, 2016 (SKNIS): Referring to each individual, each citizen, as a piece of the puzzle that must fit cohesively into the whole to make the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis a better place to live in, newly elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Mrs. Akilah Byron Nisbett, made a passionate call in her first address in Parliament on November 18 for justice, dignity and compassion to be displayed by all.

“Mr. Speaker, in the grand scheme of life, we are mere puzzle pieces that when placed together cohesively can create a whole that encompasses a passion and drive for greatness that feeds success to all levels of the society. It is therefore up to each of us how our puzzle piece can cohesively fit into that whole,” Mrs. Byron-Nisbett said.

“The pieces of our puzzles, whatever our individual puzzles may look like, as well as the pieces of our puzzles as a nation, it can and will come together to make a whole that will work for the good of all, and so Mr. Speaker, I would like to urge all of us to remember the bigger picture. We are here to serve the people. We are not here for the piece of the puzzle that addresses self, not for the piece of the puzzle that addresses only those who support us but instead we are here in our respective positions to ensure justice, dignity, and that compassion is displayed in our actions to make our federation a better, stronger and more compassionate nation filled with hope for all,” she added.

In order for the nation to achieve a cohesive whole, Senator Byron-Nisbett said that we need to focus on three questions: “How can I contribute to that whole?”; “How can my contribution make a difference?”; and “How can I positively make an impact on the lives of others, thus being able to effectively allow my puzzle piece to truly fit cohesively?”

She said that she will do her utmost best to contribute to the cohesive whole.

“Mr. Speaker, I do believe that it is important that while I am still young, strong and capable, that I positively contribute to that whole,” Senator Byron-Nisbett said, while advocating for youth and women. “Mr. Speaker, I also do recognize that by accepting this new position, I have now become a role model to the largest segment of our population, the youths, and I have taken up the huge task of being one of the voices of one of the largest contributors within our society, women.”

The honourable senator’s speech was hinged on two pillars: one, family and family values, and two, positive avenues to success.

“Mr. Speaker, I reflect strong family values that have molded me into the young woman that I am today—the presence of both parents, both mother and father throughout my life, who have always supported me through my challenges and shared in my successes,” she said. “I can’t help but note the many youths out there, children even, within our society, who have had to grow up in a single parent home. Now we must note that many of our women have worked hard and have sacrificed their time and their own well-being in order to ensure that their children are able to have the best chance of surviving and progressing within society” while she congratulated the fathers who lived up to their responsibilities and encourage those who didn’t do so to start now.

In addressing positive avenues to success, the deputy speaker had this to say.

“Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the fact that our societies have been inundated with negative words, thoughts and actions. We continue to see an increase in criminal activities among our youth. We see families who are hurting. We see a number of angry youth among us. We even see those who are forgotten and Mr. Speaker, this is due to the false teaching that positive avenues to a successful life no longer exist….Mr. Speaker, I think that it is important for us to bring to the forefront that there still exists among us, youth who subscribe to the notion that success can be gained through hard work.”

Senator Byron-Nisbett thanked the government for her election.

“Mr. Speaker, I would like to at this point to thank the government. I believe that the act of confidence through my appointment demonstrates how progressive this nation has become in its treatment of women, the value it places on our young people, and the commitment towards doing the right thing,” she said.

Senator Byron-Nisbett quoted Michelle Obama when she said: “The measure of a society is how we treat women and girls.”

“I am encouraged that our federation is on the right track in this regards,” Senator Byron-Nisbett said.