(Guyana Guardian) – Former Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur PC, MP, was rushed to a local hospital yesterday evening after the vehicle he was traveling in collided with a minibus at the Wanstead Junction, which is located several kilometers on the outskirts of Bridgetown.
The Guyana Guardian was reliably informed that at the time of the accident, the former Prime Minister was driving a 2016 Suzuki Vitara SUV himself, when a passenger minibus that was driven by 25 year old Kemar Pile-Martin, slammed into the driver’s side of Arthur’s SUV.
The accident occurred at about 5:40pm yesterday, just around the onset of darkness.
Immediately after the accident, a usually reliable source told the Guyana Guardian that Arthur began to complain about pain to his neck and back.
The former prime minister was then rushed by his wife to the Sandy Crest medical facility in St James.
He was subsequently treated at the private medical institution and is said to be now resting at home, since the injuries that he had received were mostly superficial.
The 67 year old Arthur; credited as the longest serving Prime Minister of Barbados, having held on to the reigns of office from 1994 to 2008, is believed to have been one of the most lenient Barbadian heads of State on the issue of immigration.
His open door policy had allowed many genuine Guyanese job seekers to obtain works permits and temporary residency on the Island, where they were able to live and work peacefully for several years.
But after losing power to the late David Thompson, his relaxed immigration policy was scrapped by the new government, and hundreds of foreign nationals including Guyanese were denied work permit renewals or regularization, and were later deported or forced to leave the Island.
Critics have since argued that the reversal of Arthur’s immigration policy and removal of the Guyanese workers have impacted the country’s real estate earnings from apartment rentals, reduced its tax base, reduce the national insurance contributions, shrink the agriculture sector, and the reduce private sector earnings, significantly.
Many Guyanese at home and abroad who have favored the Owen Arthur era, have since been praying for the former Prime Minister’s speedy recovery.