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“A matter like this frightens me as a manufacturer." -- OT Mayers. (IWN photo)
“A matter like this frightens me as a manufacturer.” — OT Mayers. (IWN photo)
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Businessman Omroy Theophilus “O.T.” Mayers, founder of Finishing and Furnishing, says he is frightened by the protracted impasse, in which fellow entrepreneur Leon “Bigger Big” Samuel has failed to have his licence to mine aggregates on lands he (Samuel) owns at Rabacca reinstated since 2011.

He further suggested that envy was at the heart of the development, which has also lead to the closure of Samuel’s block-making plant.

State officials say Samuel licence was withdrawn because of violation of the terms of his contract, and environmental impact, namely an oil spill contaminating ground water.

Samuel’s technical team has have strongly denied these allegations.

On October 2, Samuel received what he thought was a licence to recommence mining. However, about five days later, he received another communication from the government, saying that the licence is subject to  Cabinet approval. (Scroll for video from October 2014 )

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“A matter like this frightens me as a manufacturer. It frightens me a lot because I am a furniture manufacturer. I deal with chemicals, I deal with dust and all kind of thing, and I don’t know when I will offend the environmentalists. I just don’t know,” Mayers said Wednesday at an event in Kingstown, where Samuel and his technical team detailed the timeline of the development and responded to state authorities’ charges.

Mayers noted Samuel’s nickname, “Bigger Bigs”, adding, “He has a very good name, Bigger Bigs. You are real big, my friend. That’s why you become a target.”

Mayers, who like Samuel is a self-made businessman, said he got close to Samuel when Samuel opened his block-making plant in Yambou.

“He made a statement that I … totally agree with. He said when you take a chance, take a chance that nobody else can take, will ever venture to take. And he took that chance and from that time I hear that statement I was close to him and I get closer to him,” Mayers said.

“This issue now, to all right-thinking Vincentians, is a frightening one,” Mayers said.

Businessman Leon "Bigger Bigs" Samuel. (IWN Photo)
Businessman Leon “Bigger Bigs” Samuel. (IWN Photo)

He said that when Samuel was ordered to close his mining operation, he (Mayers) visited the mining plant.

“I was hurt and I spent two consecutive days in Rabacca, observing with my limited eyesight. If you want to hear what that means, I am not an environmentalist; I am not an engineer; I am nobody. But I could see and with my limited eyesight, I search Rabacca.

“There are other miners in Rabacca, there are other people doing work in Rabacca and I took the liberty to examine what was done in Rabacca. And to my judgement, if there were any violators in Rabacca, Bigger Bigs was the least offender,” Mayers said.

“When I say ‘eye’, I don’t mean OT, you know — ‘eye,’” he said, pointing at his eyes.

“And seeing is believing, and touching is the naked truth. I went with my naked eye,” Mayers said.

“Something is happening in St. Vincent. We have a lot of mouth and most of the people who mouthing off is not mouthing off intelligently, because they don’t know what they talking about. They don’t go and see anything. But they hear and they start to mouth off.

“I went with my eyes and I will tell you a little of what eye saw, because it is recorded in me, not with a tape recorder; it is recorded in me, what eye see.

“And eye saw a big company – I can’t remember the name – but the they have a generator and eye saw when they change the oil from the generator, there is an earthen drain, a gutter, running the oil straight in the little water that is there,” Mayers said.

“And eye see oil running in the water. I come back again, I don’t know who do it, but eye see them burning tyres in the vicinity, in the river there. And I go by Bigger Bigs, every machine some of you garage have more oil than what eye saw on Bigger Bigs’ operation — because some of us car drip oils at night, and that is expected,” Mayers said.

He said Samuel had two drums of fuel, adding that the most skilled of person might spill fuel even when using a large funnel.

“So, I say if there were any offenders, Bigger Bigs was the least offender,” Mayers said.

Mayers, who is also a preacher, turned to a Bible story to illustrate his next point.

“There is nothing new under the sun; absolutely nothing new under the sun. We have a lot of laws that are being made even overnight, but I say any law that [does] not coincide with the blueprint that God give us to live by, you gotta be careful with that,” Mayer said.

“And when I say nothing new under the sun, I remember Ahab and Jezebel. I remember where the war start[ed]; is Naboth vineyard they were fighting over,” he said.

Mayers said he could support what he was saying with “the blueprint that is given to us to live by.

“Ahab wanted Naboth vineyard to make a kitchen garden … and he (Ahab) was a reasonable man. He [went] to Naboth and he said this thing is close to me, I want it to make a kitchen garden, I would either pay you or give you a better vineyard that you can operate. I only want it because it is close to me.

“I don’t know who Bigger Bigs’ land is close to, but I could also say who owns every square inch of land in St. Vincent. That’s what they say, so I could say so,” Mayers said.

“Anyhow, it was not really Ahab who engineered this thing. It was his wife Jezebel. So what is really happening at time, the people who really want the thing done, they don’t do it with their hands, they get somebody else to do it.

“But Bigger Bigs, the Lord is on your side, the Lord is on your side, the Lord is on your side,” Mayers said to applause.

He, however, told the audience, that while he appreciated the applause, the first time he spoke at the venue (Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown), persons began to applaud and laugh as soon as he took the microphone, and he was subsequently described as a “comedy” (comedian) because of this.

“Well, don’t threat me like a comedy today, because I am inspired to say what I am saying. Envy is as cruel as grave. That’s all. Ah stop,” Mayers said.

8 replies on “Businessman OT Mayers says ‘Bigger Bigs’ impasse is frightening”

  1. This is crazy. It shouldn’t matter who is doing the polluting, because by all natural rights, NO-ONE should be dumping waste oil of any kind EVER! The planet belongs to everyone and no one company or person retains the right to destroy it. It takes everyone participating in a responsible manner and I still find it hard to believe that anyone would stand by and watch another person contribute to the degradation of ones own country and lands, but yet everyday I see bottle caps and cigarette buts thrown to the ground along with the empty plastic bottles and chip bags. Every government struggles with pollution issues and now the big giants are meeting to come up with specific plans to try and stop the mass pollution that is plaguing the world. It starts from the people in the field. No excusing saying absolutely stupid stuff like “I’m no environmentalist”. If you can’t figure out the basic stuff like protecting your own lands, then you certainly shouldn’t be in a business where that potential exists.

  2. Rosie Defrietas says:

    This is one of the gravest errors that the government could make. To hurt a “son of the soil” like this is truly bothersome and discomforting. As simple as this may seem – this could cost the ULP the next election victory – because this situation will cause Vincentians to wake up and think seriously.

  3. That my friends is the reason why no one will come here and invest. No one wants to invest in a small banana state where political hate, spite, malice and where work of the devil operates, with people who are best described as his diciples.

    Now this very brave man comes forward and speaks the truth at the risk of being attacked by the devil and his diciples. At the risk of having his own business destroyed, Sir may God bless you and keep you safe from this Marxist led government that has done a deal with Saten himself.

    These are the very reasons why I advised two European companies from investing in plants to be built in Georgetown in 2011. Two companies that would have been the main employers of the people of that area for may years to come. When the people chose Gonsalves again, they sort my advice and I gave it to them, they went away and invested elsewhere.

    You cannot invest in any place where your investment is unwise and unsafe, where political spite, hatred and malace can pour down on you at any time on, the whim of one or two people who are out of control and as far as I am concerned out to lunch with the devil.

    It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.
    Albert Einstein

  4. Well what I think the government should do is to ignore all environmental concerns regarding Bigger Biggs operations. The government should display no concern for the environment where Bigger is concerned. LET HIM GO AND POLLUTE THE DAMN PLACE. That is what the NDPites want, well let them have it. Let them destroy Rabacca and other places to please NDP politics. Let the private sector run things. To hell with the government right to protect our country. Please I am appealing to the government to let Bigger Biggs go out there and destroy the environment. Afterall, that is how the NDP will manage the country. Oh it will be a blind man’s country.

  5. When yo neighbour house on fire, wet yours. Well done OT! I pray now that the other business houses around SVG will follow your lead and speak up on the Bigger Biggs issue of INJUSTICE. What is happening to Bigger is a form of murder; being denied good on your table (in this case 80 workers + their extended families mouths) is a death sentence.

  6. Fitz and the other red glasses wearing people on this site….The Government owned firm BRAGSA is a far bigger polluter of the environment , go and see for yourself.

    Go and do your own research on the tire burning by BRAGSA and the effects, its has on the environment and people of Georgetown.

    Take a look at the number of people with cancer and respiratory disease in Georgetown.

    You can`t have rules for one person and rest do as they please, because they support your party.

    And if all of you are so concern about the environment, lets not stop at Bigger Bigs, let go after the hotels pumping raw sewage into the sea, lets go after those big developers in the Grenadines destroying the reefs, lets charge people for dumping garbage in the rivers.

    Seems like you all only have energy for the black man, and the so call white people of SVG can do as they please.

    Also, last but not lease, where were all of you when this government want to build a cross country road, that would have destroyed forest, water catchment supplies for the island and habitat for the animals. (My guess is asleep.)…..WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

  7. The problem is with what Fitz and AJR say is that its what they have been instructed say, probably even paid to say.

    I visited the Bigger site at Rabacca on numerous occassions, the charges of pollution are grossly overstated and I will go as far as to declare they are politicaly created nonsensical untruths and overstated and overclaimed matters put together to spite the man for dropping his support for ULP and giving support to the NDP.

    Biggs has been punished for changing sides, he has been served a large dose of hate, spite and malace.

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