Opposition Leader Godwin Friday meets with Vincentian students in Jamaica. (Photo courtesy NDP)

Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday addressed the convention of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and met with Vincentians students at the University of the West Indies in Kingston on the weekend.

Speaking at the JLP event, Friday said that he had come to bring greetings but also to celebrate with the ruling party.

“… I know that you have travelled a long, difficult road and you have persevered, your long time in opposition didn’t discourage or weaken the Jamaica Labour Party. It toughened you, it sharpened your vision and it made you prepare for the moment now, when you are back, leading Jamaica to prosperity,” Friday said at the event on Sunday.

He said that he had come to “big up” Jamaica Prime Minister Michael Holness.

“We share a lot in common with you. We believe that in order for prosperity to be present in any country, you must have a sound economy. You must have fiscal discipline, that the government must create an environment for businesses to prosper, so that young people can have an education, so that healthcare in the country can be provided for all the people.

“But a sound economy is not an end in itself, it is not that you can accumulate a surplus. Rather, a sound economy is essential to be shared by all people.”

Friday said this is what his New Democratic Party espouses.

“And I know you, here in Jamaica, that that is what you believe in and that a functioning, prosperous economy is there to take care of the wellbeing of all Jamaican. We support you in that.”

He said a political conference is not just for the leaders on the platform but for all the people who come from the various constituencies because they are the foot soldiers of the party.

“You have to go back and make sure that the groundwork is laid so that the work that was started last year in February when the JLP returned to power, will continue for years and years to come.”

He said this is done by leading diligently, persuading those who may be doubting, explaining party policies and doing work on behalf of political leaders.

“This is what I tell my people in St. Vincent because we know we can’t do it all by ourselves here on the platform.

“And you will succeed because you have in your political lead, a young man who is committed to the cause of prosperity in Jamaica. He is committed also to regionalism. That is why I am here today: to make sure that the Caribbean, that we all do not give up on that dream for prosperity.”

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Friday met with members of the Vincentian Students Association (VINSA) at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus as a part of his ongoing National Youth Dialogue series.

The NDP said in a press statement that Friday engaged with the students on matters of national development, tourism, energy, education, agriculture and fisheries and the economy.

“This consultation was a welcomed opportunity for the students to meet with Dr. Friday in person and to share their views and concerns about the current state of affairs at home in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the NDP said.

The party said that the opposition leader thanked the students for the invitation and opportunity to meet with them and that [the party] looks forward to future engagements and consultations with Vincentians at home and abroad.