Categorized | National News

Collie Says PM Playing Politics

In the face of claims that Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis is politicizing hurricane relief efforts, the party’s chairman Sidney Collie is refuting those claims.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Perry Christie had called Dr. Minnis’ comments idiotic, after he (Dr. Minnis) charged that the government had dropped the ball in regards to hurricane recovery efforts.

In Dr. Minnis’ defence, Mr. Collie yesterday insisted that the prime minister is the only person politicizing the response to the storm.

“Dr. Minnis was out on the streets before the storm hit, making sure his constituents had what they needed; he allowed dozens of family, friends, and neighbours to stay in his house during the storm; and he has been out since the storm working with Bahamians, donating money and goods, and making sure that people are being taken care of. He has been a leader on the forefront of the efforts surrounding the lead up to Hurricane Matthew and the recovery efforts,” Mr. Collie said.

“It is our duty as the Official Opposition to speak up for the Bahamian people – to give them a voice – and that’s exactly what Dr. Minnis is doing. The Leader of the Official Opposition and potentially the next prime minister of this country must ensure the people are getting the assistance they need and deserve,” Mr. Collie added.

The FNM chairman said it “unfortunate” that the Christie administration is not admitting to playing politics in this regard.

“It is paramount to the people that the storm recovery does not involve any sort of political cronyism as we move forward. Dr. Minnis – like all of us – are watching out for the Bahamian people to ensure that does not happen. We can, and should, all agree on that central premise – that Bahamians deserve recovery efforts and help that are free of any corruption and entanglements,” Mr. Collie continued.

Mr. Collie insisted that the prime minister should begin to follow recent advice given to him by the FNM leader.

“Instead of trying to assert that everything we and Dr. Minnis are doing to aide our fellow Bahamians is political, it is time for the Prime Minister and this Government to take the ideas and solutions that Dr. Minnis set forth on Sunday and implement them immediately. While we are all glad that this Government answered our calls and finally issued an exigency order yesterday, more needs to be done. From Dr. Minnis’ proposals to start fogging in an effort to stop mosquito borne illnesses, such as Zika, his suggestion to advise Bahamians not to drink untested well water and to warn Bahamians from entering damaged homes until inspected, must all be implemented immediately,” said Mr. Collie.

On Tuesday, Dr. Minnis accused the government of not using a precautionary method toward Hurricane Matthew.

He asserted that despite the government knowing that the storm was on its way, it waited until afterwards to call for assistance in terms of the provision of trucks and other equipment.

Dr. Minnis also charged that the government should have made it mandatory for residents to evacuate from homes that were in high risk areas, prone to flooding.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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