Categorized | National News

“FNM Failed on Rubis’ Leak,” Says Roberts

Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts said the Free National Movement failed to protect the public’s interest because the FNM government knew about the environmental incidents at Rubis since its last term in office.

Roberts, who wasted no time responding to comments made by FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis during a press conference yesterday, said Dr. Minnis must apologize to Bahamians “for the negligence and inaction of the FNM government as far back as 1996 and during its last term in office” when the party had full knowledge of the environmental incidents at Rubis on Robinson and Old Trail Roads.

“The long term expose of residents in the Marathon area to this environmental contamination has adversely impacted their health and quality of life because 19 years is a long time to be exposed to such unhealthy conditions. This is reprehensible on the part of the FNM and a full and frank explanation is needed. I suspect that the shameless arrogance of Dr. Minnis will prevent him from acting responsibly,” Roberts explained.

During the FNM’s press conference, Dr. Minnis claimed that the PLP government has a “reckless, callous and cruel disregard for human life” because residents in the Marathon area has yet to be tested after benzene was found in their wells.

According to Roberts, “The hapless and opportunistic carpet bagging and self interested FNM has crawled from under a rock and behind the tall grass to see how they can best use the pain and suffering of Bahamians to secure a selfish and narrow political advantage.”

“This is reprehensible, heartless and callous,” Roberts added.

He explained that there is no file at the Ministry of The Environment as proof of the steps taken by the FNM government to protect the interest of the Bahamian people while in government and he urges Dr. Minnis to speak to this if he is a credible leader.

The PLP chairman is now calling for a public hearing concerning Rubis’ oil spill, which will send for “people and papers” as far back as 1996, 2010 and 2012.

Roberts explained that the public hearing will put the series of events into context so that Bahamians can appreciate the timelines, the extent of the challenges at Rubis and for all to see exactly what the root causes were that brought the situation to this point.

The PLP chairman assured Bahamians that the government is working with the affected residents in Marathon and Rubis to bring a fair and just resolution to this matter.

“The government must remain focused and vigilant in executing its primary duty in governance which is protecting the public’s interests, keeping the concerns of the people of Marathon and the public front and center at all material times,” Roberts said.

He added that the government must reject all attempts by the FNM at mass distraction, political posturing and bluster, where the members of the party “will seek to use the pain and suffering of ordinary Bahamians for its sick, selfish and narrow political means.”

The PLP chairman encouraged the Member of Parliament for Marathon Jerome Fitzgerald to remain fully engaged with his constituents and as a fierce and vocal advocate for the families affected.

“I thank the government of The Bahamas, especially the BEST Commission and the Department of Environmental Health for their decisive actions, leadership and general superintendence over the past 24 months in protecting the health and wellbeing of the residents and workers in the general area of the incident and for taking all necessary steps to protect the health of the environment for future generations,” Roberts said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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