Categorized | National News

Minister Defends Nygard

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alfred Gray yesterday gave the Opposition a tongue lashing over its accusation that fashion mogul and billionaire Peter Nygard is financially influencing the government.

A video with cabinet ministers and Mr. Nygard has been circulating and Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash has called for the resignation of these ministers because of it.

But Minister Gray said he has no regrets about appearing in the video.

“I don’t do anything that I am ashamed to do. Having said that I was at the prize giving ceremonies at Clifton Cay and the other time I appeared was with the regatta committee to accept a donation for the regatta,” he said.

“In this business, Mr. Nygard is a Bahamian. He is a philanthropist and he has given more to this country than any other Bahamian including those who criticise him. As a member of the government I always be careful of what I do and so I have no regrets of doing what I did and if I had a chance, I would do it again.”

He continued, “What I want to say to those who criticise to see if they can find some other Bahamians who are willing to do what Mr. Nygard is willing to do. Mr. Nygard has never done anything that I am witness to.”

Minister Gray said former FNM Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson was a frequent visitor to Nygard Cay.

“Why doesn’t Mr. Chairman of the FNM talk about that. They have one standard for the FNM and another for the PLP. That is very hypocritical. It is not in my view honest. Mr. Nygard has not done something wrong that I should not associate myself with him. And if they know something they should say so and not criticise him simply because he likes the PLP government,” he said.

“No one can influence the PLP. We are grounded in principles and we stand on our reputation. What I do not like is that they criticise Mr. Nygard for being in my view generous and I don’t know why some Bahamians, particularly those who live in Lyford Cay do not come to the plate when Bahamians need them.”

The minister added that it is wrong for Mr. Nygard to get criticised for contributing to regattas, which are not political issues.

“This government is not for sale and if Frank Watson and those could have associated with him then and they said nothing – why now. That is what I want FNM and Hubert Ingraham to answer. If they were honest, they would never say a thing. Hubert Ingraham may not associate himself with Mr. Nygard because he does not like many people. I’m not sure that he likes himself. But for me I have no regrets. I stand on my principles and no one can cause me to do anything that is unethical or out of order and that includes Mr, Nygard.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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