Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts said yesterday that “Hell will freeze over before Darron Cash or anybody else for that matter silences the PLP from holding the FNM accountable for their failed policies.”
Mr. Roberts was responding to the FNM chairman’s claim that the PLP politicised the Mayaguana tragedy that occurred last week.
The mother, sister and brother-in-law of former Cabinet Minister in the Ingraham administration Sidney Collie were all killed.
But Mr. Roberts said it is the FNM that has politicised the calamity.
“From his bluster and political posturing in the media today, it is patently clear that Darron Cash and the FNM have learned nothing from the Mayaguana aviation tragedy,” the chairman said.
“He and the FNM fail to recognise that their destructive policy of stopping and cancelling projects and programs that were clearly in the public and national interests was a causal factor in the Mayaguana tragedy.”
Mr. Roberts said Mr. Cash now wants Bahamians to forget that it was his FNM governing party that stopped and cancelled the Family Island Airport Emergency Runway Lighting Programme – a project he says was almost 90 per cent complete.
“He now seeks to deflect from the fact that governance is continuous and when policy decisions are based on political convenience and not the protection of the national interest, the consequences could be catastrophic,” he said.
“The record clearly showed this to be the case during the FNM’s last and disastrous term in office where delaying, stopping and cancelling legally binding agreements and projects for purely political reasons was the order of the day.”
Mr. Roberts said in stark contrast and to the PLP’s credit, the deputy prime minister is on record on several occasions as stating that 84 per cent of his capital budget was committed by the outgoing Free National Movement Government.
“There is no politically driven stop, review and cancel policy in this PLP administration as the government clearly understands values and respects the principle of continuity of government and protecting both the public and national interests. That is more than Cash can say about the indefensible and destructive policy decisions of the FNM that he now seeks to defend,” Mr. Roberts said.
“The PLP Government who facilitated the installation of emergency lights on some 17 Family Island airports must now finish the project they started during its last term in office by effecting the immediate installation of emergency lights in Mayaguana, Fresh Creek, Andros and Stella Maris, Long Island.”
Mr. Roberts said the FNM has a right to disagree with the Heads of Agreement with the I-Group for the development of Mayaguana, but did not have the right to cancel the Family Island Emergency Runway Lighting programme.
“This policy was clearly in both the public and national interests and to date the FNM has failed to offer an intelligent explanation for their destructive and failed policy to cancel this program – a decision that turned out to be a causal factor in that tragic Aviation accident in Mayaguana,” he said.
“What is equally tragic is that Cash and the FNM have not learned from the error of their ways and if given another opportunity, they would repeat the same policy blunders with similar catastrophic consequences that The Bahamas can ill afford.”