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Roberts Lectures Dr. Minnis on Bad Governance

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts called Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis “a fake and a big joke” and explained to him the meaning of bad governance as it relates to the Free National Movement.

Mr. Roberts made his comments during a second letter addressed to Dr. Minnis, which is a part of his response to remarks made by Dr. Minnis during a protest at the Ministry of Agriculture last week where he called the current government “the absolute worst ever.”

According to Mr. Roberts, “It’s pretty difficult for any government to be worse than the FNM when it comes to governance.”
He reminded Dr. Minnis that his letter is a snapshot of what bad governance looks like.

“The snapshot will not only demonstrate to you and the public the asininity of your public statements, but the rank arrogance and hypocrisy of the FNM.”

Mr. Roberts went on to discuss some of his examples of bad governance through scandals and decisions he said the government made.

“Do you remember the MV Lorequin Commission of Inquiry that condemned a senior police officer who took possession of a quantity of illegal drugs from the RBDF (Royal Bahamas Defence Force) that went partially missing under his superintendence?” he asked.

“Do you also recall that the very same officer led a covert Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) operation (from The Bahamas side) with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that led to the arrest of Nassau Flight Services baggage handlers in Florida? Notwithstanding the very dark clouds of scandal, controversy and a number of ethical issues surrounding this officer, you and your Cabinet colleagues would later appoint him as police commissioner. The PLP publicly opposed that appointment as not being in the public’s best interest. It was simply a poor decision on the part of your government, but you agreed Minnis. This is what bad governance looks like.”

Mr. Roberts also mentioned the terms on which the Bahamas Telecommunications Company was sold, calling it covert and secret scandalous circumstances.

He said Dr. Minnis approved the sale both in Parliament and in Cabinet when the FNM was the government.

“BTC was sold for significantly less than your government reported, but the difference remained unexplained,” he said.

“What was the justification for the $4 million ‘finder’s fee’ and who got the fee? Like the slow speed engines your government bought from French Company (apparently coerced by a criminal bribe) after ignoring the BEC board and management recommendation, the service and prices did not improve and the monies collected from the sale of BTC did not pay down on the national debt as promised. These are further examples of poor governance – some say criminal – but the record place you Minnis at the scene of the ‘crime.’ See Minnis, this is what bad governance looks like.”

Dr. Minnis also spoke on matters concerning the National Insurance Board (NIB) asking if Dr. Minnis thought it was legal for the Cabinet to consistently bypass the statue and duly appointed board in violation of the National Insurance Act.
He discussed the approval of huge bonuses and other decisions the NIB knew nothing about.

“Can you bring yourself to finally admit that your colleague prime minister did in fact mislead Parliament when the NIB records on contracts awarded Kenuth Electric differed from the dollar value communicated to the Parliament by the then prime minister,” he asked.

“And that the 2008/2009 budget debate when your government raised taxes in an attempt to raise millions in revenue, but no FNM minister and no FNM member of parliament ever communicated the tax increases to Parliament. Bahamians found out about the new tariffs when they imported goods and services in the country. Was your government being ethical, accountable, transparent and respectful to the principle of democracy and the institution of Parliament? Do you think anybody was misled by your government in that shameless process? The FNM has a terrible record of transparency, accountability and public trust?”

Mr. Roberts said according to the Supreme Court, the FNM government broke the law with the administration of the 2008 Local Government Elections and members of his party have used their positions to secure an unreasonable advantage for a family member.

He mentioned that deputy prime minister at the time Brent Symonette found himself in a fundamental conflict between his public duty and his personal business interest involving both the container port and Bahamas Hot Mix.
Mr. Roberts also mentioned other issues to illustrate the FNM’s bad governance.

“Who could ever forget the free helicopter ride by Minister Deveaux, the $1 million donation to the BNT and the unauthorized dredging of a protected marine sanctuary? On each score, you and your entire FNM government were complicit, silent and compromised and you agreed with the malfeasant behavior,” he said.

Mr. Roberts called for Dr. Minnis to “stop being a hypocrite.” He highlighted that because of the FNM’s record of governance, the party’s members cannot withstand any scrutiny on the terms of public trust, transparency, accountability, honesty, credibility or competence.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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