Categorized | Featured, National News

Ex-Prime Ministers Offer Help


Former Prime Ministers Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie are standing in solidarity, stressing that the task of restoring Abaco after the devastation left behind by Hurricane Dorian is too great for one man or one government.

In fact, former Prime Minister Christie said he told Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis that he would be overwhelmed by this task.

As a result, they’re calling on the prime minister to source the knowledge of those who preceded him to assist. 

On this point, Christie suggested Ingraham be given the duty of leading the charge as he represented the island for 35 years.

An independent body, he added, should also be formed to handle this matter. 

The same, both former prime ministers said, should be done for Grand Bahama which they both said isn’t as badly damaged as Abaco.

“One man reporting to the prime minister with two permanent secretaries cannot do it.  This is too great a task ahead,” Christie said. 

“We need to establish a unit. I call it an authority with legislative authority that reports to the prime minister, so therefore, there is no question about the prime minister’s influence and control, but that has the capacity to make quick decisions, have the capacity to import into the authority expertise that may not be in government.” 

The Bahamian people, Christie said, are bewildered, despaired, deeply concerned and there appears to be deep uncertainty as to who they should turn to.

Christie added that while touring the devastation in Abaco yesterday, he and Ingraham encountered some young men.

The way the young men spoke of their former member of parliament, Christie said, gave credence to his recommendations and not accepting their advice would be unwise.

“It is foolish not to recognize the strength of what I have recommended. It would be foolish because at the end of the day, results are influenced heavily by people’s belief that restoration is on the way, that I can be helped and you are going to have to be involved in determining duty free regimes,” Christie said.     

While they both offered their assistance to Dr. Minnis, Ingraham said Dr. Minnis is not carving out a role for him in this process. 

He emphasized though that Dr. Minnis needs to pull on the resources available to him.

“To pull on those resources and let me just say one point that may perceive criticism and if it is that’s too bad, too sad. Some people have the views that listen, ‘I have this job, so no, I don’t need any help from you, I got it,’” Ingraham said.

“It’s big. It’s bigger than any one man. It’s bigger than any one government.  It’s bigger than any one group and it’s our country, all of our country. So we all have a duty to support.” 

Christie added, “If he does not respond positively in this crisis in the way that we have said, unfortunately history will judge him harshly in that regard.  He is in a one of a kind situation.”       

Still, they both said they are willing to assist where necessary. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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