Categorized | Featured, National News

“PLP Disregards Human Life,” Says Minnis

Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis condemned the Christie administration yesterday for what he deemed a “reckless, callous and cruel disregard for human life,” following the oil spill at the Rubis service station in Marathon.

During a press conference held at the Free National Movement’s headquarters yesterday, Dr. Minnis, as a former minister of health, explained a number of health risks that residents were exposed to as a result of the gas leak.

Dr. Minnis said, “It is also undeniable that the PLP government was aware that the soil, well water used by some residents for bathing and washing, and the air they breathed were contaminated by the human carcinogen benzene, that causes cancer, specifically leukemia, damages a woman’s reproductive organs, damages the immune system increasing the chance for infections, and damages the lungs, brain and kidney.”

He listed a number of demands the current government should implement immediately in order to rectify the situation, including the creation of a multi-ministry task force to coordinate a proper response by the government, and the immediate implementation of a communication programme to educate residents on health risks.

Additionally, Dr. Minnis called for the current government to begin public health screening for those affected residents and appoint an independent commission to publicly examine the issue surrounding the oil spill following actions to be taken or that have not been taken by Rubis and the government.

Dr. Minnis noted that all service stations, oil or chemical storage facilities in the country including the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) and its surroundings should be examined to determine if water, soil, or air has been contaminated by dangerous chemicals.

He also echoed calls for resignations. However, the request was extended to ministers whom he considered are responsible for withholding information regarding the oil spill in the Marathon area.

“The PLP Cabinet’s behaviour has been utterly shameful, and each response has been a slap in the face to residents and the public. On behalf of the Marathon residents, I call upon the minister of environment, the minister of health, minister of education and the attorney general to apologize to each resident and resign forthwith.” Dr. Minnis stated.

Dr. Minnis, who referred to the concealment of the contents in the Black and Veatch report as a sign of “weak leadership,” also asserted that some government officials may even be ready to take personal action over their disappointment in the current government.

“I have been reliably informed that several Cabinet ministers are upset over the leadership of the PLP,” Dr. Minnis said.

“Several have written Perry Christie to resign. He has refused their resignation. Now, Christie has refused to accept it. As I speak here today, I’m telling you what I’ve been informed. So, Perry Christie, you like to sue, sue me!” he added.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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