Greetings and Salutations.
It is always a joy to here in the progressive and growing Island of Abaco and its Cays. I was in Holmes Rock West Grand Bahama yesterday for the contract signing and ground breaking ceremony for the new $12 million Junior High School as phase one of the first High School in some 50 plus years. The school will comprise twenty-five classrooms and administrative blocks. As I flew back to Nassau yesterday morning my mind shifted to my visit here in Abaco today.
My thoughts took me back to the General Elections on May 7th 2012 when the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie led his Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) to a landslide victory in the general elections, wiping out Hubert Ingraham and the Free National Movement (FNM) in one of the biggest wins in Bahamian political history. The PLP won 29 of the 38 seats in Parliament — 20 in New Providence, three in Grand Bahama and six in the Family Islands.
You will recall that then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham conceded defeat at an address at the FNM’s party headquarters on Mackey Street, saying the FNM accepted the results of the election.
Hubert Ingraham also announced that he would resign as a Member of Parliament for North Abaco after serving for 35 years and that he would return to private life. He also resigned as leader of the FNM.
I am certain all remember a Bye Election was held here in North Abaco in Oct 2012 in which Hubert Ingraham declared would result in the seat being retained by the FNM.
The PLP nominated new comer Renaldo Curry, the FNM nominated another new comer Gregg Gomez who was handpicked by Hubert Ingraham, and Ali McIntosh represented the fringe Constitution Party.
At the end of the spirited and energetic campaign, Curry had secured 2,367 of the 3,887 votes casted in that Bye Election. Greg Gomez of the FNM received 1,513 votes and Ali McIntosh of the Constitution Party received a mere 7 votes. The voter turnout was one of the highest in Bahamian electoral history contrary to what Dr. Hubert Minnis told the media.
I remind all that the FNM government left the finance of the Bahamas in a wheel chair and the new Christie administration had to painfully dig the Bahamas out of the deep dark hole created by Hubert Ingraham and the FNM lead by the $100 million cost overrun of the New Providence Road Improvement Program.
The cold reality is that Hubert Ingraham was unable to face the strong criticism of the new PLP government so he tuck his tail between his legs and fled the political landscape.
After lording over the people of North Abaco for 35 years his successor in office Renaldo Curry was faced with demands by those who stood boldly in opposition to the Abaco Dragon all this many years and those who abandoned the FNM ship. It was a difficult for many to accept that the PLP had inherited a broke government.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to remind of some of our accomplishments over the past four years.
The completion of the Marsh Harbour Airport;
The completion of the Abaco Administration Building;
The establishment of the Office of Prime Minister;
The appointment of Parliamentary Secretary;
The completion of Abaco Mini Hospital;
The paving of Roads with Asphalt in North and South Abaco, including Sandy Point etc. first time ever;
Urban Renewal Program;
National Training Program;
Expansion of the $700 million Bakers Bay;
Upgrades at Abaco Club.
A strong love affair has existed with the hardworking people of Moores Island for many years. Three times Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham tried all he could to break the political spirit and will of the voters of Moores Island and admitted his failure to so do.
In 2006 as Minister of Works I submitted a request for tender for road repairs in several islands. Basil Neymour won the bids for road works in Crooked Island and Moores Island.
As a part of the FNM Stop Review and Cancel Program, Ingraham in the full glare of Parliament gave Neymour the choice of Crooked Island or Moores Island and Neymour took Crooked Island as it was the higher of the two.
For five long years from 2007 to 2012 the Roads on Moores Island and the road leading to Salina Point Acklins were left to deteriorate. Imagine the pain and suffering those communities endured.
God is indeed good and Moores’ Island time which has been long overdue has come. Road works are underway, the extension to the runway and upgrade on the Terminal, Seawalls, a sporting complex including a running track and dormitory are all in various stages of development. Little Moores Island has produced an Olympian in the name of Steve Gardiner and is gearing up to continue its contribution.
Residents of Moores Island would be happy to know that the longstanding issues of land and proper title have finally and mercifully been resolved and regularized by the government.
In North Abaco
There are two significant public projects that will enhance the economy and improve the lives of the people of North Abaco. They are the new sea port in Coopers Town and the newly paved roads in Dundas and Murphy Town with asphalt as was done for Coopers Town years ago.
The attraction of new investments in Abaco continues with the latest expansion phase of the Bakers’ Bay mixed use resort. At $700 million in capitalization, this is the third largest tourism development in The Bahamas behind only Baha Mar and Atlantis. This development has produced impressive levels of employment opportunities for Bahamians. The sale and upgrade of the Abaco Club will add to the strength of the tourism product here. These important projects are supported by a brand new international airport in Marsh Harbour.
FNM continues to disintegrate
Ladies and Gentlemen, the entire Bahamas watched with great interest the events leading up to the recent calamitous Convention of the Official Opposition and the Convention itself. Many Bahamians came to the painful conclusion that the FNM is woefully unprepared to become the Government of the Bahamas.
The Tribune and Guardian editors were beating the drums for the return of former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham to become the leader of the FNM once again. A group of diehard Ingraham supporters was busily promoting the return of Hubert Alexander Ingraham as a candidate for leader of the FNM. They went to the extent of having election paraphernalia prepared including a full page colour ad in the local dailies, only to be disappointed when Ingraham concluded he did not stand a chance of beating Dr. Hubert Minnis.
My sources have provided me with one of the T Shirts prepared for Ingraham grand anticipated return.
The T Shirt reads Elect Hubert Ingraham Leader. Proven & Trusted.
When HAI made it abundantly clear in writing that he would not accept a nomination, the Editors of the Tribune and Guardian threw their support behind the team of Butler and Sands who placed their tails between their legs and withdrew hours before the polls opened for voting.
It is reasonable to conclude that the man who lorded over North Abaco for 35 years, at one point being “crowned” KING OF ABACO by his minions, has moved into his political sunset and may his political soul rest in peace as he continues to enjoy his $10,000:00 per month pension until God calls him home.
There is the fallout from the gang of six who wrote a damning letter of the leadership of Dr. Minnis. Dr. Rollins sealed his political fate and is just marking time until the next General elections.
My Brothers and Sisters, the political drums of the political burial of FNM Members continue as I predicted for Neko Grand MP for Central Grand Bahama and Theo Neely MP for North Eleuthera. Then there was former FNM candidate for South Eleuthera Howard “Bamboozle” Johnson whose withdrawal from the South Beach nomination under suspicious circumstances remains shrouded in a dark and indecent cloud of secrecy. Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Minnis, who loves to beat the drum of transparency has failed to be open and transparent about the true reasons for Johnson’s departure who incidentally left the country in a haste. Who is he running from? I am told something stinks in Denmark and it’s not cheese.
The shocking and sexist comments of Richard Lightbourn, MP for Montagu, about women’s productive rights laced with the reactionary dog whistle of racism at the FNM convention has left Richard with one foot on the banana and one in the grave. I hear that expert on washing clothes is breathing down Richard’s neck.
Then there is my friend Hubert Chipman who is under siege by the former disgraced chairman of the Airport Authority and failed Tourism Minister whom I am told is working overtime to pull the proverbial carpet from under Chipman.
Loretta Butler Turner is also under considerable pressure as there is a move lead by Tennyson Wells and others. You may recall that Mr. Wells and others successfully ran the independent candidate Larry Cartwright in Long Island in 2007 to oust former MP James F Knowles. The question is will Wells and others cause a political lighting to strike again in Long Island.
My Brothers and Sisters, Abaco has made considerable progress these past four years and there is more positive news for the future of Abaco. The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie and the PLP have demonstrated a commitment to family Island development as we are an archipelago.
He has said on numerous occasions that it was his government’s policy to maintain and grow the civilization of these islands with their unique sub cultures that further embellish The Bahamas as a multi destination within a destination with unique experiences on every island. You can expect to see further developments in the physical, cultural and sports infrastructure of our family islands including Abaco. Our record and footprint of growth and development in Abaco are clear. As I said earlier, the third largest tourism development is located at Bakers Bay right here in beautiful Abaco.
This tangible commitment to the growth and development of Abaco gives you a reason to support the good work of the Progressive Liberal Party and to give this organization another 5-year mandate to continue its good and noble work on behalf of the fine people of Abaco.
That good and noble work will be led by none other than your representative, the Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, the leader of government business in Abaco the Hon. Renaldo Curry. You know Renaldo very well; you have worked with him as a local government leader, a youth leader, a church leader and a community leader. For the past four years, you have worked with him as a national leader and policymaker. Because Renaldo literally grew up among and with you, there is very little we can say to you about Renaldo that you do not already know.
He is the PLP’s choice for North Abaco in 2017 and I ask that you give him the same level of enthusiastic support you gave him in October 2012 that brought him to national prominence and sent him to Parliament in Rawson Square to be your voice on all issues facing Abaco and those of national import.
Mr. Curry remains a good reliable representative; an honest man of sterling character and he remains committed to improving the lives of the people of Abaco through public service. Recruit family and friends to join Renaldo’s re-election campaign and to give of your time and talents to cause for a successful campaign. I promise you that Renaldo will not let you down.
Ladies and gentlemen I thank you for your kind invitation and time and I gladly yield the floor to the MP for North Abaco, the Hon. Renaldo Curry.
Nassau, Bahamas – The following is a press statement by Bradley B. Roberts
Progressive Liberal Party:
It is always a joy to here in the
progressive and growing Island of Abaco and its Cays. I was in Holmes
Rock West Grand Bahama yesterday for the contract signing and ground
breaking ceremony for the new $12 million Junior High School as phase
one of the first High School in some 50 plus years. The school will
comprise twenty-five classrooms and administrative blocks. As I flew
back to Nassau yesterday morning my mind shifted to my visit here in
My thoughts took me back to the General Elections on
May 7th 2012 when the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie led his Progressive
Liberal Party (PLP) to a landslide victory in the general elections…
Continued here –