EDITOR, The Tribune.
I HAVE noticed that three of the giant campaign posters of Free National Movement (FNM) Member of Parliament for Pineridge, Kwasi Thompson, have been torn. I am referring to the posters on the circle on Coral Road and Settlers Way; Pioneers Way and East Mall Drive and Pioneers Way and West Atlantic Drive. All three of these posters have been damaged. I suspect that some person or persons who are opposed to Thompson's candidacy and political affiliation are behind these dastardly, cowardly acts.
Therefore, they have taken it upon themselves to vandalise the private property of the Pineridge incumbent. I see this as a symbolic gesture on the part of these troublemakers. These miscreants act as if damaging the posters of Thompson will persuade the voters of Pineridge to vote for the candidate of their (culprits) choice. But I don't want to point fingers. For all I know, the culprits could be unregistered voters who could care less about which party wins the general elections. While I understand that this is the election season and that tensions are running high, there is still no valid justification for targeting the paraphernalia of Thompson.
As I have said already, I don't want to point fingers; but I suspect that the culprits are either apolitical ragamuffins, or they are supporters of one of the two major opposition parties. I don't know. Interestingly, FNM candidate for the constituency of Fort Charlotte Zhivargo Laing has also complained about his paraphernalia being vandalised by some individuals who have nothing constructive to do. The posters of the PLP's candidate for Pinewood Khaalis Rolle have likewise been vandalised, according to a news report on ZNS TV13 on April 18.
We have already had several reported incidents of political violence in Nassau and even here in Grand Bahama involving supporters of the FNM and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). We don't want to become like some backward country where citizens fight like cats and dogs during the election season. We must remember that after May 7, we will still have to live in this country. That being said, I cannot understand why someone would want to destroy the campaign posters of Thompson. In my humble opinion, he has done a decent job in representing his area during the past five years.
He is also a sterling example of a Christian and a family man. Thompson will be going up against the PLP's Dr Michael Darville and the standard bearer for the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), attorney Osman Johnson in this year's electoral contest.
Both opposition candidates are touted as being equally as good as Thompson. Darville has already gained the much needed parliamentary experience by serving in the Senate. Thompson and the other four FNM representatives have taken a lot of flak during the past three-plus years for the economic situation in Grand Bahama and for the situation with the chairmanship post at the Grand Bahama Port Authority. However, I believe that Thompson should be given another opportunity to serve in Parliament; despite what his detractors have said. I cannot think of any valid reason why he should lose his seat. He is readily available to his constituents, and has implemented several programmes in his area to help his people.
In fact, I would even go as far as saying that Thompson is one of the best members of the House of Assembly. I truly hope that the Christian community in Pineridge and the other fair-minded voters in that area give him their support on polling day.
Concerning the defacement of Thompson's posters; I hope the culprits cease and desist from their calculated and malicious acts of vandalism. It is a criminal offence to vandalise another person's property.
If they continue to deface his posters and are caught, I hope they would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Destroying Thompson's posters won't help their cause at all. If he manages to win his contest in Pineridge, it will be because he has been a remarkable representative.
Freeport, Grand Bahama,
April 19, 2012.