PM hits out at Ingraham


Prime Minister Perry Christie


Tribune Staff Reporter


PRIME Minister Perry Christie hit out at former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham for not leaving politics gracefully.

Describing Mr Ingraham's criticisms of Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade as "regrettable and most unfortunate", addressing the media outside of Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Christie questioned the manner in which the former Prime Minister chose to end his career in front line politics.

"I think whenever someone has been in politics as long as Mr Ingraham and takes that type of adversarial point on a Commissioner of Police – I think it is most regrettable,” he said. “I would have thought, he would have chosen another way to exit public life, that he would have taken the high road and he would have seen the importance of leaving politics on a high note as opposed to a negative note, but of course it is his choice.

"With respect to his criticism of the government, I am very much aware of one fact, that I am the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, I am the leader of the government and people will judge me not on what he says but on what I do and what my government does and I am going to accept full responsibility for what my government does or doesn't do."

Mr Ingraham lambasted Commissioner Greenslade during a press conference on Thursday, for essentially flip-flopping on the issue of Urban Renewal's effectiveness.

After officially tendering his resignation at the House of Assembly, Mr Ingraham, prompted by a question from the media, suggested that during his term in office Mr Greenslade had dismissed the effectiveness of the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) Urban Renewal plan.

“He tells a story about wonderful things that is happening,” said Mr Ingraham. “These are not the stories he told me when I was in office, about Urban Renewal… these are not the same stories.”

He went so far as to brand Mr Greenslade’s comments about Urban Renewal “most inappropriate.”

Mr Ingraham insisted that under his administration the Royal Bahamas Police Force had everything it needed to tackle the problem of serious crime and enforce the rule of law in the country. However, he attacked Mr Greenslade for what he perceives as the commissioner's new found acceptance for the new government's primary crime fighting strategy – Urban Renewal 2.0.

“He had all the tools he needed to do the job,” said Mr Ingraham.

Mr Greenslade said of the programme recently: “We've always contended that if officers are immersed in communities when things happen, the response is quick and there's a good chance we can wrap things up quickly and that is what you see happening.”

Defending the commissioner and his record, Mr Christie said Mr Greenslade did the right thing by not responding to Mr Ingraham's comments, informing the media that he is committed to his role as Commissioner of Police and the fight against crime.

"I think ,” said Mr Christie, “it is regrettable and most unfortunate and I think he is entirely wrong about the Police Commissioner, there is no doubt in my mind that we have a Commissioner of Police who represents the future of our country, one who is very proactive and intelligent and one who is dedicated to his job."

Additionally, in House of Assembly today, the government intends to strengthen the commissioner's autonomy said Mr Christie.

"We are going to move, as you will see tomorrow in Parliament," he said,  "to restore the independence, so to speak, of the commissioner of police and we are going to go back to that position as we promised in the election."


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