Wilchcombe Calls For Unity In Build-Up To Carnival

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe


Tribune Staff Reporter


TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe yesterday called for FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis to “know what his role is” and said the Killarney MP should “find ways to unite” and not “divide” Bahamians over Junkanoo Carnival.

He said Dr Minnis’ contributions are usually cause “for division in the Bahamas”.

Mr Wilchcombe was responding to Dr Minnis’ reported statements that the FNM “does not agree” with Junkanoo Carnival.

Dr Minnis has accused the government of “trying to steal someone else’s culture and bring it here”.

Dr Minnis’ comments came days after Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller called Junkanoo Carnival “garbage”, and then quickly apologised to Prime Minister Perry Christie for his “ignorance” on the matter.

“I think the leader of the opposition is better off at times to know what his role is and understand the Westminster model,” Mr Wilchcombe said yesterday.

“The Westminster model is very simple; he’s supposed to assist in governance with the understanding that subsequent to the period of time that the government served, you would have had an election.”

“But what we see is a constant effort to divide our country. It’s time for leaders to unite our country.

“A part of what we do in a democracy is to accept that there will be times when people disagree and express their views. But at all times after you express your views then you should sit and listen and consider the ways in which you can improve upon what is being considered negative.

“My concern is when the leader of the opposition, who is supposed to be a man responsible for uniting Bahamians, his contributions are usually to cause for division in the Bahamas. I think leaders must find ways to unite not divide.”

On Sunday, Dr Minnis told a reporter that rather than promote Junkanoo Carnival, the government’s focus should be on expanding Junkanoo so that “other artists, like reggae artists, can incorporate it into their music” instead.

The inaugural festival has faced intense scrutiny in recent weeks.

Last week, it was revealed that the members of the Carnival Commission were seeking to pay American pop star Janet Jackson $1.9 million to perform during the week of activities, a proposal that was rejected by the government.

Three members of the Carnival Commission recently resigned; two of them, Ed Fields and Freddie Munnings, reportedly left the commission due to issues with the government and the Janet Jackson proposal. The other, Inga Bowleg, reportedly needed more time to devote to her career.

The Bahamas Christian Council last week said it would not support the “immodest” costumes for the planned event, saying the scant attire could lead to “fornication, promiscuity, rape incest” and other “sins of the flesh.”

Mr Wilchcombe has defended the festival, stressing that the celebration would encourage “Bahamianism” and not “sins of the flesh.”

Junkanoo Carnival will be a series of cultural events scheduled to take place in April, in Grand Bahama, and in May, in New Providence.

Officials have indicated it will cost $9m to stage the event. Last week, it was revealed that only $1.5m has been spent so far.

Mr Wilchcombe would not confirm reports that the government was trying to lock down Barbadian singer Rihanna to perform at the festival yesterday, but said that the government was “giving consideration” to “certain names” with which it had been presented.

Mr Wilchcombe said that Carnival Commission Chairman Paul Major would be making an announcement “soon” to “confirm the many artists that will be there.”


duppyVAT 5 years, 1 month ago

Obie and his band of sell-outs should have thought of these things before they went ahead with this foolhardy, un-Bahamian, financially-wasteful idea ................... ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


PKMShack 5 years, 1 month ago

wow guess it comes to roost, where as the plp when the divide e country in the run to election, how short their memory is, f... carnival, Spend my money and promote Junkanoo. Obie and the rest of the crew go F,.,,youreself


jackflash 5 years, 1 month ago

if you want to see what 'sins of the flesh' we are about to be getting

then google - Carnival Body paint

and see the naked painted bodies.

Be sure to watch the video as well.


ohdrap4 5 years, 1 month ago

today's tribune charge by jamaal rolle is priceless


TalRussell 5 years, 1 month ago

Comrades could it be possible we live in a time when some things may not have changed all that much, since HRH governed over our British colony?
Minister Obadiah's lecturing the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition on the merits of the Westminster model of government, calls for even more balls-out rhetoric than I thought Comrade Obadiah could muster
Could this be the same Her Majesty's Crown Minister Obadiah who lead the revolution to totally disregard, the majority "NO VOTES" against his ministerial referendum, calling for the 'regularization of the numbers rackets?
Is there any wonder why so many picture a PLP Cabinet who ignores the voices of the majority - probably as much as any white-bodied UBP cabinet did - but behind black faces.

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by TalRussell


John 5 years, 1 month ago

Ask them where the name "Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival" originated. Then pull The Tribune files and see the truth.


ThisIsOurs 5 years, 1 month ago

Good point John. It's hilarious if you really think about it..

competition was offered to every school in the entire Bahamas and I am very happy to announce that two students from Xavier’s Lower School submitted the winning entries with the name Bahamas Carnival,” said Mr Sands. He congratulated sixth grade student, Gabriel Sastre and fifth grade student, Zia Joos, and presented them with certificates of achievement along with their winning cash prizes. They were the top out of 43 students, both submitting the name Bahamas Carnival. The commission did not present any awards in the logo category.

this explains a lot.

5th and 6th grade students, congrats to the kids btw...


proudloudandfnm 5 years, 1 month ago

Something tells me this is the first and last carnival Nassau will have...

Ah well, too bad. I was not going anyway, everything for Nassau. Boycott this garbage.....


duppyVAT 5 years, 1 month ago

If the Bahamians do not buy into the idea ......... it will FAIL. That is the problem ............ Bahamians do not see Carnival as anything Bahamian. That is why it is so stupid for the PLP government to push this idea if 75% of Bahamians cannot see it as worthy to support.


ThisIsOurs 5 years, 1 month ago

That is what is so unbelievable...all of this parroted, drink-the-koolaid talk about the number of hits the word "carnival" gets and no one thought to study the native vs tourist percentage participation?? Clearly they're banking on a parade made up solely of visitors. Failing strategy.

What's even more silly is John reminded us that a fifth grade student came up with the name. As Tal says, Comrades you can't make this stuff up.


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