FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis.
UPDATE:After enraging festival stakeholders and participants with an impromptu date change, the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival (BJC) is back on for its original date of May 4 to 6, The Tribune understands. FULL STORY HERE.
By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
FREE National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr Hubert Minnis last night railed against Prime Minister Perry Christie and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government for failing to address crime, wasting value added tax (VAT) money and most recently making a “boo boo” out of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.
Addressing scores of supporters at a joint branch meeting in Golden Gates, Dr Minnis reiterated that an administration led by him would not “waste the people’s money on foolishness” but instead would privatise Junkanoo Carnival.
He said the way the government made a “boo boo” out of the event proves “they don’t care and they lack compassion.”
On Monday, less than a week after officials announced the event’s line-up, Prime Minister Perry Christie confirmed that the 2017 Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival has been postponed until after the general election.
The news has “blindsided” key stakeholders and vendors, who decried the confusion, likely damage to the country’s reputation and potential financial losses resulting from the date change.
The event has been pushed back from May 4-6 to May 18-20 in Nassau. Festival organisers announced on Tuesday that they will also drop its Grand Bahama events.
The Grand Bahama installment was originally set for April 21 and 22, and the pre-event included the Music Masters semi-finals competition. The loss of the major event will likely be considered a setback for the island’s struggling economy.
“Look how they have made a boo boo out of Carnival. Can’t even decide on a date, inconveniencing many who had already made plans. The FNM will privatise carnival,” Dr Minnis said.
In an interview with The Tribune earlier in the day, FNM Chairman Sidney Collie said the FNM “has no plans” to cancel the controversial event if the party wins the next election.
At the Golden Gates Park on Tuesday night, Dr Minnis also said “Cotton Candy Christie” is in for a rude awakening and poked fun at the “small crowds” he claimed the PLP is attracting at its rallies, which the PLP has billed as regional branch meetings.
The Killarney MP said Mr Christie no longer has the “stamina and work ethic” to be the country’s leader and it is time for the Centreville MP to be retired for good.
“Did you hear the joke about someone going to Christie Saturday past and telling him that the PLP was going to win again? When Christie got excited and asked if this was true, the person responded: ‘April Fool,” Dr Minnis said.
“Cotton Candy Christie is having a rude awakening. He believes that people like to hear him talk. The truth is, most Bahamians have already tuned him out. He couldn’t even get 20 people to show up and listen to him at the University of the Bahamas the other night. The joint rally for North and South Abaco was a complete flop. “There were rows and rows of empty chairs. Most Bahamians know that Christie no longer has the energy to be prime minister. PLPs are telling me Christie is not up to the job. Christie is falling asleep in front of investors. He is falling asleep in front of school children. He is falling asleep in meetings. I’m told he even dives conch in Cabinet.”
Dr Minnis said Mr Christie is “angry and confused” and has set a very “bad example” from the top.
“Given the demands the country faces, we need a prime minister who has the stamina and work ethic to do the job,” Dr Minnis said.
“Because he will not retire voluntarily, the Bahamian people will retire him in short order. If being prime minister was just about talking all the time, Christie would be the man for the job. But he is no longer up to the job.
“Christie is angry and tired and confused. That’s why he stuck up his middle finger the other day. Christie is in serious trouble in Centreville. Yesterday (Monday) he used more indecent language talking to students at the University of the Bahamas. He had to quickly apologise for once again being rude and setting a bad example.”
Dr Minnis said the support for the FNM “is overwhelming and growing day by day” and many PLPs are now ready to vote for the opposition party.