PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts said while many Bahamians are concerned about the plight of Dominicans, whose island has been devastated by Hurricane Maria, they also question where were Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ tears for other storm victims.
In a speech given to PLP supporters last week, Mr Roberts also questioned why there have been no tears from the prime minister for the young victims of gun violence.
Last Wednesday, while giving an emotional contribution to the House of Assembly about the government’s plans to relax immigration restrictions for some Dominicans in the wake of the storm, Dr Minnis at times wiped away tears. He also pushed back at those who have expressed anger over the government’s humanitarian response and called on Bahamians to display Christian charity. The decision has become a polarising one, with some praising the plan and others angry about efforts to assist foreigners when they say many Bahamians are hurting.
Mr Roberts said: “Many Bahamians share Dr Minnis’ concern for our brothers and sisters of Dominica but ask where was the prime minister’s tears for the people of Barbuda whose island was so terribly impacted by the hurricane that all residences were evacuated to Antigua? Where was the prime minister’s tears for the other islands of the Caribbean impacted by recent hurricanes?
“We did not see any tears for Ragged Island, Salina Point, Acklins and Inagua from the prime minister and we wonder why.
“Thinking Bahamians accept and believe in the Biblical admonition that we should be our brother’s keepers but ask when Bahamians will receive relief from the hurricanes from 2016,” he said.
Parts of the Bahamas were damaged by Hurricane Joaquin in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016; both storms happened under the PLP’s watch.
“PLPs and FNMs have asked where were the tears from the prime minister for young innocent children who lost their lives through gun violence: the eight-month-old gunned down in Rupert Dean Lane; the 16 and 17-year-old boys in Fox Hill and most recently eight-year-old Eugene Woodside of Rosebud in Chippingham,” Mr Roberts added.
“The honourable FNM member for Pineridge admonished his party and government to be more responsive to the needs of Bahamians, echoing the great dissatisfaction of Bahamians everywhere with the government’s response in the wake of Irma.
“Bahamians are asking when will the prime minister and his minister of national security deliver on its election promise to reduce murders. Minister Dames said he had the answer.
“He promised that the Bahamas would be safe under an FNM government.
“He said he knew the thinking of criminals and had the strategy to out think and out manoeuvre them but alas, murder is up some 40 per cent over 2016.”
Mr Roberts said the FNM has made many accusations about the Christie administration but is “short on policy” and has no job creation plan.
As the party heads into a convention later this month, Mr Roberts said the Official Opposition will continue to hold the government’s feet to the fire.