EDITOR, The Tribune.
If no one else in The Bahamas believes that I am a prophet, I do. Please, my beloved fellow Bahamians, do not take this assertion as an attempt to big up myself or a vain one to convince any reader to accept whatever I might say or prognosticate without a dose of Morton Salt. Nor, I declare and proclaim is that to suggest any degree of infallibility.
In 2019, the campaign for the general elections due in 2022 will commence. Some might say that this is too far out to be stating this as a fact, but next year will define and flesh out the success or failure of the ruling FNM and the leadership skills or lack thereof, of our erstwhile Prime Minister, the Most Hon Dr. Hubert A. Minnis (FNM-Killarney). What they both have demonstrated, so far is not impressive, in my opinion.
Our economy, while it just received a favourable ranking by the foreign financial oversight organizations, is fragile and less than robust. Crime, especially homicides, armed robberies and rapes continue to be unacceptably high. Land ownership in New Providence is an elusive proposition for the average Bahamian. Our health care systems are on life support. Education and civilized community behaviour has fallen by the wayside. Our so-called 'sown town' areas are akin to a waste land.
Direct foreign investments, which traditionally have driven the economy, especially in hotels; condominiums and the tourism sectors, are vital but seem to be drying up. Bahamian entrepreneurs continue to lack access to capital due to the abject failure by successive administrations to free up and liberalize our ancient financial laws as they relate to Bahamians. The improvement and expansion of the Industrial Park concept here in New Providence; Grand Bahama and some of the other Family Islands would be a win/win situation for all concerned.
The FNM's biggest problems, in my view, are bad communications and perceived arrogance. The majority of the labour unions, based on my numerous conversations with the leaders, as well as the majority of Bahamians, supported and voted for that party in 2017, include me in that number also. My current MP, the Hon. Marvin Dames (FNM-Mount Moriah) used to be accessible and 'in touch'. Now, if one were to reach out to him, via his ministry or constituency headquarters, either he is never in or the secretary informs: 'Minister will return your call'. This, needless to say, never happens, at least not yet.
Mind you, I am not suggesting that all of the FNM Members of Parliament are politically lousy but there are far too many and they are giving their party a terrible reputation. The Most Honorable PM is among the 'chief' offenders. He once 'promised', directly and through the putative Press Secretary, my friend and colleague, Anthony 'Ace' Newbold, to host monthly or regular press conferences. Since elevation to high office, the Most Hon Prime Minister has conducted one or two vents bogusly labelled as 'press conferences'. This, dear reader, is nothing short of an insult.
In 2019 the average Bahamian must look within and must come up with her/his own game plan. For too long we have been seeking and looking for political saviours. Alas, in the truest sense of the term, there are none, in my considered view. A saviour desires to lead one to salvation for salvation sake.....no known strings attached. In politics, 99% of the practitioners of this art, does whatever he/she does with a jaundiced eye on usefulness or the number of votes are at your command or disposal. Ordinarily, they only know you when they, in fact, need you.
It is unfortunate that over the years Bahamians have demonstrated a marked preference for either the established PLP or the FNM, which is a hybrid between the very much alive UBP and the almost irrelevant remnants of the former Free PLPs, once led to the political slaughter, figuratively and literally, by the late Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield.
The PLP is a known quantity which, had Brother Christie stepped aside in 2015, as most sensible PLPs expected and anticipated, that party, under the leadership of Brave could have been in power right now. Pindling, in popular mythology, has been referred to as 'Moses'. Some sought, foolishly, to label Brother Ingraham, God please bless him too, as a Joshua. He was an effective leader but a terrible visionary or hands on practitioner of the craft. Who is the Joshua that we Bahamians have sought since the death of Pindling?
The FNM, obviously, means well, or at least its administration has done a superb job at pretending that they do. After all, who declared and proclaimed: “It's the people's time”? A slogan we bought into, willy-nilly, just like the Inagua donkey/mule with the long ears and short tail. This party and administration, however, are on a run all by themselves. They are not checking for most of you all and could care less whether you and your family eat mud cake or a delectable Abaconian rodent. The alternatives?
In 2019 get back to basics. Cut back on all unnecessary expenses and curb the exorbitant, well known levels of sweethearts. No job? Learn marketable skills and become self employed. Get involved in a local bible based church and engage your relatives; neighbours and friends. If you don't already have a savings or investment account, do so the first income/pay cheque in January. Your local bank; investment vehicle and any number of insurances companies offer unlimited opportunities of small initial investments.
Personal ethics and grooming are also to be embraced and cultivated. An individual personal characteristics, as displayed in public, is critical to success. Good grooming must also be practised all times. The first impression is usually, they say, the last one. No one dares to tell our females how to dress but in far too many cases, their dress style reveals their inner nature and sexual security. This, unfortunately, causes far too many of our men, especially the younger ones, to freak out and go on a predatory trajectory, which could end up in rape; jail time and buggery @ the Fox Hill Correctional Centre.
The continued 'don't care' attitude to a whole bunch of our people must come to an end. While wasting time we are, collectively, falling down on personal and national productivity. As I've asked before: 'Who is the Joshua who will take us across into the Promised Land?' I submit, that that Joshua is here with us now in the form and personage of the Hon. Philip 'Brave' Davis. This is pure prophecy. Yes, it might look difficult but Brave has been training to become Prime Minister for at least a decade. He is seasoned; emphatic and, more importantly, he has the common touch.
Moses was denied an opportunity to take us across. Ingraham got too busy in the small matters and never found his way out of the Abaco pine forests. Last time I saw him, perplexity was all over his face. He's still trying to figure out what went wrong in 2012. Brother Christie, alas, appeared not to be good at directions and I submit, he never did figure out where the location of the Promised Land is. He got lost up in Centreville. The Most Hon Minnis is akin to a lost deer staring into oncoming headlights. He is blinded politically and may be suffering from looking in areas of the body, as a gynaecologist.
Brave, like it or not, is the Joshua whom we have long been expecting. 2019 will be a year of hope and deliverance/ if you all embrace it and dispense with the political clap trap of the misguided and out of touch FNM. Happy New Year and, remember, in all things, to God be the glory.
ORTLAND H. BODIE, JR
December 26, 2018