EDITOR, The Tribune
We who are reading this have much to be thankful for. We made it into a brand New Year and are able to look forward to the future, while ardently living the present. Our wonderful nation, despite the internal threats, for we really face none from without, save and except illegal immigration and migration, is poised for systemic, even if anaemic, economic growth and a degree of societal progress.
Most sensible Bahamians have a ‘bucket list’ for 2019 in our personal and national lives. May I throw out for consideration and discussion a few of what are on my list. First and foremost from a personal level, I am going to get even closer to The Lord and do a whole lot more than I have ever done to Preach the Good News.
Secondly, more of us must come to the realisation that it is not all about us as individuals, but about the moral, spiritual and economic well being of our fellow Bahamians. None of us, politicians, especially, should lord it over any other Bahamian because of background, class or societal standing.
It is my fundamental mission in 2019 to re-enter the constituency of Bain & Grants Town, immediately, as a community organiser with a view to representing that constituency come the next scheduled general elections or whenever the current representative, what a misnomer, is subjected to a byelection. Those who have eyes to read, let them read. Those who are in the House of Assembly now, be forewarned that ‘weeping might endure for a night, but that joy will come in the morning.
Personal development and constant rebranding are critical for an individual. I am fluent in several languages but this month I have started to take instructions in Haitian Creole. Why that language? 56% or more of the current residents in that fabled and beloved constituency, like it or not, are rumoured to be of Haitian heritage. I, too, am part Haitian, so it’s merely embracing one’s identity and societal posturing.
On the national level, I would like to see improvement in the performance of the ministers and chairpersons within the Minnis administration, starting with the “lazy” Prime Minister himself. Minnis, on the campaign trail, was the Pied Piper of old. Bahamians just love to lap up political shaving cream, for want of a better word, and Minnis, et al, dished it out in large spoonfuls.
Minnis, with all due respects, does not appear to be in charge of anything. We see him but hardly ever hear him because he seldom descends from Olympus to address the unwashed Bahamian masses, especially here in New Providence.
Even if one were to concede that Minnis is merely posturing as the driver and not in the back trunk, there are only three tyres on the vehicle which is speeding along the Airport Road, with no lights and no workable brakes. Several ministers are out of their depth. Like who, you might ask? Let’s start with the Hon Frankie Campbell (FNM-Southern Shores), Minister of Social Development & Services. No cabinet post should be held, exclusively by a female or a male but in Campbell’s case he is most unsuited for this vital post.
He is a police officer by training. He has, as far as I am aware, no training in social development or sociology. He’d, perhaps, be suited as Minister Without Portfolio and should be replaced by the Hon Shanedon Cartwright (FNM-St Barnabas). The latter is “a man of the people” and he has deep roots within the inner city communities.
The Minister of Education, is, no doubt, a good and holy man. As Minister, however, in this post, he has, so far, been a Master of Disaster and is the most arrogant son to ever to stride the halls of parliament. Minnis had to cobble a cabinet together so, in Lloyd’s case, he probably had little choice but to throw him a bone. That bone, however, is too important to just allow him to chew on it while the educational system continues to crumble.
He’d best be suited as a Minister, also without portfolio. He should be replaced by the Hon Michael Pintard (FNM-) who as current Minister of Agriculture knows next to nothing about that industry. He, Pintard, is ill suited, in my view, for this critical position. Our erstwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Darren Henfield (FNM- North Abaco) is another man of the cloth with extensive military training but he is like a fish out of water. He is not prepared, in my view, for his current post.
He should be appointed Parliamentary Secretary within the Ministry of National Security, if only to ensure balance over Minister Marvin ‘the Honourable’ Dames (FNM-Mount Moriah). Replace the Hon Darren Henfield with Minister Brent Symonette (FNM-St Ann’s), another clueless minister, if ever there were one. The current Minister of Finance, in my view, cannot ‘count’ and may be better served with an abacus. It is now clear that either he is not trained for the delicate art of high finance or he simply does not know what the hell he is doing. Bring in another MP to take over the Ministry of Finance. Who? The financial gurus in the FNM are almost non-existent.
And so, my fellow Bahamians, I thank God for at least three “good” MPs in the FNM and at least two in the PLP. Yes, my wish list for 2019 might be long but it has always been my contention that it is better to Go Big or Go Home……the title of an exciting new book authored by my beloved pastor, Valentino Williams of Life Changers Ministries International, and available at the church or online. Go Big, my fellow Bahamians, in 2019 or, God forbid, Go Home. To God then, in all things, be the glory.
ORTLAND H BODIE, Jr
January 13, 2019