IT is without doubt that we are in a time of national crisis. Hurricane Dorian has torn at our hearts, and devastated our northern islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco.
We do not know how many are dead, and we wait in hope and dread to find out how many remain missing - hope that the number goes down bringing with it the joy of family reunions, and dread that the number will remain high.
So there should be no doubt of the answer to one question: What should the prime minister be focused on?
The answer, of course, is the disaster response. So the sight of Dr Hubert Minnis having to take time out of that schedule to respond to his predecessors is as frustrating for us as we are sure it was for him to have to do.
In a terse statement, Dr Minnis said yesterday: "We as a country do not have the time for divisiveness, partisan politics or jockeying for position."
He is right. In the situation we face, if the leader calls and asks you to do something for him, the answer should be a straight yes or no. No haggling, no meetings to explore other options.
Dr Minnis says he wanted the former PMs to lead fundraising efforts - a role that two former leaders with their extensive networks of contacts and knowledge of those with the money to donate would be well suited to.
For whatever reason - and perhaps Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie might have a different story to tell about what was offered - it was not to be. Instead, we saw on Wednesday, criticisms of the government response and suggestions that Dr Minnis would not carve out a major role for his predecessors, Mr Ingraham in particular.
Dr Minnis is right too in pointing out Mr Ingraham's error in suggesting that government officials did not visit shanty towns with Creole speakers to warn residents to evacuate. Our reporters were present when Pastor Wilson Isnord walked The Mudd and Pigeon Peas areas, trying to convince residents to seek safety.
We will not speculate as to why there appears to be bad blood between our political leaders, former and current. This is not the time for that. We would note, however, that we cannot imagine similar circumstances where Mr Ingraham would have been comfortable as prime minister seeking the assistance of Sir Lynden Pindling.
There is, in the end, only one captain of the ship - and we do not need three sets of hands squabbling over who gets to hold the steering wheel.
If the captain asks you to do something, you do it or you get out of the way.
We do hope that the experience and contacts of both former prime ministers can be brought to bear in a manner that can help - but this is no time for distractions.
We have said it many times in this column - unity is what is required to drive the nation forward. As the nation faces the largest natural disaster in its history, that unity is required now more than ever.