Minnis Bites Back: Former Pms ‘Jockeying For Position’

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.


Tribune Staff Reporter


PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis expressed disappointment and surprise yesterday in his predecessors, Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie, over their comments suggesting he has ignored their capacity to help the country recover from Hurricane Dorian.

In a statement, Dr Minnis called their comments misleading and referred to them as an “unnecessary distraction”.

“We as a country do not have the time for divisiveness, partisan politics or jockeying for position,” he said.

After touring Abaco on Wednesday, the former leaders expressed scepticism to reporters about whether Dr Minnis will have them play an active role in the recovery process.

Mr Ingraham, the former MP for North Abaco, said though he spoke to Dr Minnis after Dorian’s passage, he did not think the prime minister would give him a role in recovery efforts.

“After the passage of Hurricane Dorian,” Dr Minnis responded, “Mr Ingraham reached out to me. An offer of a major assignment was made. He declined the offer. He also declined to meet with me at the Office of the Prime Minister.”

“In the spirit of bipartisanship, the Cabinet of the Bahamas recommended that Mr Christie should also be asked to serve. An approach was also made to Mr Christie. It is clear that there was and still is a misunderstanding but patriotism requires us to put this aside and move forward.”


Former Prime Ministers Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie greet people on Abaco.

The Tribune understands Dr Minnis wanted Mr Ingraham and Mr Christie to lead fundraising efforts for the government in the wake of Dorian but both former leaders wanted to play a more substantive role.

While Mr Christie and Dr Minnis have always been political rivals, the statements this week have thrust the long simmering tension between Mr Ingraham and Dr Minnis into public view for the first time, stunning Free National Movement insiders yesterday, some of whom were already contemplating what it could mean for the party. Dr Minnis succeeded Mr Ingraham as FNM leader in 2012 and they are the only people to ever lead the party to general election victories.

“The prime minister would have inaccurately represented the four brief conversations we had since the storm, the text messages exchanged and the email sent by me to him which he claimed not to have received, resulting in my having a copy delivered to him,” Mr Ingraham told this newspaper yesterday in response to Dr Minnis’ statement. “Had he done so, he would have revealed that I advised him that I was convinced he did not wish to have my assistance.”

On Wednesday, Mr Ingraham said he offered Dr Minnis assistance “in any way, shape or form” but the prime minister thanked him, expressed appreciation and said he would get back to him. “We’ve spoken several times since that time,” he said.

He also said he believed people in The Mudd and Pigeon Peas shantytowns were not sufficiently warned about Dorian’s approach. In particular, he believed they were not spoken to in Creole. 

Dr Minnis said in response: “The other thing I wish to mention is the claim that government officials did not visit shantytowns with Creole speakers to warn residents to evacuate. Mr Ingraham is mistaken on that issue as well. Media reports attest to this fact.”

On August 31, Pastor Wilson Isnord, head of Seventh-Day Adventist churches in Abaco, was accompanied by several Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers as he traversed the two shanty towns speaking Creole and urging residents to evacuate to shelters. Police officers, speaking English, also urged them to evacuate about six hours before Dorian made landfall.

Dr Minnis said, in responding to the largest natural disaster in the country’s history, his government is focused on helping to restore people’s lives.

“I am heartened and deeply grateful by the extraordinary number of Bahamians and foreigners who volunteered to help and are helping the government and charities in response to Hurricane Dorian,” he said. “I thank all who are contributing their time, resources and talents. As I have said in my address, this is a time for the greatest act of volunteerism in Bahamian history. We welcome all Bahamians of goodwill and generosity of spirit to make their contributions to helping those in need.”


jamaicaproud 1 week, 3 days ago

Dis bredda yah clueless. As for them. Do they have training in disaster management? Best the PM can do is go overseas cap in hand and let the disaster ànd military do their jobs.


themessenger 1 week, 3 days ago

Dr. Minnis continues to soldier on with his shoulder to the wheel while others stir the stuff for their own ends. The two former PM's should heed the words of Sir Lynden Pindling "Fish, cut bait or get out the boat!!!"


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 3 days ago

For someone who touts his great love of stew fish, Minnis himself as a leader is clueless about how to fish. Had President Trump not acted swiftly in authorizing the U.S. Coast Guard and other U.S. government agencies to swing into action notwithstanding the slow decision-making processes of the red tape ridden Minnis-led FNM government, many more lives would have been lost in the aftermath of Dorian. Even during his national addresses, Minnis exudes a methodical slowless that one would not expect in a crisis situation that requires quick thought processing aimed at saving lives. Apparently there's some truth to the saying that national leaders cannot be self-made, but rather must be born to the task.


The_Oracle 1 week, 3 days ago

No worries P.M: I got your back, because you are the Sitting Prime Minster. Full stop. You do your best, as will I, as will any self respecting patriotic Bahamian.


geostorm 1 week, 3 days ago

@oracle,I support this message.


themessenger 1 week, 3 days ago

Minnis exudes a methodical slowness? Well some of us are believers in that slow and steady wins the race and that fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 3 days ago

That's about the most pathetic excuse one can give for their inability to have moved into action with great despatch at a time when lives were at stake. I can only surmise that you were not among those who may have lost loved ones trapped under rubble in sweltering heat in the days immediately following the passage of Dorian.


themessenger 1 week, 2 days ago

Thanks be to God my six Abaco family members although having lost their homes are all safe and accounted for and are now living with various family members in Nassau and in Florida. Of course you being the know it all and legend in your own mind that you are, I'm sure you're well acquainted with all that rubble etc though all that sweltering heat we're enduring is the hot air constantly emanating from your big mouth. LMAO


bahamianson 1 week, 3 days ago

regardless, it is not appropriate to say what was said,not at all. The rebuttal from minnis in the tribune is interesting.


proudloudandfnm 1 week, 3 days ago

Yeah, this is just what Abaco and GB needs right now.....

Must we always follow the Americans? They"re acting like hood rats with their moron potus so we have to act like hood rats too????


JackArawak 1 week, 3 days ago

Ingraham's and Christies LACK OF PLANNING and lack of proper leadership have put us where we are today. In the wake of every single hurricane there is mass confusion in the ranks of government employees. Plane loads of supplies being denied entry because of confusion on duties. Bahamas Air charging $75 because of a lack of training on disaster response. The previous governments are a complete failure and Minnis has a golden opportunity here. Slow start? ok. but moving forward if Minnis can orchestrate an orderly recovery with much improved ease of doing business, zero confusion and hassle to get building supplies in, real help from the government. People will forget the slow start, but sadly, My prediction is that Minnis and his gang will bungle along and we Bahamas gov gonna be just as frigged up as before


TalRussell 1 week, 3 days ago

Comrade street talkers all over FREE port are talking that while members Imperialists red cabinet have been strongly encouraged freely talk lots about the two former law partners 'jockeying for high government position’ but not word to be's spoken about the pre and post noticeably absent OBAN, the PM's "fake" rescuer FREE port's economy .... better chance of Elvis sighting in FREE port, than any comrade OBAN's .....


SP 1 week, 2 days ago

Blah, blah, blah, blah, all for naught! PM Minnis has stupidly allowed himself to be dragged into the pit of assholeness with wholesale rejected Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie!

Bahamians unceremoniously dumped Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie for their asinine stupidity, collaborative corruption, and obvious lack of concern for the well being of average Bahamians, so why the hell is PM Minnis wasting time talking to these two useless has-beens that are responsible for "leading" the country to a $8B debt, and into the ditch???

Only in the Bahamas would these two clowns be called "heroes" for destroying a nation!


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