STATEMENT BY CHESTER COOPER, PLP DEPUTY LEADER, IN RESPONSE TO PM MINNIS’ OMINOUS ADVICE
March 26, 2018
Having heard an interview conducted by local media with Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis today in which he urged me to “be careful” when pointing out the fact that he misled the House of Assembly on the Oban heads of agreement and should follow his own advice and resign, I am compelled to respond that it is the prime minister who should be careful in his public utterances.
Hopefully, he will take his own advice and get his story straight when it comes time to account to the Bahamian people on the ball of confusion surrounding this affair that is entirely of his own making.
Notwithstanding that we live in a democratic society that embeds freedom of speech in our constitution, I have clearly not slandered the prime minister and have only highlighted his own inconsistencies in terms that members of the public have been much less generous in describing.
I did not sit next to a man who signed someone else’s name on a heads of agreement for a $5.5 billon oil refinery without the slightest consultation with the Bahamian people.
I do not have portfolio responsibility for the BEST Commission, which failed to make sure an EIA was conducted before signing a heads of agreement that is not subject to an EIA.
I did not tell the House of Assembly that a heads of agreement signing was imminent when one had already been signed for the same project.
I did not promise a Crown lease for 690 acres of government land at bargain rates.
I did not waive sovereign immunity as was done in clause 17.13 of the Oban heads of agreement.
I did not enter the country into what, on the face of it, and at the very least, seems like an incredibly disadvantageous deal for the Bahamas.
If the prime minister were the least bit careful in his own dealings on behalf of the Bahamian people, perhaps we would not find ourselves in the mess we are currently in with regard to Oban Energies.
I hope the prime minister’s words do not constitute any threat. However, out of an abundance of caution, I feel compelled to report this matter to the police.