Editor’s note: Imagine that Dr Hubert Minnis has the nerve to point to corruption by the PLP. There’s only one conviction in the last five years for corruption and that was an FNM deal through and through. The FNM Leader’s statement follows:
Mr. Peter Turnquest, Deputy Leader,
Meritorious Council Members,
Today we celebrate that historic day, 24 years ago, when the Free National Movement crushed the PLP on the field of battle and ushered in “Government in the Sunshine”. On that great day the chains of 25 years of unbroken tyranny, political victimization and One-Party rule in our Bahamas were shattered forever! The dream of freedom of our founder, Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, unrealized during his lifetime, came to full fruition as a result of the unyielding struggle of his ardent followers and political heirs.
To that great day this Party owes an eternal debt of gratitude to the historic mission, leadership and ability of Sir Cecil’s political successor, Hubert Alexander Ingraham: our “Delivery Boy”. His courage in adversity, zeal and love for our Country, and for his adopted political Party propelled his team of 42 candidates to an historic and pivotal election victory. It was a victory that we who were present witnessed as being consummated and blessed when, no sooner had the vanquished Leader and outgoing PLP Prime Minister Pindling said in a National Address that: “the voice of the people is the voice of God”, and then there was a loud crack of Thunder and the heavens opened, to wash and cleanse the earth of our Bahamaland!
Soon, very soon, our Bahamaland will be cleansed again.
Each year since that wonderful date we have taken time out to celebrate that great victory. We express gratitude to the Bahamian People for entrusting us in the highest political offices, and we thank our God for his wonderful Blessings. We thank God, not only for that day, but also for every day because of that day, that we have been able to serve the Bahamian People, and to improve the quality of their lives, as their governing Party.
FNMs I would be doing a disservice to you if I pretended that the past several years have been easy, and without some rancor and division. Much has been said and done internally and in the public arena which has caused harm to our Party and grief to many FNM supporters. This happened before, as we well know, in 1976.
But this time, this day, I can confidently say to you that “the Storm is Over!” We are All Together! Today as ONE UNITED PARTY we are all prepared now to put our collective shoulder to the wheel, and to strive as ONE for another great victory: MPs, Senators, Candidates, Party Officers, and all the rank and file of our base-support of more than 50,000 ardent FNMs!
We are READY to serve! READY to defeat the PLP! READY to bring economic growth and development to our Bahamas! READY to bring Tax relief, and fiscal prudence! READY to root out corruption brought on by the PLP. READY to light our Torch and keep it lit! We are READY to restore Trust and bring Deliverance, because fellow FNMs and fellow Bahamians, because you matter!
Today the PLP has run our country aground on that “wide and treacherous shoal” we sing about in the National Anthem. Our streets and communities are riddled with violent crime, mayhem, rape and murder! Our economy flounders in the third year of PLP-caused economic recession and stagnation! Our Sovereign credit rating faces yet another negative downgrade by the international ratings agencies; and many fear that the value of our Dollar will be negatively impacted! The PLP continues to tax the poor like a vicious task master, while borrowing and spending like a drunken sailor! And what have they got to show for it? Nothing that anyone can see, touch or feel! Bahamar cannot open, and Sandals is now closed! 600 Bahamians have been summarily cast out onto the streets of blighted hopes, to join the growing ranks of the unemployed. All due to the negligence and failure of the PLP to manage this economy, all its actors, and particularly the vital Tourism sector. Times are hard. Our People are suffering. There is no help, no hope in the PLP. Truly it is Time for a Change!
FNMs, your Party and its Leadership will bring the Change that our country so desperately needs! Your FNM has the experience, the ingenuity, the integrity and the ability to rescue our country, and its faltering economy. We can do it if we are truly ALL Together! We will do it because we are truly All Together! We must do it All Together!
I charge you FNMs to leave this place filled with the Faith of our Founding Fathers; fueled with love for our Party and our beloved Country; fired up with the zeal and determination shown by those great heroes of old, who took the blows, stayed the course, and who won that great victory on the 19th August, 1992! Let us leave this Sacred place and go back to our Constituencies with our Party united, our Torch ignited, our hearts delighted, the voters excited, and I assure you all that we will leave the PLP blighted!
FNMs, now is the time of challenge, and we must all do our part. Our country needs us. The poor need us. The unemployed need us. The day of struggle is upon us. Let us do our very best to save our country, by the Grace of the Almighty, and with the help and support of the Bahamian People. We can do it! We will win! Let us go forth and ‘make it happen’!
May God Bless you all, and God Bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.