COMMENTARY BY BAHAMAS SCOOP
With the tepid announcement last week that the police found no evidence of wrongdoing in what was widely described as a corrupt and an abuse of state power by the newly elected FNM government in the arrest and detention of over eight BAIC employees including its chairman, there are talks that the commissioner did not authorize the arrests – that the order of intimidation came from the political directorate.
This is odd because there was no Minister of National Security on the 11th May 2017 so who in the FNM was giving orders and who on the police force were accepting these orders? It is important and instructive to point out yet again that it is corrupt to use official agencies of the state to execute the political persecutorial activities of the political directorate of any government. Former National Security Minister the Hon. Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt preached the doctrine of neutrality on the police force. There are rumblings in the public domain that the current National Security Minister is interfering with the day to day operations of the police force. The public cannot afford to lose confidence in its principal law enforcement agency. Law Enforcement Officers are to resist any and all appearances of political interference and instructions contrary to the Police Act and force orders. The social stability of a nation is predicated to a great extent on a neutral law enforcement agency and a neutral judiciary.
Further, with much injury done to the reputation of those wrongly accused, arrested and detained, there is no apology forthcoming from the FNM government. The Prime Minister insisted he had nothing to do with the arrests and that he presides over an honest and transparent government. The National Security Minister was mute and the media was disinterested in investigating this unusual and irregular use of state power. The handling of the BAIC matter was political intimidation, pure and simple. That is not the manner in which reported theft by reason of employment is handled. There is no precedent for it.
And where is Dame Joan Sawyer, the clergy, the media, talk show hosts and political pundits who just literally days ago were all clamoring for Mr. Christie and the PLP to apologize to the nation for everything under the sun? Apparently, they all lost their collective voice so their call for the PLP to apologize was driven strictly by politics and not based on principle. Ah well. Do we have that many cats in The Bahamas?! Nobody standing up on a point of principle anymore?! Go figure.
Many of these same people are participating in some big-time conference on “GOOD GOVERNANCE” yet could not recognize good governance if it stared them in the face.
Is the FNM government arrogant? You bet they are very arrogant because in their minds, they are never wrong and when things go horribly wrong in the country under their watch, it is never their fault; just read the Finance Minister’s response to Moody’s downgrade notification.
The arrest and detention of the former Environment and Housing Minister Kenred Dorsett is a continuation of the FNM’s practice of political vilification and demonization. Senator Mitchell told a group of Liberal Caucus members last week that the FNM is exercising their brand of political power. The leader of the PLP characterized it as “victor’s justice.”
We have seen this story before with commissions of inquiry being held after the 1992 and 1997 general elections where great state resources were used to vilify the PLP and no evidence of wrongdoing was discovered.
The actions of the FNM government has absolutely nothing to do with justice or cleaning up corruption in government because the PM is a self-dealer; his Tourism Minister confessed to defrauding the Customs Department; Minnis claimed the LOI scandal was a game changer; his Culture Minister resigned from the senate after being caught in a murder for hire plot and the Florida State Supreme Court ruled that the FNM member for Golden Gates was guilty of impropriety in the handling of his client’s funds.
How does Prime Minister Minnis propose to reconcile his anti-corruption stand with the number of ethically challenged and compromised characters that comprise his cabinet and parliamentary caucus? I propose that he simply cannot so this exercise at great taxpayer expense is a farce designed only to achieve a decidedly narrow, selfish and partisan political objective.