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PLP chief promises “better days ahead”

by: Jaimie Smith, FN Reporter - Published Monday, March, 20, 2017

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) held a service of thanksgiving at Jubilee Cathedral, on Friday evening, under the theme, ‘The full Armour of God,’ to officially introduce the party’s five candidates for the Grand Bahama constituencies.

Leader of the party, Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie promised in his address that better days are ahead for the country, particularly on the Island of Grand Bahama, under the PLP government.

“People of Grand Bahama, 61 years ago, when the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) was signed, they weren’t thinking of you, they weren’t thinking of creating a Freeport for you.

“If we look around the world, we cannot find anything that analogies to it (HCA). So how do we maintain the comforts that are necessary for the survival of the city, but at the same time, through persuasion, not coercion, get the people that tout the owners, to understand that times have changed? The people of Freeport need greater participation. The Prime Minister of The Bahamas, whoever, he or she may be, cannot just sit down and wait for the Port Authority to make decisions for us. We have to be at the table. We have to be participants.

 “You do not need for someone to come and tell you how slow things have become. If you need evidence, of what we are capable of, I want to first tell you, that we are working tirelessly, to bring Freeport back, to take it to a position where Grand Bahama is grand. That is what we are going to do. We are talking with the Grand Bahama Port Authority, we are talking with Hutchison Whampoa, we are talking with a person who wants to buy the hotels, we are talking daily. As a government we have to make all of the decisions we have to make,  as  well  as  all  of the  negotiations that we have to do, for a new $200 million investment in East Grand Bahama. We have done that and now we are waiting for the final product. Yes, better days are ahead.”

 He spoke to the negative view being expressed about him in certain quarters. Particularly in Grand Bahama, although he appears to have lost popularity throughout the land, the complaints against him and his government are many.

“People have said, ‘Christie you are delusional.’ Delusional my foot! When I pass from my home to my office, and from my office to my home, at night, this complex that is called Baha Mar that was dead, inanimate. The lights are coming on now. Soon there will be a handover on the development and on April 21, there will be a “new beginning,” stated Christie.

Emphasizing his desire “to speak to some principles important” to those assembled, Prime Minister Perry Christie expressed the PLP is a party that recognizes, in every community within The Bahamas, that there are people who are in need.

“As a political organization, as we move to a greater economy, we know with certainty there are those who need the help of the government. Lifting up the poor, assisting the disadvantaged and looking around at people who are in need and having the right formula to help them are a few of the mandates.

“Do not ever forget it, and for those of the PLP, do not apologize for it. When the original pioneers began, they were responding to the needs of an oppressed people.

“There was very little to separate them because they were connected to the cause of uplifting the people of this country; particularly people of color. We cannot forget what it means when we celebrate Majority Rule Day, these are important events in our history that distinguishes the PLP from other parties in this country, he ventured.

The prime minister, to bear out his point, relied on the Bible.

“the Bible says: ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ That is what you, as supporters of the PLP should be directing yourselves to live by, bringing new levels of energy to the full amour, ensuring that our candidates do not shift from the responsibility of working hard, to win.”  

Many Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament were in attendance. They were there for the service, showing support for the five GB candidates elect for the five constituencies.

“My brothers and sisters, we are going into this election as a party that works hard, a party that believes in supporting each other. Mrs. Hanna-Martin (Minister of Transport and Aviation) even surprised me when she got on the aircraft this evening, coming down with her crutches, to demonstrate her support for the five of you on Grand Bahama. She knows how important it is, to be seen, in giving the support to you.”

“I am not talking politics here. I am talking to you. You have heard Dr. Darville speak of all that he has done, all that the government has done. We concede that there is so much more that we have to do. Whether it is the Fishing Hole Road, whether it is National Health Insurance (NHI), whether it is fixing the clinics, whether it is providing water, coming in immediately after Hurricane Matthew that devastated Grand Bahama and putting relief and restoration in place, even conceding that we must be faster, and do more; these are things that we have done,” said the Prime Minister.

The five PLP candidates for Grand Bahama and Bimini are: Rev. Preston Cooper, East Grand Bahama; Rev. Norris Bain, Marco City; Senator Julian Russell, Central Grand Bahama; Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Pineridge: and Hon. Obie Wichcombe, West Grand Bahama and Bimini.

 

Published Monday, March, 20, 2017

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