Central Grand Bahama Member of Parliament Neko Grant announced on Sunday that he will not be offering himself as a candidate for the upcoming 2017 general elections.
Grant made this announcement during a press conference at his WESTGEORGE home in Bahama Terrace Freeport. Just over two weeks ago he resigned as Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly and as the Free National Movement’s (FNM) shadow Works Minister.
According to grant, his decision should not be one of surprise.
“On April 17, 2012 after nominating, in an interview with ZNS Northern Service T.V. in the presence of my wife, my grandson Danny, and my sister Violet Wright, I informed the Reporter Joan Davis-Rolle, that it was my last Election,” he said on Sunday.
He pointed also that he said as much to Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis when he first assumed leadership of the FNM.
“I now wish to reconfirm that I will not seek re-election in the upcoming general elections,” he emphasized and said the time is right, although any future non-parliamentary role in the FNM has not yet been determined.
“They (the FNM) need to find a candidate to replace me and this gives them ample time to do so. There was a senior member who suggested that it was an FNM seat, well if that is in fact so they need only find an FNM,” he said.
Mr. Grant further commented on the current and future state of the FNM.
“The Free National Movement is challenged in more areas than one. I have been villainized by some, demonized by others but it didn’t bother me because I knew that I did the best that I could,” he said.
He said that democracy in the country seems to be failing and the FNM that we once knew is no longer present today and if they are to be successful in the future, a change has to be made. However, Grant said his views do not change his loyalty to the FNM party.
“When I put my family, my life and limbs on the line in 1992, I don’t know where many of those who report to be these great FNMs were. I have no idea where they were. So I will remain an FNM,” he said.
Grant did not offer an opinion on what will happen in the upcoming general elections, but said he does not want the Bahamian people to be taken for granted. He also encouraged the Bahamian youth force to stay focused to prepare to face the world.
He stands as the longest-consecutive parliamentarian for any constituency in Grand Bahama and served as a Cabinet Minister in the Hubert Ingraham Government.
Before entering frontline politics Grant had over 21 years of dedicated service to the community. He was elected as the first Member of Parliament for the newly created Constituency of Lucaya on the island of Grand Bahama on August 19, 1992, which date he said was “24 years and two days ago.”
“The country was in crisis at the time and in need of deliverance. I entered frontline politics not to enrich myself nor for other selfish endeavors. I entered because I felt that I could make a difference,” he said.
He stated that the boundaries of his constituency have changed for the general elections since 1992. Originally the eastern boundary was Seahorse Road in the east and extended to Lewis Yard Primary School in the west. Now the eastern boundary is Coral Road and it extends to Will Butler corner in Eight Mile Rock in the west.
Grant noted that he was proud to have survived “two political tsunamis”– May 2, 2002 and May 7, 2012, as well as his many accomplishments that included being the longest serving Member of Parliament in the FNM’s history.
“I am pleased and proud of the personal accomplishments over the past 24 years in my constituency. From ensuring that the residents of Royal Bahamian Estates, Mack Town, Hunters and Lewis Yard receive city water; the installation of street lights for the first time throughout the constituency; to the transformation and beautification of the Williams/Russell Town shoreline, I am proud. The works are well documented,” he explained.
He thanked the people who supported him throughout his 24 years as a Member of Parliament.
“I wish to thank the wonderful people of Lucaya and Central Grand Bahama for their confidence, love and support in five consecutive elections. I also thank the Members of Nek’s Team Central Grand Bahama for their hard work, dedication and support over the years,” he said.
Grant ended the press conference with “The Prayer by Saint Ignatus of Loyola.”
The prayer follows:
“Teach us, Good Lord, to serve you as you deserve to give and not to count the cost. To fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for any reward, and save that of knowing that we do your will, Amen.”
Grant added, “but only to do the Father’s will and for me the will of the Father was improving the lives of Bahamian people. May God continue to bless the wonderful people of Central Grand Bahama, may God bless the FNM, and may God continue to bless the Bahamas.
Published Monday, August 22, 2016