Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Deputy Leader Chester Cooper said yesterday that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis must put an end to the “barbaric and wicked” practice of victimizing PLPs.
Cooper, who was addressing supporters during a PLP branch meeting in South Andros last night, accused the government of refusing to help Bahamians in need.
“A pervasive spirit of victimization is rampant across our country,” he said.
“Good professionals with a lot to offer are being sent to pasture simply because they are PLP or thought to be PLP.
“Forget their commitment to country, their education, experience, dedication and professionalism.
“I call on the prime minister to put a stop to this forthwith.
“This barbaric state of play sets back our country 100 years, when it was unsafe to practice majority rule and freedom of association.
“It is wicked and destructive too when building a modern Bahamas.”
PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis recently accused the government of “purging the police force of PLPs” after eight senior officers were directed to take vacation leave.
The officers are expected to retire at the end of the leave.
Cooper said people expect better from the government.
“I travel around this country and I see children who need guidance and support, and a government that just doesn’t seem to get that you can’t make life harder for their parents and expect the outcomes for their kids to be any better,” Cooper said.
“Around this country, you see people in need of healthcare, just like right here in South Andros and Mangrove Cay, but you have a government that will invest in a failed hotel in Grand Bahama before they put the money into infrastructure and capital works that can help people.
“…And so, we take Hubert Minnis and the FNM to task, not because they’re the FNM and we don’t like them, even though that’s true, but because we know they see the people hurting, but refuse to help them.
“They say wait until they balance the budget and they raise your taxes to do this, but won’t put that money where it’s needed.”
Disney Cruise Line
Cooper also took the government to task over the heads of agreement (HOA) for the $250 million to $400 million cruise port at Lighthouse Point, South Eleuthera, that was tabled in Parliament last week.
“I see a government that will give a 50-year seabed lease in Eleuthera to a cruise line for peanuts, and still give them Crown land and all the tax exemptions in the book,” he said.
“We get just over 100 jobs and no business opportunities, no shops, no restaurants.
“Water sports that are reserved for Bahamians given away to the cruise lines.
“Only crumbs left for the small man, the self-employed and the budding entrepreneurs.”
However, the 751 acres of land that Disney acquired for the project is private property.
The government has agreed to lease to Disney the seabed in South Eleuthera at a cost of $1,000 per acre for 50 years.
The dimensions and location of the seabed are still under consideration, but will be provided to the government and relevant agencies prior to the lease execution.
The agreement further mandates that Disney directly employ at least 120 Bahamians during the construction of the project.