In The Bahamas, Bahamians must come first 

Dear Editor,

At the outset let me be clear and frank. I supported and voted for the FNM candidate over in Mount Moriah during the last general election. I did so reluctantly but under no viable circumstances could I have continued to prop up the stale and inept leadership of the former Prime Minister Perry Gladstone Christie for another debilitating term in office. Christie had to go.

I made a huge mistake in voting FNM but at that time there were no alternatives. The FNM has long been regarded as the party of the elite, well off and nouveau riche. That party has traditionally shown little or no empathy for the unwashed masses. Nothing would appear to have changed so far into this first and last term for the most honorable and his people them.

Toby Smith, a generational white Bahamian, had the vision a few years ago of restoring the Light House at the extreme western end of Paradise Island.

He invested money in scouting out the property, securing an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the relevant governmental organizations and hiring assorted individuals and companies in preparation of unfolding his long-held dream.

Lo and behold Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is interested in portions of that same property! This is the same corporate entity that just signed off on the purchase, finally, of Grand Lucayan over in Freeport.

No less a figure than the learned attorney general has called Toby an “an extremely selfish” Bahamian who does not have the national interest at heart!!

He probably wanted to add some adjectives to that assertion but did not publicly do so.

The FNM has never been known as friendly towards Bahamians.

Toby Smith, if he is a wise man, would consider all of his options.

Number one, he has a binding MOU and the legal expectations that the same would be honored by the parties thereto.

There can be no legal justification for a unilateral breach or abrogation of the same. He should issue litigation seeking assorted declarations and injunctions. He has, in my view, a rock solid case.

The attorney general should never have made the remarks which he did, seeing that this whole debacle may end up in the Supreme Court. Imagine what would happen if and when Light House keeper Toby Smith issues a writ of summons.

The entire project being proposed by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line would be stalled and could end up costing that entity big dollars, inclusive of legal costs and construction delays.

The regime is not friendly towards Bahamians, white or black, if you are not a part of the cabal.

Toby is a homegrown investor and indigenous creator.

He’s been around a long time with his Bahamian ancestors. He has paid his dues, so to speak, and should not be thrown aside like a rag doll to appease the voracious appetite of a foreign-based multinational corporation.

If this were to happen, a chilling message would be sent, again to Bahamians: “Bahamians need not apply.”

Toby Smith is a go-getter and a Bahamian to be emulated by all would-be entrepreneurs.

His challenge, however, is that this administration has never met a foreign investor whom it did not love.

Bahamians have grave difficulties in securing the smallest piece of Crown land. Now we see the fabled dragon entering the arena and all hell may well break loose.

The PLP should weigh in on this and declare, now, its proposed public policy initiatives as they relate to the unwashed masses. Bahamians are sick of being sick and tired while being treated as second-class citizens in our own country. In The Bahamas, Bahamians must and should always come first. To God then, in all things, be the glory.

Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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