United Bahamian people needed

Dear Editor,

The Bahamas is now a failed state in my view. The lingering effects of Dorian and the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed the fact that our “emperor” has on no real clothes but possibly a loincloth. Our leaders, such as they are, across the board, are completely out of touch. For the past three years it has been reactionary governance and knee-jerk responses.

Dorian was a national disaster of unprecedented proportions. A year later, Abaco and Grand Bahama are still struggling to recover and rebuild. The administration has failed big time in getting a handle on the post-Dorian reconstruction efforts. Minister of State for Disasters Iram Lewis is in deep and uncharted waters.

Former Senator Kay Forbes-Smith, whose portfolio has yet to be fully defined much less explained, serves no real purpose and in fact there may be multiple levels of people tripping over each other. What about my brother Captain Stephen Russell down at NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency)? What is his real role? What is his compensation package like, compared to the minister of state and the former senator? Why do we need the three of them when disaster management and hurricane preparations should be a piece of cake?

Our people are determined but we have sorely lacked leadership ever since the rushed resignation of former Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham. As a student of the constitution, I fully appreciate and understand why he felt it necessary to resign as party leader; that was a decision which has plunged The Bahamas into uncharted waters. We ended up with the competent authority which has proven to be anything but that.

It is unfortunate that we have allowed naked partisan politics to dictate the development, such as it is, of our wonderful nation. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. Politics is now not about the citizens but rather about how much money or power one is able to accumulate. The interest and well-being of the unwashed masses are now, as has always been, secondary. This was amply and painfully demonstrated over the last six months.

The Free National Movement (FNM) did a great job during the first three months of the pandemic.

It and the PM blundered badly when they prematurely reopened the borders, thus allowing Bahamians unrestricted entry into the hotspot of Florida and equally unrestricted return to The Bahamas. Scores of Bahamians have died since then from the new coronavirus. 

The average Bahamian, thanks to the cock-eyed public policy initiatives of the competent authority and his Cabinet over the last six months, has been reduced to beggary and worse. The bread and food lines are unprecedented and many have been literally stripped of their dignity and self worth. The administration brags about how it is spending $1 million per week on feeding Bahamians. Is this what was expected or asked for? No.

The people of this wonderful nation must soon come to the certain realization that this crew means you all no good in the long run. We must come together as a people and craft our own solutions. May I suggest that we form a non-political and non-profit non-governmental organization to be called the United Bahamian People (UBP)? Yes, you read correctly, UBP.

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is the logical alternative to the FNM and I suggest that all opposition forces and entities should fold themselves into that organization. This would include the lurching Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and the rest of those rudderless entities. The time to stop playing doll house politics is over. Ever since Minnis ascended to unexpected political power it has been and continues to be downhill for our wonderful nation.

All Bahamians of goodwill are invited to join with me in getting out of this political rot. Some have asked if Philip Brave Davis, the opposition leader, can or will make a difference after he comes to power as prime minister. I say yes. With Brave we have a known character and his word is his bond.

The Bahamas is no Trinidad & Tobago and, for sure, it is not Jamaica.

A united Bahamian people is what is needed now more than ever before to show our clueless and inept politicians to the front or back door.

Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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