Ingraham Government Listens to Bimini’s Concerns

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Hundreds pack the public school hall in Alice Town, Bimini on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 for the government’s town meeting there. Pictured centre at the microphone is Justin Rolle, brother of Ascol Deno Rolle who died following a police involved shooting in Bimini on December 22, 2007.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: pm_bimini_townmeeting.wma

ALICE TOWN, Bimini – Government ministers led by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham travelled to Bimini Wednesday and met with hundreds of residents who voiced concerns ranging from strained relations with the island’s police to a lack of constructive outlets for the island’s youth.

Mr. Ingraham, who announced he would hold a town meeting with Bimini residents following the December 22 police-involved shooting and subsequent riot there, took note of the concerns expressed and re-assured residents that the government is committed to fairness and upholding the rule of law.

“You can be assured that the government will do its part with respect to ensuring that the laws of The Bahamas are carried out,” Mr. Ingraham said. “There will be no favouritism. There will be no protection for any. Those who wish to have protection of the law must also be willing to support the law.”

Rioting and apparent acts of arson in Bimini resulted in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of dollars of public property. Residents at the meeting questioned the government on the reason for the police force’s slow response to the riot, indicating that it took hours for reinforcement to be brought in from Nassau and Grand Bahama.

Mr. Ingraham acknowledged that the residents raised a valid question, a question he said he did not have a good answer to at the time. The prime minister however, stressed that the response time by the police force does not excuse the riot that took place.

“We can say what we would like to say, but you have children in this community and you have examples to set,” Mr. Ingraham pointed out. “There are many wrongs that take place in a society, but we must all accept responsibility for our part in those wrongs.

“We understand that there have been complaints against some of the police officers in this community,” he continued. “But is that the way you deal with seeking to get a resolution to a problem? Is that the example you ought to pass on in this community? Life is a two-way street – every action has a consequence.”

In the midst of the anger and frustration expressed by some residents, it was a message that resonated with others.

Mr. Ingraham further reminded residents, who called on the government to give answers to their questions and frustrations about the progress of the police-involved shooting case currently before the courts, that determinations on the degree of criminal charges an accused individual should face are not made by the government but by the judicial system.

And while many of the concerns expressed during the town meeting stemmed from December’s incidents, it is a lack of constructive activities and opportunities for Bimini’s youth residents young and old said is at the heart of some of the social problems the island is facing.

The government was questioned by a 12th grade student in Bimini on when the public school’s home economics facility, also destroyed during the riot, will be rebuilt so that students can focus on their BGCSE preparations. The need for youth-based civic groups on the island was also expressed, as was the need to refurbish the island’s playing field which has been out of commission for over two years.

For other residents, it was questions about the island’s sluggish economy and cost of living woes they opted to put to government ministers present.

Business owners expressed concern over what they said is an under-utilisation of all that Bimini has to offer to tourists and second-home owners. Additional funding for entrepreneurial endeavours was requested so as to promote business opportunities in Bimini.

Regarding healthcare on the island, residents expressed concerns about the availability of air ambulance services for residents, particularly for those who are not able to afford such services.

Unbearably high utility bills was also said to be a cause for angst in Bimini, with residents indicating that it is almost impossible to make ends meet given the monthly electricity bills they receive from the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC).

Responding to concerns expressed at the meeting about speeding in Bimini’s harbours and the need to replace displaced buoys, Maritime Affairs Minister Dion Foulkes indicated that the Port Department collaborates with the police force to monitor such activities and incidents. He however, said he will arrange a meeting with the Port Controller and stakeholders on the island to discuss the feasibility of having someone stationed on Bimini to monitor these concerns.

Cabinet members, Minister of National Security and Immigration Tommy Turnquest, Minister of Works and Transport Earl Deveaux, Minister of Housing and National Insurance Kenneth Russell, Minister of Health and Social Development Dr. Hubert Minnis, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Labour Dion Foulkes and Minister of Lands and Local Government Sidney Collie were in attendance at Wednesday’s town meeting held at the public school hall in Alice Town.

  • Omar Archer Sr.

    I spent the past few days here in Kennedy and these folks are very angry with what Kenyatta did to them. I tend to agree that he should have given his constituents the heads up as it related to his plans. I think Mr. Gibson is a wonderful guy who just made a calculated mistake. I wish him all the best in his endevours, but strongly caution him against future attacks on our party leader Mr. Perry G. Christie. That is not what politics should be about in this country. We must focus on addressing the needs and concerns of the masses and stop all these silly character assassinations. They do nothing to improve the standard of living for the average Bahamian. As for Kennedy…..I will first consult with Mr. Christie and he can better direct my path concerning this matter. Afterwhich I will inform you all of my position. So guys PLEASE stop asking me if I intend to run in Kennedy

  • HALS

    Mother Pratt is currently resting at home after a short hospitalization.

  • Omar Archer Sr.

    The PLP is as strong as ever and that will not change anytime soon. We will regain the the Government and this time we will hold onto it for a very long time. Remember Omar Archer sauid that. As for Kennedy….mmmmm!!

  • fisheater

    what ever happened to mother pratt? she just disappeared.she is probably in hidding. it is so sad to see the people of st. cecielia vote her in again after she dissrespected them .

    i am talking about the the accident at sea, she dragged her feet to deal with the people who were hurt and killed untill the plp was out of power.
    the bahamas needs new blood, and mother pratt’s time is up she has proven that it is time for her to be put out to pasture. if you disagree ask the people who were hurt in the collision if they got justice, mother pratt failed to do her duty and as thus she is to be rewarded.

    the sick thing about this is this;if the people on that boat were ‘different’ the matter would have been dealt with in another way.
    1) there would not have been a wreck commision
    2) justice would have been swift.(as in the way the idiot who made the bomb threat to the us embassy after 911)
    3)the monies would have been paid out and in full. no fuss no muss

    the way the plp handled that crisis is a disgrace and they should be ashamed of themselves. mother pratt needs to stop calling herself a woman of god. God is a God of justice, fairplay and equality, and i did not see that played out wiht the plp.

    burn fire.

  • cherry bomb

    my god the plp deserves to lose. and that maynard chick got just what she derserved. that is good for her.

    the plp is corrupt and i say that from experience. i used to work at baic and the chairman does not know that my neighbour is on the board and he said some things at christmas that made everything crystal clear. and i quote,(by the way he was drunk)

    the chairman of the baic hired his boyfriend at the tune of 50000 dollars a year. i was so angry and hurt that this boy toy could get that money after we were told there was no money for a raise. i see now that the chairman was talking about a different kind of raise.

    can you imagine going to work day in day out watching a ‘man’ do his nails and look pretty all day and get paid for it. and you are working and getting half his salary, BAHAMIAN people this is why civil servants do not ‘work’. we are not lazy just angry and frustrated.

    these so called leaders make life difficult for us and sadly we take it out on the public, we are wrong for that but the frustration will come out some how.

    please mr archer do something to correct this in the future. the civil servants deserve better than this we make the country run not the mp’s rent boys.mr archer please put a stop to this. thank you. you got my vote prime minister archer

  • the funkdoctor

    omar i support you but seriously the plp needs to clean house. that is why i am glad they lost the election. i am a plp but i voted fnm, because i did not like what i saw going on. i was never coming back to the plp but since you are there ill come back but my eyes are wide open. clean up house mr. archer

  • the funkdoctor

    hello every one, omar you are hitting them hard, and do not stop. seriously perry is getting what he deserves for surrounding himself with YES MEN(as he was in the ping era). but thank god he has a real man in his corner, you have to protect perry from himself and i know you are qualifeid to do it.

    i was a plp supporter then i joined the fnm because they seemed to have a game plan. the plp looked like they were magarites puppets and i could not trust the plp as long as she was pulling the strings.

    now that you have join the plp i have decided to jump ship and leave the fnm behind. omar when you become leader(and that will be soner than you think) make sure magarite knows her place-IN THE PAST.

    thak you for joining the plp, you are what is needed to hold that party together. it is falling apart at the seams and you are the glue to hold it together. the plp is filled with eloquent hens but they need bulls to affect change and luckily you showed up. now the plp has a future and one more supporter.

    GOOD LUCK HON. OMAR ARCHER PM.

  • Omar Archer Sr.

    The people have spoken

  • Omar Archer Sr.

    As for Dion Foulks and Desmond Edwards….I will start by saying they should be charged for legal malpractice and fraud. I makes me sick to my stomach to see him chilling by his poolside drinking heineken beers and enjoying the high life. He enjoys such lifestyle on the backs of hard working decent Bahamians whom have suffered for years without resolve. They trusted him and Edwards to deliver their dream homes, instead they decieved those people and daring to sue if they pursue the matter any further. If that was me I would have kicked my foot so deep up their asses they would have been sitting on my knee for weeks. They were hired to protect the interest of the citizen, instead they abused their authority. I can say to you right now, Foulks is trying to convince the brother of one of the home owners to purchase that same property so as to clear himself from this mess. He is desperate and knows his time is very short. He (Foulks) has a history with Ms. Denise Burrows. 2001 they were involved in the Ministry of Education scandal when he served as Minister. They defrauded the Government and got away with it now they’ve turned their sights on average Bahamians who were all left wanting… He is a disgrace and trust me when I say this……Chapter 2 of this saga involving Steven’s Close will shock the nation. They will go to prison like Kingsley Munroe did. This will happen under the existing FNM government. the evidence I have reviewed are simply overwhelming. They will both be disbarred and put in jail to share a cell with inmates and one bucket. Trust me on this one…

  • Omar Archer Sr.

    Jimmy I love your point of view. Thanks for the words of advice. I don’t hate white folks. I just hate white racist folks. I truly appreciate your honesty and one day look forward to meeting you if God’s willing. You are a true Bahamian God bless you and your family and never let anyone dictate the person you become in life. You seem to be a great person.. Jah bless.

  • Jimmy

    Also Omar, as a white bahamian that has been fired from jobs and also had to quit jobs in the past due to bad managers and rude owners, if you dont like the people you work for/with or where you work, you can always leave and get a job somewhere else, or better yet, start your own business. Dont allow yourself to HAVE to work for someone else for the rest of your life, go out there and just do it, do your own thing, be your own boss. As long as you, white or black, remain working for someone else, white or black, you will always be cleaning up after them 😉

  • Jimmy

    Plenty black on white racism in the Bahamas Omar. This is a black country and us white bahamians have to deal with racism on a daily basis, but guess what, its only a few racist losers and not everyone, life goes on and its all good.

    I have no idea who Bruce Saunders is though isn’t Saunders a Bahamian name? And just because a white man doesn’t agree with you or gets angry with you, doesn’t mean it has anything to do with the color of your skin, same goes for black on white, maybe they just dont like you/me.

    City Market sucks anyway, they need to close them all down as they are full of health violations, same goes for most of the SuperValues. It is bad management that makes them the way they are, along with incompetent staff and staff that just dont care.

  • We still stand by our comment that Mr. Bruce Sauder is a fair man.

    However, Mr. Archer we would like to have more on those residence who were cheated out of their land by a current minister of the cabinet of the Bahamas.

  • Omar Archer Sr.

    Those who worked alond with me at City Market at that time will all agree and also many of those who presently work there today. Face it! Racism is alive and kicking in this society. Norman Solomon said in the mid 90’s that the Aqua Marine in our flag represents the sea, the yellow represents the sun and the black represents the people, but it is the WHITE thread that holds it all together. That was printed in a quarter page ad in the Tribune. Is that not clearly racist? That’s the problem with some Bahamians today, many of you are far too passive. Sitting back like nut crackers while foreigners are buying up all of our prime undeveloped Bahamian land. Then they build gated resorts and Bahamians are made to fold their cotton and live from pay check to pay check. They are slowing converting us into silent slaves in their endentured slavery system. Bruce Sauder is a racist!

  • media

    We want it to made clear and very clear, that this website is NOT in any way in support of any raciest comments. This site [Bahamaspress.com} is the combined efforts of both white and black Bahamians. Our sole intent is to present TRUTH to the country and the world at large.

    In doing this from time to time it is our intent to also shed light on comments we see as irresponsible and inappropriate towards all citizens of the world.

    In the past we have had a very close and rewarding encounter with Mr. Bruce Sauder and have found him over the years to be a DECENT LAW-ABIDING Bahamian/American one we can call a TRUE FRIEND!

    However, our experience with him and yours [Mr Archer] were clearly different, and in your comments Mr. Archer, there is no evidence with ‘QUOTED Comments’ or ‘presented articles’ that suggests that Mr. Sauder can be placed in such a category as being raciest.

    Therefore Bahamaspress cannot in any way agree with your comments in reference to the former GM of City Markets.

  • Omar Archer Sr.

    As for the riot in Bimini. I remain confident that a revolution is looking in this country. We have had three riots Kemp Road, Nassau Village and now Bimini.
    Poverty mirrors the behaviour of a volcano. It may lie dormant for many years, but those whom are directly affected by poverty will be the ones to provide the necessary sparks to the erruption of a massive revolution one that will surely dwarf the Berma road riot.
    This unofficial Bounty Chocolate Bar Government, has failed our people. The son of a known bootlegger and segregationist Brent Symonette is simply finishing his late fater’s work. We have regressed as people. We the new PLP will change this and do so for a long time.

  • Omar Archer Sr.

    It is so amazing how people would twist the truth to make people believe their slander and lies. As for my leaving City Market…It was only because of RACIST Bruce Sauder.
    He oppressed those hard working employees and when I spoke up and spoke out in rage at his inappropriate attitude he then asked me to resign on the grounds of insubordination. He is racist and I will not back away from that.
    I uncovered a HUGE money making plot their and individuals involved wanted me out before I exposed them.
    Equality and Justice my friend is the order of the day. Yes I needed that job desperately to support my family, but at what cost? I walked away with my integrity in tact without any regrets.
    How many of you out there put up with silly SH.T from your employers and refuse to do the right thing because of fear of losing your employment? Alot of you. Therefore your loyality resides with the yankee dollar and not your people.
    He was and still is very much a racist pig and this country do not need men like him here.
    Go and ask him, he and his family frequents the Yacht club on East Bay street on Thursdays and Saturdays.
    Bruce Sauder I Omar Archer Sr. say to you publicly, your day is coming you racist animal. Leave our civil society and go back home to the US where you belong. I bet he’s a Texan like Bush.