With no end in sight to the epidemic of murders and violent crimes that is swiftly engulfing our nation’s capital, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and the Bahamian people have lost faith in the Minister of National Security and Acting Deputy Prime Minister, Tommy Turnquest’s ability as the right man to lead the most important national security agency at this time.
Like most Bahamians in recent days, the DNA finds the defensive posturing of the Minister of National Security to be irresponsible, cowardly and insulting, not only to the Bahamian judiciary, but also to Bahamians at large, who look to elected officials for their expert leadership, guidance, clearheaded and informed practicality when it comes to strategizing and presenting real solutions to pressing national issues.
In many systems around the world, including New York, where elected officials are held responsible for the successes and failures of the agencies that come under their charge, those elected officials would have, either, recognized their failings and resigned honorably, been asked to resign by their superiors to save face, or been “chased out of town,” especially if they held important posts and had similar dismal track records as our National Security Minister does. Recognizing that, for whatever reason, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, as the Minister of National Security’s immediate superior, is not daring enough to relieve him of his post, the DNA calls on the Minister to stop casting blame on hardworking Bahamians, honorably accept responsibility for his failures as the nations chief national security agent, resign from the post immediately and move on before an already bad situation gets any worse and he is eventually “chased out of town.”
DNA leader Branville McCartney says, “The Minister of National Security’s attempt to pass the buck and suggest that Bahamians are ‘reaping’ what they sowed is a blatant affront to the good-minded Bahamian people and a slap in the face to the many men and women who are working so hard to raise their children the right way in this hostile environment. The only thing that Bahamians are reaping, right now, is the fruits of 20 years of repeatedly sowing seeds that have produced the same old unproductive, unresponsive and visionless leadership that they have gotten from the Ingraham and Christie administrations on social issues.
“For the Minister to, firstly, say ‘none of the 100 murders were committed by me, none were motivated by me, none were inspired by me’ is obvious and somewhat insensitive. To further say that people should not ask ‘what is Tommy Turnquest doing about the 102 murders’ makes the Minister to be lacking in good judgment,” says McCartney.
“The Minister’s comments and actions in recent days,” he goes on to say, “show that he is both frustrated and overwhelmed. And his repeated public gaffes continue to highlight and reinforce what many in the Bahamian society have come to recognize in his performance over the past four years: he is too ill-informed on the real issues and matters of National Security to speak expertly on them; he is too ill-prepared to offer any real practical assistance and solutions to the country’s security issues and efforts, and he is too ill-equipped to lead and effectively guide the National Security agency, its expert personnel, and their security efforts.”
The DNA feels that Turnquest’s continuance at the helm of the Ministry of National Security will further exacerbate national security matters, as in his frustrated and emotional state, he is demonstrating, more and more, that he is unfit to offer sound leadership and guidance. The Party believes that the Minister will only make an already frustrated system more frustrating, as evident in the response by Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett, who expressed concern over the Minister’s comments about the judiciary, calling them “unfortunate.”
When the Minister says, ‘how did we get to this stage?’ “I think that what the sociologist and the activists ought to ask themselves,” McCartney says, “then his position immediately becomes redundant and he no longer serves any useful purpose. I expect that, if there is anyone who the Bahamian public can ask how we got to this stage, the Bahamian people should be able to ask the Minister of National Security.”
McCartney says “Mr. Turnquest needs to stop running, ducking and dodging, and casting blame. He needs to own up, accept responsibility for his incompetence and let the chips fall where they may.”
“How many more Bahamians will have to lose their lives before our Prime Minister realizes that Mr. Turnquest is no longer suitable for the post? How high does the murder count have to rise before he steps in and remove the Minister in favor of a more suitable candidate, if any exist in the rank and file of the governing party?” asks Mr. McCartney?
He calls on the Prime Minister to put an end to his “covering up” of Turnquest’s incompetence, saying that “the Prime Minister can no longer turn a blind eye to the bodies that are heaping up under his watch. Bahamians want to feel safe and secure in their own society, and they no longer have confidence that the present National Security Minister can provide them with the necessary assurances.”
The Party feels that four years of record murders is enough and as long as Turnquest remains as Minister of National Security the problem can only get worse since he admittedly acknowledges that he is clueless to the cause and therefore can offer no possible solutions.
Again, we are asking for Turnquest to accept his failures and, in doing so, resign immediately.