Roberts: the hapless and opportunistic carpet bagging and self interested FNM has crawled from under a rock and behind the tall grass to see how they can best use the pain and suffering of Bahamians to secure a selfish and narrow political advantage.
By Bradley B Roberts
Progressive Liberal Party
In the wake of the unfortunate environmental release at the Rubis Robinson Road service station, I express my empathy for the families adversely impacted by this spill and all must be done by all stakeholders involved to ensure that the families affected are dealt with in a just and fair manner.
As the current government continues to work with the affected residents and Rubis to bring a fair and just resolution to this matter, the hapless and opportunistic carpet bagging and self interested FNM has crawled from under a rock and behind the tall grass to see how they can best use the pain and suffering of Bahamians to secure a selfish and narrow political advantage. This is reprehensible, heartless and callous.
I am advised there is no file in the Ministry of The Environment as proof of the steps taken by the FNM government to protect the interest of the Bahamian people while in government and Minnis must speak to this if he is to appear to have a modicum of credibility as a leader. Having been exposed, Dr. Minnis must apologize to the Bahamian people for the negligence and inaction of the FNM government as far back as 1996 and during its last term in office when they had full knowledge of these environmental incidents at this very same Robinson Road site. The long term expose of residents in the Marathon area to this environmental contamination has adversely impacted their health and quality of life because 19 years is a long time to be exposed to such unhealthy conditions. This is reprehensible on the part of the FNM and a full and frank explanation is needed. I suspect that the shameless arrogance of Dr. Minnis will prevent him from acting responsibly.
I call for a public hearing on this matter with powers to send for people and papers as far back as 1996, at or around 2010 and again in 2012 to put the series of events in proper context so the Bahamian people can fully appreciate the timelines, the extent of the challenges at this site and for all to see exactly what the root causes were that brought us to this point.
I thank the government of The Bahamas, especially the BEST Commission and the Department of Environmental Health for their decisive actions, leadership and general superintendence over the past 24 months in protecting the health and wellbeing of the residents and workers in the general area of the incident and for taking all necessary steps to protect the health of the environment for future generations. The honourable member for Marathon must remain fully engaged with the people of Marathon and a fierce and vocal advocate for those families.
The government must remain focused and vigilant in executing its primary duty in governance which is protecting the public’s interests, keeping the concerns of the people of Marathon and the public front and center at all material times. Further, the government must reject out of hand all attempts by the FNM at mass distraction, political posturing and bluster where they will seek to use the pain and suffering of ordinary Bahamians for its sick, selfish and narrow political means. The Attorney General, Senator Allyson Maynard-Gibson is on record as rejecting any attempt to use this unfortunate incident as a political football; this is wise and the entire government must take this lead.