May 8th 2012, one day after the defeat of the Free National Movement at the polls and the resignation of former Prime Minister Ingraham as leader of the party. There were many hurt feelings and great disappointment that evident throughout the country for FNMs. The FNM was in deep debt and bloodied in hotly contested elections that party was soundly defeated.
However, there was no time rest and cry, the party needed to forged forward to begin the task of rebuilding. On May 26th, at a mini-convention the FNM elected as its new deputy Loretta Butler-Turner and its leader Dr. Hubert A. Minnis.
Soon after Dr. Minnis was elected, there was another meeting held by those who had controlled the FNM for a very long time. They needed to let Dr. Minnis know that while he was leader they were still in charge. They were informed that they were no longer in charge and that the party will seek to break new ground and move in a new direction.
The dye was cast, it was on. Those who thought that they had some innate right to direct and control of the FNM went on an immediate attack. Who was Dr. Minnis to believe that he was coming to change anything? Who was he to think he will break the 1967 clique? He will learn. They needed someone who they could pit against him, someone that they could use to undermine him.
Dr. Minnis thus far has proven to be a true democrat. He has included the party machinery in choosing who senators would be, notwithstanding that legally he did not have to as the Leader of The Official Opposition. He has provided the parliamentary team with information given to him, not withstanding that those who eyed his job would seek to take such information and run with it to be first out and seek to undermine him.
Despite after one of the senior persons in the party stating their intent to destroy his leadership, having formed a team that has sought to undermine and or not support anything the party is doing or has done. In hopes that it would fail and he would be diminished as leader. Despite that group being on attack from the very beginning on a relentless attack through the internet and in the dailies.
Yet he has thrown no venom and still sought to include the person and their group. Demonstrating a level of maturity and focus to stay above the pettiness that could be counterproductive to rebuilding a party- much less a country. Yet, he has done this despite the many daggers both shown publicly and privately.
The reality is since he became leader the FNM has had the most impressive and consistent campaign of any political party in the history of the Bahamas. Dr. Minnis and a team of FNMs has travelled every single month to at least one Family Island touching the people and listening to their concerns. He has done the same thing in New Providence, moving diligently into communities spending time with the regular Bahamian people. Who often remarked that they have never seen this before and what type of leader is he to be with the people so early and frequently.
What they do not understand is this is his mantra; his philosophy; that a leaders and MPs are servants of the people and should on a consistent basis seek to keep in touch with the Bahamian people. This is the philosophy that had served him well in his constituency Killarney, where he was the only FNM who actually gained support in the last general elections.
What others also fail to consider is that Dr. Minnis is a self made millionaire. He came from the inner city and would reminisce that he has lived in every over the hill community except for Kemp Road. So if there is any leader or would be leader that can relate to the average Bahamian it is Dr. Minnis. Further, the fact that he has become the success he is; should inspire many young Bahamians throughout the length and breath of this country.
Being the humble leader he is; he has walked and sought to connect and reconnect with the Bahamian people all over the Bahamas. One would think others who wished to be leader would have joined the freedom fighters from around the country as we seek to reconnect and in some instances connect with the Bahamian people. Dr. Minnis has clearly, illustrated that he is man from and off the people and do not see himself as more than anyone else.
He has encouraged his parliamentary team to step out and step up to the plate and represent their shadow portfolios. He has sought to connect with the ‘Cecilites’ and in recent times there has been improvement with those known as ‘Ingrahamites’. He sits comfortably with the youth in the party as he sit with young people he plays dominoes with in our inner city; even today. He has caused for there to be reconstitution of tools long laid down and organisms needed to ensure victory in 2017 and inspired young and old to get involve and be that change.
He has worked assiduously to bring down the large debt left from the immediate past leader of the FNM. Despite all the financial challenges he has kept the National Headquarters afloat and the FNM in the face and hearts of the Bahamian people.
The FNM has held two rallies thus far and both at the National Head Quarters and both very successful; this is notably unusual in opposition politics especially with victimizing and spiteful government.
Today, the FNM is in a far better place than it was in May 8th, 2012, this to the chagrin of the naysayers and in spite off a segment that has pledge to ensure his failure from May 27th, 2012. Associations are becoming increasing active, in fact a meeting was held recently in Englerston and that was the first time in many years including when the FNM was in power.
Last year the FNM held a very successful sports and family day for the very first time in the party’s history and held it in the honour of our fallen National Chairman Charles ‘Charlie’ Maynard. Very recently the FNM held a national fair and despite the and threats of rain it was overwhelmingly successful with thousands of people passing through.
There are those who lurk in the shadows behind pseudonyms and even use carnal tools to get to the right persons in media to seek to destroy Dr. Minnis. Irrespective of their consistent attacks and nonsupport of him from the second he became the leader, like recently departed Mayo Angelo says “Yet He Rises”.
To those who have controlled the organization from the very beginning. You must understand it is a time for a change. Everywhere you go in the country and within the FNM that a change is needed. Those who are found standing against this rising tide will learn a lesson many have leaned during the history of mankind. Dr. Minnis represents that change and thus it is understood the level of frustration for those who see their power and influence slipping away. “Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.” -Napoleon Bonaparte. We understand that there are those who fit in that category and thus we understand the fight.
The FNM is a democratic institution and the most democratic political party in the Bahamas. The leader Dr. Minnis is also a democrat and understanding this has said that convention will come soon enough and whomever wishes to challenge for any position including his is free to do so.
Let it be known that Dr. Minnis has proven to be a deserving leader that has inspired many of us, to believe that we all can do or be anything in the party; if we work for and earn it. As he seeks to build and opportunity society with empowered Bahamians. He, Dr. Minnis, our leader is building an opportunity party of empowered freedom fighters.
It is for this reason so many youthful people are aligning themselves with him and simultaneously the old guard is appreciating the fresh perspective of a modern mature leader. Dr. Minnis is the right person to lead the Free National Movement and come 2017 will be the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.