Why is the Former Minister with responsibility for NIB so quiet these days – what happened to talk of GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE? – So what did happen at NIB under your watch?
Nassau, Bahamas — Before our revelations on NIB in June this year and again in September, we warned the Bahamian people that something had gone terribly wrong at NIB.
By Nov. 11th, Bahamas Press was ready to present the first shoe, and more than one month ago we had more to tell on hefty executive bonuses paid out to some 8 executives at the National Insurance Board.
We painted the picture that amidst this Corporate Heist was a Bonnie and Clyde, perhaps an Al Capone in the midst of the troubles surrounding the country’s social security scheme. But who believed us?
Since 2009 Bahamas Press has raised the matter on NIB repeatedly, publishing a 6 – part series outlining egregious episodes of ‘Corporate Malfeasance’ at the Board, which never drew the attention of the former Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Hubert Alexander Ingraham.
Ingraham, you would remember, served as Minister for NIB in his last government and assumed absolute control of the Corporation.
In fact, we are reminded of a meeting in 2009, where he repeated how he was to have a meeting with the “Director at 5pm today”, after questions bombarded Parliament over concerns at the National Insurance Board.
Mr. Ingraham never returned to Parliament with the details of that meeting, but one can assume perhaps, just maybe, they discussed executive bonuses – but guess what – Ingraham will not tell.
The growing silence by the former Prime Minister, who only a week before the revelations of bonuses at NIB came to light, was heard all over the media – boasting of his appointment of Algernon Cargill to the Board and concluding what a fine job he did.
Mr. Ingraham told the Guardian “I hired Cargill”, but now that the manure has hit the fan, Ingraham has gone mute. As if he knows something he wishes the public not to hear from his lips. Silent like a church mouse and speechless like a papa clown gone dumb.
Hubert Ingraham has nothing to say on NIB – a public entity he managed, overlooked, and took under his portfolio while he served as Prime Minister.
Politicians always describe Parliament as one “slippery place” and Hubert Ingraham knows when the floor is wet when to walk. He knows if he says he agreed for the bonuses paid to Cargill, which ballooned his salary three times that of the Prime Minister and all of 16 Senators – no one would believe him.
Mr. Ingraham also knows if says he never knew of the bonuses at NIB, the general public will rake him over the coals. He knows the thought of him not knowing would suggest that he ran the slackest ship ever in the history of the country, and that he clearly has lost the fire.
And if he continues to be mute on the NIB fiasco, Ingraham must accept that he completely and absolutely did not live up to the virtues he professed to have introduced to Bahamian politics when he ascended to political power in 1992.
Many would remember his echos of “Government in the Sunshine” when he was elected Prime Minister of the Bahamas.
In fact this year, on May 26th during his farewell speech, Hubert Ingraham was echoing the same when he said, “1992 ushered in a new era in which The Bahamas moved beyond the promise of nationhood to its fulfillment. We turned away from a culture of privilege and introduced the era of Government in the Sunshine, government committed to accountability and transparency in all its dealings.”
Government in the Sunshine Ingraham promised, BUT DID HE DELIVER?
Perhaps Mr. Ingraham could remove the dark veils of secrecy down at NIB and as the former Minister he could shed some light on all that darkness for the Bahamian people!
Will Hubert Ingraham break his silence on NIB and share what he knew?
We shall wait and see…