Oswald Brown Writes
By OSWALD T. BROWN
Aside from the possibility that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham personally does not like Vernae Grant, exactly what does Pakeisha Parker Edgecombe bring to the table politically that Vernae Grant did not?
Vernae Grant is a God-fearing Christian woman who provided her Eight Mile Rock constituency in Grand Bahama with excellent representation over the past four-plus years. Indeed, many residents of Eight Mile Rock were stunned when Ingraham decided to eliminate the Eight Mile Rock constituency as one of the six seats Grand Bahama had in the House of Assembly, but they fully expected that Grant would be the nominee for the newly created West Grand Bahama and Bimini seat.
Instead, Ingraham decided to send Grant into retirement after only one term as the representative for Eight Mile Rock, and many Eight Mile Rock voters are still in a state of shock over this decision.
What did Grant do to deserve such disrespect from Ingraham?
The answer is absolutely nothing. She just did not fit into Ingraham’s Master Plan to establish a political dictatorship in The Bahamas similar to the brutal and cruel regime of Haiti’s late notorious despot Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, who ruthlessly ruled Haiti from 1957 until his death in 1971.
In the four-plus years that the FNM has been the government of The Bahamas, Ingraham has had sufficient time to evaluate the elected individuals in is party who would present a problem as far as his dictatorial ambitions are concerned.
Because of her deep-seated religious beliefs, Grant more likely than not was categorized by Ingraham a someone who would not willingly go along with his autocratic ambitions; hence, she had to be sent into retirement.
The minefields that lie ahead for her replacement, Pakeisha Parker-Edgecombe, are obvious. Ingraham has a well established reputation of dealing with his female political colleagues in a particular way, and Parker-Edgecombe will quickly find out that either she follows the programme that Ingraham has planned for her or she will have a very short political life.
It will serve her well if she finds out sooner than later that she made a terrible mistake by allowing Ingraham to hoodwink, bamboozle and coerce her into quitting her job as senior news anchor of ZNS-TV News 13 in Freeport.
She should have known that this decision was quite possibly one of the worst she has made in her still-young life. All the signs were there that this was a bad decision.
First and foremost was that the fact that for the past four-plus years, Ingraham has totally neglected Grand Bahama for personal reasons that made absolutely no sense for the Prime Minister of the country to deliberately make a decision that crippled the economy of Grand Bahama.
In her capacity as the senior news anchor at ZNS-TV News, Parker-Edgecombe had a front-row seat in witnessing the events that unfolded as Grand Bahama’s unemployment rate skyrocketed to higher than 20 percent and its once solid middle class was decimated to the point where the bread winners in many families had to struggle to put food on the table for their children.
Parker-Edgecombe herself was personally affected when Ingraham cancelled the half-hour national news broadcasts of ZNS-TV 13 out of Freeport to spite the Grand Bahama Port Authority, with whom he had been engaged in a bitter dispute since December of 2009 when Ingraham dictatorially refused to renew the work permit of Hannes Babak, the then chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
Yet Parker-Ingraham either failed to recognize that she was threading in dangerous waters politically or she permitted her undeveloped ego to throw caution to the wind and allow Ingraham to temporarily dictate the course of future.
She is an excellent journalist, but I still contend that she made a huge mistake. There is no question in my mind that the PLP will win the next election by a huge margin and she will be one of the losers among Hubert Ingraham’s hand-picked slate of candidates.
As I noted earlier, surely those voters in the West Grand Bahama constituency must be wondering, as I do, exactly what Pakeisha Parker Edgecombe brings to the table politically that Vernae Grant did not.
The answer is clear and simple: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Besides, Obie Wilchcombe, the incumbent PLP Member of Parliament for that constituency, has been an excellent representative for that area and there is no reason why voters should want to replace him.