This past Saturday night, the Free National Movement had a strong presence in Abaco. Led by Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, party officials converged on Abaco to pledge support and endorse a new candidate.
Darren Henfield has been ratified to seek a seat in the constituency once served in the House of Assembly by former three-time Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, as a Member of Parliament, representing the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the FNM
On Saturday, Dr. Minnis spoke to a large gathering. Following, is his address in full:
“Fellow F-N-Ms, North Abaco:
It is always good to be here in North Abaco, which includes the good people of Grand Cay to Coopers Town, Crown Haven, Dundas Town and Fox Town.
We are here tonight to officially launch Darren Henfield.
Last night we officially launched James Albury.
We are going to win South Abaco and we are going to take back North Abaco.
Twin delivery is on the way. As an obstetrician/gynaecologist I need your help with these deliveries. Abaco will you help me?
I’m back here for a second time asking for your support.
Things have changed since we last met.
The PLP has been a total disaster.
More importantly, the FNM is going to be the next government of The Bahamas.
I want you with the FNM when we win.
You know well that the FNM has been good to North Abaco, and to all of Abaco.
Remember during the by-election when the PLP promised plenty and more to you.
Just like always, they delivered precious little.
As soon as the election was over, the PLP didn’t even look back for North Abaco.
Most people even forget that Renardo Curry is in the House. A church mouse makes more noise than him. I reminded Renardo two weeks ago that he had borrowed my seat and within seven weeks he will be forced to leave. His time is up.
The PLP will offer plenty talk and promises to North Abaco in the weeks and months ahead.
Don't let them fool you all over again. Run them out of town.
They are a very neglectful group in the PLP. They don’t mean you any good.
They will take your vote and give you nothing in return. They will give you more of the same.
In the FNM we are different.
We are agents of reform. We are agents of change.
FNMs, North Abaco:
This is a change election!
It is time to move The Bahamas in a new direction because, “It’s the People’s Time.”
The FNM is offering change. The PLP is offering more of the same; same faces; same tired policies; same tired excuses for their failures.
The FNM is offering a dynamic team of new faces and talent.
We are offering bold new policies, like a revolution in renewable energy, which will make a world of difference in Family Islands like Abaco.
God gave The Bahamas plenty days of sunshine.
It is my mission to lead the charge for a revolution in solar power.
We will launch a solar power initiative that will help thousands of Bahamians to power their homes and businesses with solar energy.
Change is coming to The Bahamas.
For the first time in decades both of the FNM candidates in Abaco will be new faces.
What we’re doing in Abaco, we’re doing all over The Bahamas.
When he first came to office in 1992, Hubert Ingraham, the son of Cooper’s Town and the grandson of Prince and Elizabeth Cornish née Cooper, led a period of reform and modernization.
For this the country owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude.
Tonight, I salute Hubert Alexander Ingraham for all he has done for the people of Abaco and for all of the Bahamian people.
In this spirit, it is my intention to lead a new era of reform and modernization for the 21st Century Bahamas.
I will be a change agent, in areas such as education and empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs.
I want to help thousands of young Bahamians to launch their own small businesses and micro-enterprises.
Change is coming to The Bahamas.
Our country desperately needs change. We desperately need a new direction.
One of our change agents is Darren Henfield, the FNM candidate for North Abaco.
Darren Henfield is our standard bearer for North Abaco.
Darren brings experience in the field of national security, having served in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force for many years. His experience will be very important as we fight illegal migration and better protect our borders from illicit drugs, poaching, gun smuggling and human trafficking.
Darren is also an attorney and has served in the Office of the Attorney General. Darren has considerable professional training. He has a Master’s Degree in Security Studies and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of the West Indies. He did a Special Duties Officers’ Course at the Britannia Royal Naval College in the U.K.
You will be proudly served in the House of Assembly and at the national level by an officer and a gentleman like Darren Henfield.
He is but one example of the high caliber of candidates the FNM is running in the general election. I need Darren. The Bahamas needs Darren. Give me Darren. FNM’s will you give me Darren?
Perry Christie and the PLP can’t even get a Boundaries Commission Report out on time. This is the second time that Christie has breached the Constitution in being late in submitting the Boundaries Report. If the PLP can’t handle a matter as relatively simple as this, they can’t manage the complex business of government.
The Baha Mar disaster was caused by Christie and the PLP.
They can’t handle anything big and they can’t handle anything small because they too busy looking after themselves.
If they can’t take care of government business in Nassau, you know they can’t take care of your problems and business in Abaco.
The PLP have neglected the educational needs of the youth of Abaco.
We need to do a comprehensive assessment of the educational needs in Abaco, including staffing, facilities and curriculum, especially for high school. This will include looking at the needs of Abaco Central High.
We intend, over time, to transform teaching and learning in the government-operated school system with an emphasis on hands-on and experience-based learning.
On behalf of the FNM, I have already committed to easing the access of education at the tertiary level for all qualified Bahamians from the Family Islands by underwriting the costs providing suitable living accommodations for qualified students from areas such as North Abaco. We will also provide a monthly stipend for those students from the family Islands including Abaco.
One of my key initiatives will be a program for young Bahamians, like young people in North Abaco who want to become entrepreneurs.
I want to take those millions spent on Carnival and invest those funds to empower a new generation of young entrepreneurs.
We will launch a major youth entrepreneurship program that will help to develop the skills of thousands of young entrepreneurs.
We will help to equip thousands with business and management skills, such as how to save and handle money; how to re-invest and scale-up their business; how to market their products and services.
I may not have all of Christie’s fancy talk. But I know how to get things done. Christie is a talker.
I am a doer.
Christie is a show horse who likes to prance and dance and show off and look pretty.
I am a work horse who gets the job done!
I am 10 times more organized than Christie and I am a man who believes in being on time.
Christie doesn’t respect time.
As your prime minister, I will respect and not waste your time.
I will always remember that I’m dealing with the people’s time.
Crime has gotten so bad in Nassau that even Perry Christie is calling our nation’s capital the Wild West.
2017 has started off as bloody year.
Seven people were murdered last weekend alone.
There was a new murder record on the PLP’s watch.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is now being called on to help in the battle against crime, a battle the PLP claimed it was winning.
The PLP was bragging just last year about their success in fighting crime.
The New Year tells an entirely different picture.
Abaco, let me remind you of something Perry Christie once said at a PLP rally. He said:
“ … No Government anywhere in the world has the right to brag about anything if it fails to deliver on the most fundamental need that every individual and every family has: the need to feel safe and secure in your own home and on your own streets and on your own job. “
Christie went on to say:
“If you can’t deliver that, if you can’t provide safety and security and peace of mind, you can have no bragging rights about anything else.”
Christie is the biggest hypocrite in The Bahamas.
Having failed miserably to make The Bahamas safer and more secure, he has, according to his own words, no right to brag about anything.
When you look around Abaco, from north to south and throughout the cays, there is no doubt about the good record of the FNM.
Over three terms in office, the FNM helped to dramatically transform Abaco.
If it was up to the PLP, Abaco would look the same way it did back in the 1970s.
It is the FNM that spent scores of millions upgrading the infrastructure of Abaco, beginning with health care facilities in North Abaco after Hubert Ingraham became prime minister.
The Marsh Town International Airport is one of the best airports in the region.
We built the new Government Complex to house services you used to fly to Nassau to get. We put in infrastructure that improved the lives of thousands of Abaconians. The FNM will address several issues of great importance to you.
The FNM will continue the infrastructural works commenced or under the last FNM administration, including shoring-up the eroding shorelines along the low lying northern coastlines of North Abaco.
We know there is the need to erect a proper bridge between Little and Great Abaco.
There is a need to remediate the deteriorating conditions of the roads, including in Green Turtle Cay.
Proper playgrounds and sporting facilities are needed for the children and young people of North Abaco.
An FNM government will make available Crown Land grants to qualified Bahamians, including in Abaco, who are now unable to acquire property due to the high cost of land and other impediments.
The empowerment realized through land ownership will have multiple benefits.
I am also aware of the need for better industrial and labour relations between Bahamian employees and non-Bahamian employers in a number of hotel and other enterprises in North Abaco.
The FNM will fix this.
We need to also look into more training and apprenticeship opportunities for Bahamians.
As I said to the people in South Abaco last night, I am very aware of the urgency of completing the Abaco hospital, which is a source of great frustration.
Abaconians desperately need it to open, and need it to have the proper facilities, including emergency and maternity care. You also need a proper morgue.
The cays are also in need of having a scheduled government doctor to visit the people in these communities.
As a former Minister of Health, I know about getting things done in health care in The Bahamas.
The doctor is in the house, and this doctor will serve you well in government.
The FNM will also further empower Local Government as a true partner in decision-making and in helping to meet the needs of the people of Abaco.
Change is coming to Abaco.
FNMs, North Abaco:
I need everyone listening to me tonight to go out and personally help to register as many people as possible.
The FNM is the only party that can defeat the PLP, and mount an effective government.
Don’t mind all the noise from other places.
If you want to get rid of the PLP you have to vote FNM.
A vote for the DNA is a vote for the PLP.
IF YOU GO TO BED WITH THE DNA YOU WILL WAKE UP WITH CHRISTIE.
The last time people voted for the DNA, we got Christie and the PLP.
Neither the country nor Abaco can take five more years of hell from the PLP.
Vote FNM! We are the only party who can rescue the country from the hell of the PLP.
Let me say this again: If you vote DNA, then the PLP will walk right back in.
Send Darren Henfield to the House of Assembly. He will be a fierce advocate for the people of South Abaco.
Change is coming to The Bahamas. Abaco needs to be a part of this change.
Thank you and God bless our Bahamaland.”
Published Monday, February 20, 2017