The surfacing of former three-time Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has altered the political landscape, and in particular, created a background for differing views about leadership styles within the governing Free National Movement.
Make no mistake about it, with Ingraham going public with his views on national issues, there is bound to be a full comparison between the two Huberts, he who took the FNM to the political promised land on the one hand, and the present Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
It looks like Ingraham has drawn a line in the sand. It is a subtle approach, but without a doubt, Ingraham has reached the point of decision to come out, loud, with opinions, opposed to Dr. Minnis. It is an unsettling situation for Dr. Minnis.
Ingraham could be making moves to take his party back.
We don’t know whether he cares to be prime minister again. However, it is clear that Ingraham yearns for a much larger role than he has settled for since his resignation from the party leadership and subsequently the House of Assembly, back in 2012.
Ingraham perhaps feels entitled to more. He probably sees a more substantive enduring role, based on what he has contributed to the history of the FNM. He’ll never be considered the Father of the Free National Movement. The party’s daddy is the late Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield.
However, the man many within the FNM fold lovingly called “Papa” might wish to be recognized as the “Caretaker” of the FNM, the one who keeps the party relevant and positioned at its best level of strength, always. For that to happen, he has to be seen by whomever is the FNM leader, as capable of playing that particular “caretaker” role in a meaningful and not threatening way.
Although there would have been meetings and lesser interactions between the two Huberts, leading up to the successful campaign that brought the FNM back to governance, it has seemed that the two soon became disconnected, politically and personally.
Dr. Minnis understandably wants to establish his own leadership identity and probably can’t see the feasibility of keeping Ingraham too close. So, the situation has gotten to the present stage, whereby Ingraham is speaking out and causing many to question decisions being taken by this FNM Government under Dr. Minnis.
It has indeed come to this, and not, in our view, without Ingraham having thought long and hard about the consequences of a return, on his own volition, back into the political spotlight.
Will he make sporadic ventures, or be consistent?
The future holds that answer.
For now, though, it’s a former prime minister going public on matters than relate directly to the sitting prime minister.
It’s Hubert Ingraham versus Dr. Hubert Minnis!