Majority Rule Day was celebrated on Thursday past, by Bahamians from all persuasions.
It is refreshing that just five years as an official special day, Majority Rule Day is gaining acceptance throughout the land.
Once the date, January 10, was ignored by the Free National Movement (FNM) Governments. Whenever in power, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) had a great ceremonial focus on the date, which marks that social revolution milestone, when the masses of the people took control of their own destinies.
A Black Government was elected on January 10, 1967. Because Black Bahamians made up 85 percent of the population, the political change was regarded as a victory for the Majority. Led by Lynden Pindling, the man to be subsequently regarded as the Father of The Nation, the PLP, was in governance for 25 consecutive years, losing only in 1992 to a Hubert Ingraham-Led FNM.
The irony of the situation was that the Pindling-style leadership, with minor differences, continued even though through another political grouping. It was Pindling who politically mentored Ingraham. The political son had defeated his father.
It apparently was not fashionable for Ingraham to be as enthusiastic about January 10, while leading the FNM which included the strong support of those the PLP had defeated in 1967. So, during three non-consecutive government tenures, with Ingraham in charge, the FNM did not make a big thing of January 10.
However, when the PLP took back the controls of the country in 2012, designating January 10 a public holiday was high on the agenda. That came about in 2014. On that occasion and subsequently until this time, the FNM approached January 10 in a low-key fashion. Even last year, January 10, 2018 was not particularly showcased by the new FNM Government, this time, led by Dr. Hubert Minnis.
However, 2019 has been significantly different.
At an ecumenical service in observation of Majority Rule, there was Prime Minister Dr. Minnis heading the list of dignitaries.
In his national address he declared that: “Majority Rule does not belong to any one political party or segment of our people. It crosses all boundaries of party, economic class, race and gender. Majority Rule belongs to all Bahamians. We should celebrate this day as One Bahamas, as One people, united in love and service to our commonwealth.”
We wholeheartedly support this position. One could make the argument that the PLP was indeed territorial regarding January 10, which resulted in some resistance from those opposed to that political party.
There still seems to be a separation of sorts between the two major political parties regarding Majority Rule Day. Perhaps Dr. Minnis will be able to complete the One Bahamas transformation for Majority Rule Day.
Maybe in January 2020, at the ecumenical service in unity, will be the leaderships and colleagues of both the Government and Official Opposition, warmly celebrating as one.