Facebook reminds Jeff Lloyd of FNM failed promises
Exactly four years ago, then Free National Movement candidate Jeff Lloyd posted on Facebook “six commitments” the FNM government would fulfill within weeks of coming to office.
However, Facebook’s “Memories” feature reminded the now Education Minister that the Minnis Administration has failed to deliver on any of those promises, four years later.
On April 4, 2017, the notoriously arrogant Lloyd said, “Let me be as clear as the day is bright, the FNM government will enact “fixed election dates; a constitutional referendum on a two-term limit for the prime minister; constitutional referendum to enshrine an independent Boundaries Commission; introduction of meaningful, authoritative local government in New Providence; creation of tax-free zones for micro to medium-sized businesses in the inner city; the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Unit headed by a Corruption Tsar with independent legal authority.”
Four years later, none of those pipe dreams have come true.
When pressed by reporters on his promises for a fixed election date, two terms for a prime minister and an independent Boundaries Commission, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has arrogantly stated he has another five-year term to deliver on those promises.
Additionally, Dr. Minnis won’t even allow the current Constituencies Commission to do its work.
Minnis has said publicly there will be no changes to electoral boundaries before the next general election despite a desire by the Constituencies Commission to add five more constituencies to allow for the equal distribution of voters in the various constituencies.
As for the introduction of local government in New Providence, the Local Government Advisory Committee was formed to make recommendations on the roll-out of local government in the capital but their report was shoved to the back of a dusty shelf by then Local Government Minister Renward Wells, who expressed concern that the proposal for the implementation of local government on New Providence could give local government leaders too much power.
The closest the Minnis Administration came to fulfilling any of the six “commitments” listed by Lloyd was the creation of tax free zones. However, residents of the inner city say they are not benefiting from the initiative.
Asked if she believes the government is doing enough to protect the poor, Henrietta Major, 73 said, “That man (Minnis) is only talking. He’s only talking to show off himself. He isn’t trying to help anyone or at least make it easy for us to make ends meet. He’s jiving. He needs to walk around this area and see what’s really going on, and how people are really living every day because I don’t think he knows. It’s rough.”
As for the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Unit headed by a Corruption Tsar, the FNM government made it a priority to create an Anti-Corruption Unit whose sole objective was to target its political opponents.
Former PHA Chairman Frank Smith and former cabinet ministers Ken Dorsett and Shane Gibson were all arraigned on trumped up bribery charges that did not hold up in court. Smith and Gibson were acquitted while Dorsett’s trial is still pending.
No Corruption Tsar was ever appointed to head the unit, which fell under the portfolio of then Assistant Commissioner Paul Rolle who was rewarded for his role in the men’s persecution by being appointed Commissioner of Police.
The unit never displayed one iota of “independence” as National Security Minister Marvin Dames met with the key witness in the Frank Smith trial at his constituency office, called her on numerous occasions and police swapped the woman’s phone records with Frank Smith’s to make it appear as if he was calling her when in fact she was constantly calling him. That same witness, Barbara Hanna, also received a $1.2 million dollar cleaning contract from the Public Hospitals Authority by then Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands.
In the case of Gibson, lead prosecutor Debra Thompson illegally brought together the prosecution’s two main witnesses and their attorneys to iron out “inconsistencies” in their statements. Thompson has since been promoted.
Since the unit’s creation, allegations have also been made against several key members of the FNM. However, those claims were never investigated by the Anti-Corruption Unit.
So much for being independent. So much for the FNM government’s “six commitments.”