Gray: Shame on Minnis for deceitful Mayaguana comments
Former MICAL MP V. Alfred Gray is calling out Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis over “deceitful” comments he made regarding a deal between the Christie Administration and the I-Group for a project on Mayaguana.
“Let me be very clear for all to hear. This Government will not grant a free-trade zone in Andros,” Minnis said during a national address today.
“Nor will we alienate or sell-off vast tracts of Bahamas land as a previous PLP administration allowed in Mayaguana, when 10,000 acres was alienated to a foreign group,” Minnis added.
Gray labeled this comment a mistruth by Minnis.
“The prime minister said that the former PLP government gave away 10,000 acres of land in Mayaguana to a foreign company. That is a lie,” said Gray.
“The prime minister knows it is a lie and if he does not know, shame on him because the report is there for him to read, if he dares to do so, and understand it or ask some of his people to explain it to him,” he added.
Gray said the truth is that the former government formed a company which was half-owned by the I-Group and half-owned by the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas.
“It was the Mayaguana Development Company. The government was to put in the crown land and the investor was to put in the money to develop certain areas of Mayaguana,” Gray explained.
The last Ingraham administration signed a revised Heads of Agreement for the $1.8 billion Mayaguana-based I-Group project in February 2012.
The original deal was signed under the first Christie administration in 2006.
The first phase of the I-Group’s Mayaguana development called for the construction of an airstrip to accommodate Dash 8 traffic, and an airport terminal.
“You may criticize the government for seeking to bring development to Mayaguana, that’s fine. You have a right to do that but to, on a blessed Sunday, lie to the Bahamian people and call it a giveaway to a foreign company, it’s not right, Prime Minister,” he added.
Gray declared it is not like the Oban deal that Minnis had signed at his office with “big fanfare in the dark of night” when embattled non-executive Chair Peter Kreiger signed another person’s name on the Heads of Agreement.
Minnis later called it a ceremonial signing.
Regarding a proposal for the North Andros Green Free Trade Zone, which has sparked controversy, Gray said Minnis is offended “because it was exposed before you had a chance to sign the deal in the dark of night”.
Gray said Minnis has started his campaign on a deceitful note.
He urged the prime minister to be the bigger man, come clean and apologize.