Three Cabinet Ministers threatened to quit over lockdown
Three ministers in the Minnis Cabinet threatened to resign last night over the competent authority’s wildly unpopular decision to shut down New Providence completely for seven days “effective immediately.”
Cabinet insiders tell the Gallery that some ministers were just as blindsided as Bahamians when Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced the weeklong lockdown last night during his national address. Health Minister Renward Wells was one of the few cabinet ministers aware of the lockdown, which would’ve seen residents locked down with no time to prepare.
They were fully prepared to quit their cabinet positions if Minnis did not reverse his decision which would have left some of the island’s most vulnerable without basic necessities. Free National Movement members of parliament caught hell from their constituents today and begged the prime minister to reconsider.
In order to keep his cabinet and his reputation in tact, Minnis lifted the New Providence lockdown Tuesday afternoon under the guise of allowing “Bahamians and residents” to prepare for a weather system that poses a threat by Sunday.
However, the National Emergency Management Agency says it’s too early to tell how much of a threat the storm poses.
“Starting tomorrow, Wednesday 19 August, grocery stores, pharmacies, water depots, gas stations and hardware stores will be allowed to open from 6am to 9pm, until further notice. Food wholesalers and manufacturers will also be allowed to operate during this period,” Minnis said in a statement.
“The National Insurance Board will resume cheque distributions on Wednesday 19 August at the National Stadium.”
Though cheques will be distributed tomorrow, banks are not among the short list of entities allowed to open as of Wednesday. Therefore, the unemployed, elderly, injured and new mothers will have nowhere to cash their cheques.