Wednesday, June 23, 2021


What Cheque? Rolle Denies Any Financial Impropriety

Former Cabinet Minister Lanisha Rolle said a resignation letter released by Cabinet has caused her “hurt and harm.”

During her presentation in the House of Assembly on Tuesday afternoon, Rolle sought to clarify the rumors surrounding her resignation from her ministerial post as Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.

“…I requested further clarification of the statement made by the Cabinet, which incorrectly insinuated that my resignation was as a result of some investigation. The good member for Killarney (Prime Minister Hubert Minnis) to some degree clarified in a public statement to the press that there was no investigation concerning this member. I thank him.

“Sometimes, however, what you give to the world, you can not take back. Appreciating the hurt and harm this has caused me, I do not wish on any other…”

The big story

In February, after Rolle, the only woman minister in the Minnis-led administration, submitted a resignation letter to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, Cabinet soon released a confirmation letter of Rolle’s resignation as Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, stating that, “certain matters have been brought to the attention of the prime minister and are under investigation.”

Rolle was then replaced with Iram Lewis who now serves in the post.

What Lanisha Rolle says

“…No ministry I kept, held money. I want to make that clear because the public seems to think that there was some chest of money that a minister holds…What cheque? Ministers don’t sign cheques. Minister don’t hold cheques…No ministry I kept, held money…” she said.

Rolle said all financial transactions can be verified.

She then asserted that as a woman minister, she was bullied and was not protected.

“But I stood my ground. Even if I stood alone.”

Why it matters

Speculations swirled that Rolle was involved in some impropriety within her ministry, which led many people to believe her resignation was a result of financial wrongdoing.

Since, February, Rolle nor Cabinet has directly stated the reason for her resignation.

Rolle ‘Disappointed’ FNM Did Not Ratify Her. ‘It’s How You Do It,’ She Says

Former Cabinet Minister Lanisha Rolle broke her silence on Tuesday for the first time since the FNM’s decision to not renominate her for the upcoming general election.

During the budget debate, Rolle used the opportunity to set the record straight in regard to the party’s decision to nominate a new candidate for the Sea Breeze constituency, at times scolding the government in its handling of the issue.

In her critique of the government’s handling of her, Rolle said, ” It’s not what you do. It’s how you do it.”

The party recently nominated Maxine Rolle instead for the constituency, which Rolle won in 2017 when she ran on the FNM’s ticket. Rolle has since become a controversial figure within the party with numerous complaints coming from the two ministerial posts she once held–Minister of Social Services and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Rolle said she is disappointed that the party did not renominate her for the 2022 General Election, saying that her interest was to serve the constituents of Sea Breeze.

“Approximately three weeks ago, the Free National Movement chose to ratify another candidate in my stead to contest the upcoming general election. Given the truth of my labour, investment and sacrifice, given the overwhelming support of the Sea Breeze executives up to the time of that decision, and the ongoing support of the Sea Breeze constituents over the last 5 years, this decision and the events leading up to it, is most disappointing,” she said.

She added that her intention was to continue to serve the constituency, however, “the party has its perogative and can exercise its power intrusted in it, and can do as it sees fit.”

“It is well,” Rolle expounded. “My only wish is that your words be guided with the truth.”

Rolle said she received “overwhelming support from the executives of the Sea Breeze constituency” adding that the executives “were all disappointed to see the position the party took, notwithstanding their expressed support” for her.

“I hold no malice or ill-will. I wish the FNM all the best,” she said. But the situation, like many, most unfortunate, in my mind, was distasteful,” she said.

Rolle said when she realized that she was not ratified early like other parliamentarians, she then wrote the party notifying it that she would not seek renomination for 2022.


FNM Ratifies 5 More Candidates

The Free National Movement has ratified five more candidates for the next general election, including two newcomers to politics.

The candidates to receive ratification tonight are Courtney Coulibaly for Centerville, Vandea Stuart for South Abaco, Carlton Bowleg for North Andros and the Berry Islands, Duane Sands for Elizabeth Estates and Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson.

The big picture

The Free National Movement has ratified thirty candidates so far, with a total of eleven new faces for the upcoming election. It remains to seen if controversial parliamentarians like Frederick McAlpine and Lanisha Rolle will be ratified.

FNM candidates ratified to date

  1. Michael Pintard–Marco City
  2. Frankie Campbell–Southern Shores
  3. Iram Lewis–Central Grand Bahama
  4. Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe
  5. Reuben Rahming–Pinewood Gardens
  6. Adrian Gibson–Long Island
  7. Shanendon Cartwright–St Barnabas
  8. Ricky Mackey–North Eleuther
  9. Romauld Ferreira–Marathon
  10. Dionisio D’Aguilar–Free Town
  11. Donald Saunders–Tall Pines
  12. Jeffrey Lloyd–South Beach
  13. Marvin Dames–Mount Moriah
  14. Renward Wells–Bamboo Town
  15. Elsworth Johnson–Yamacraw
  16. Miriam Emmanuel–Mical
  17. Michael Foulkes–Golden Gates
  18. Darren Henfield–North Abaco
  19. Travis Robinson–Bain and Grants Town
  20. Adrian White–St. Anne’s
  21. Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson–Exuma and Ragged Islands
  22. Felicia-Antionette Knowles–Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador
  23. Kenneth ‘Ken’ Smith–Mangrove Cay
  24. Stephen Greenslade–Garden Hills
  25. Brian Brown–Golden Isles


Sands Gets Ratified

Former Minister of Health and Elizabeth Estates MP Duane Sands has been ratified by the Free National Movement to run in the next general election.

Why it matters

As the FNM ratified its candidates, many waited to see if Sands would be ratified, since Sands, in many instances, has publicly opposed the policies of his party such as the Emergency Order.

The big picture

Speculations of an early election swirl as both major political parties ratify candidates.

What he says

Sands revealed the ratification on his Facebook page, stating, “The work continues…”

Sands has posted pictures of his team canvassing the Elizabeth Estates area despite the rumours that he may not receive the renomination.

FNM Pressures Davis to Acknowledge Women Suffered at the Hands of Nygard

The Free National Movement, like many people, is awaiting the opposition’s acknowledgment of its connection to Canadian Fashion Mogul Peter Nygard, who is awaiting trial for alleged sexual assaults against women and underage girls at his Bahamas estate, Nygard Cay.

In a press statement following the PLP’s accusations that the FNM is using Facebook advertisements to attack its credibility, the FNM said, “Davis has a moral obligation to come clean and acknowledge the pain and suffering these women say his top donor caused to so many. Until Davis does, he leaves many Bahamians to wonder who he looks out for, other than himself.”

Why it matters

Jane Doe No. 1 was 14 years old when she says Peter Nygard raped her in 2015. (John Badcock/CBC)
Jane Doe No. 1 tells CBC News, she was 14 years old when Peter Nygard raped her in 2015. (John Badcock/CBC)

A four-part docuseries, Unseamly: The Investigation of Peter Nygard, on Discovery+ recently aired internationally, examining Nygard’s rise to power while highlighting interviews with Peter Nygard’s alleged victims and former employees who reveal dreadful stories about him. One person testified that Nygard collected passports, locked them in rooms with codes, to prevent them from leaving the estate. Watch this link to hear Jane Doe No. 3 describe what happens when she met Peter Nygard when she was 15 years old: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1850004547561

The big picture

Nygard is known as a close friend of the PLP, donating millions of dollars to the party during its time in office in 2012. In fact, a video circulated showing former Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson receiving payments from Nygard which totaled $94,131.10 over an 18-month period.

Nygard’s former videographer Stephen Feralio captures Peter Nygard talking about Perry Christie winning the 2012 Bahamian election on a cellphone. Visit this link to hear Nygard’s reaction to the 2012 election:  https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1850003523643/

What the FNM says

“The alleged victims of Nygard’s abuse deserve justice. All Bahamians deserve to know the true details of how the PLP elite turned a blind eye to the conduct of a man U.S. prosecutors described as a callous, sex trafficking billionaire.

“Clearly Davis’ dismissive attitude towards these serious allegations proves he has a lot to learn about true leadership if he ever hopes to earn the trust of the people to lead our country.”

“Sadly, for Davis, it is relevant to Nygard’s alleged victims – some who claim they were basically locked in cages as their predator, lurked around waiting to abuse them. The Bahamian people deserve answers now. And when members of Davis’ own party admit they benefited indirectly from Nygard’s financial largesse to the PLP for their campaigns, even more questions are raised.

What Davis said in the past

At the release of the docuseries, Davis told the Nassau Guardian that the PLP’s relationship with Nygard in the past.

And back in December when  Davis was asked to offer his commentary on Nygard’s behavior while in the country, Davis said, “Peter, what’s his name?” Davis asked.

“My position in respect to what I heard or [have] not heard about him is that I’m more concerned about what this election is going to be about.

“I’m not concerned about a foreign action that has been brought against a foreign person who may have had an incident in the Bahamas.”

Featured Image: (Submitted to CBC by Stephen Feralio, Nygard’s former videographer)

Minnis Wielding Political Axe in Preparation for 2022 Win

Free National Movement Leader Hubert Minnis said to expect more cuts in the party in the run-up to the 2022 General Election.

“As we evaluate the remaining candidates, there will be a mix of new entrants and incumbents. Some people who ran in 2017 will not run in the next general election,” he said.

Why it matters

Former Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest was not renominated by the party to run on the party’s ticket in 2022.

Since then, other names have swirled on social media of others who may be axed from the ticket.

The big picture

The Progressive Liberal Party and the Free National Movement ratified new candidates for the next general election.

The FNM’s group included 6 new candidates and 11 incumbents, while the PLP ratified 18 candidates for the next general election.

The FNM says its first of the 17 candidates include a mix of experienced individuals and new energy and talent.

What Party Leader Minnis says

  • “We are committed to offering the best team possible for governance.
  • Our party is well advanced in the process of evaluating potential candidates for the remaining constituencies. In the coming weeks, further ratification announcements will be made. These decisions are based on careful consultation and the need for the ongoing renewal of the FNM.
  • Out of respect and courtesy, our party will first privately inform those incumbents who will not be nominated again before we make public announcements.
  • It is our intention to draw on the expertise of some of our former candidates in various ways in the future should the people again give us their confidence as their government.”

PM on the history of the PLP

Hubert Minnis said the two major parties have different visions for the country and the FNM has “acted decisively during the pandemic to save lives and protect the future of Bahamians.”

Minnis said “The PLP opposes the live-saving emergency measures we enacted. Under the PLP’s policies, there would be no clear rules, the virus would spread, and there would be more sickness and death and economic ruin. The PLP is not a trustworthy party to govern The Bahamas.

Minnis reminded Bahamians, “Whenever they (PLP) are in office there are scandals that do damage to the international reputation of the Bahamas.”

PLP Points Finger at FNM After Nygard Jailed for Sex Crimes

FNM Chairman Carl Culmer called on the opposition to publicly address its party’s connection to Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard and join in asking for justice for Bahamian victims affected by the alleged actions of Nygard.  But PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell points a finger at the FNM, alleging Nygard played a role in that party too.

Why it matters

  • Peter Nygard was arrested in Winnipeg, Canada, and is expected to be extradited to the US for sex crimes against Bahamian, American and Canadian women.  On Tuesday, he faced nine counts of racketeering, sex trafficking, and other related crimes.
  • Nygard, who owns a luxury home in Lyford Cay is a known financier of the PLP and alleged to have paid then Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson payments totaling $94,131.10 over an 18-month period. The scandal rocked the party at the 2017 general election.

Pointing Fingers

However, Opposition Chairman Fred Mitchell responded to FNM Chairman Culmer saying Nygard contributed financially to the FNM as well.

Mitchell said, “It is widely known that Peter Nygard, a foreign billionaire, contributed money to the FNM’s political campaign. This means that since the FNM is the Government, they are the ones who have an obligation to address their connections to Mr. Nygard and disassociate themselves from these criminal allegations.

“But the Bahamian people know the FNM very well. In their quagmire of deceit, there is no form of nastiness, filth and degradation to which the FNM will not go; anything to try to win the general election and discredit the PLP,” Mitchell said.

Condolences Pour in After Son of Cabinet Minister Dies

Condolences poured in after a son of Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira was found unresponsive at his home.

Police say shortly after 2 pm on Thursday, they received reports of the incident and upon arrival, they were directed to a room where the teenager was found laying on the floor of the room. EMS was unsuccessful in resuscitating him.

What Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said

“Sonia and I send our deepest condolences to minister Romauld Ferriera and his family on the sudden passing of his teenage son.

“No words seem appropriate in these circumstances and so we send our love and prayers to and for them as they try to come to terms with this tragic loss.

“We encourage persons who may be feeling pressured to take a second look, take a second step back and consider their options,” he said.

“Whether it be financial pressure, emotional pressure or pressure from relatives, there’s always someone they can find to talk to.

What Opposition Leader Philip Davis said

“I join thousands of Bahamians in expressing shock and sadness at the tragic death of the son of a parliamentary colleague, Romauld Ferreira, Minister of Housing and the Environment at the family’s home today.

“As a parent, l imagine that the grief and sadness at the loss of a beloved child must be unspeakable.

“I pray for the Ferreira family that they may find strength, solace and comfort in the midst of this unsettling tragedy. I ask that the nation also pray for them and respect their privacy, allowing them to grieve in private.

What DNA Leader Arinthia Komolafe said

“As a mother, I am heartbroken and saddened by news of the loss of a child. It is a pain that no parent should ever have to bear.

“Tonight, I join the nation as we mourn with our brother, Mr. Romauld Ferreira – Minister of Housing and the Environment.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this dark and difficult time. We extend our deepest condolences and pray for comfort that only God can provide.

Featured Image: Nassau Guardian

Central and South Eleuthera MP Battles COVID-19

Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera Hank Johnson confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19.

In a press release, Johnson said he is hospitalized.

“Today I received test results confirming I have COVID-19. I am currently hospitalized in New Providence.

“I thank the medical staff for their skilled and detailed care of me and all the Bahamians battling this illness.Please keep me and all those in our country afflicted with COVID-19 in your prayers,” Johnson said.

Johnson is one of few politicians who have tested positive for the infectious disease.

On Sunday, PLP Leader Philip Davis and Senator Michael Darville confirmed that they too, tested positive for the virus.

A local daily, Nassau Guardian reported that Davis was set to be airlifted to the United States to be near his daughter who serves as an anesthesiologist and critical care physician.

Davis is said to be experiencing a “slight cough.”

Darville is still believed to be in the care of Doctor’s Hospital.

President of the FNM Women’s Asssociation Vanessa Scott expressed prayers for a complete and speedy recovery of Johnson, Davis and Darville.

“Prayers of healing are also extended to all of those persons afflicted with this enemy as they battle their way back to good health,” she said.