Saturday, February 27, 2021


Davis Tweets That Nygard Allegations Are “Extremely Serious”

Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Philip Davis says the allegations against Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard “should be pursued to the full extent of the law.’

Though not in an official statement, Davis used Twitter to express the seriousness of the charges against Nygard.

Davis said he, “hope[s] the women involved receive justice.”

Why it matters

The Free National Movement has called on the PLP to publicly condemn the actions of billionaire Nygard who is known to be a major financier to the party and caused quite a stir in the 2017 elections when documents circulated showing that Nygard sent 94,131.10 to the account of the former Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson.

The big picture

Peter Nygard was arrested in Winnipeg, Canada, and is expected to be extradited to the US for sex crimes against fifty-seven women from the  Bahamas, the U.S., and Canada. On Tuesday, he faced nine counts of racketeering, sex trafficking, and other related crimes.

What the women say in a lawsuit filed in the U.S Court

According to the Guardian in the UK:

  • Nygard drugged the women to ensure they met his sexual demands.
  • Nygard targetted women from disadvantaged backgrounds or who had suffered abuse.
  • Nygard referred to his victims as “girlfriends” and took them to swingers clubs where they had sex with other men.
  • The victims were alleged to be 14 or 15 years old when Nygård gave them alcohol or drugs and then raped them.
  • He bribed Bahamian officials to recruit victims in the Bahamas, US and Canada.
  • Victims’ passports were taken from them when they arrived in the Bahamas and “expected a sex act before he was willing to consider releasing any person” from his estate.

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

Moultrie in Spat With Davis Denies Reports of Minnis Acting Like a ‘Demigod’

House Speaker Halson Moultrie  said the media reports that he referenced the competent authority as a “demigod,” is “false.”

Moultrie’s comments came in the House of Assembly on Thursday during the debate on the extension of the emergency order to January 31.

Opposition Leader Philip Davis while arguing against the renewed emergency order, said it gave the impression that Prime Minister Hubert Minnis was someone of divine status.

Davis said, “There is a view emerging that the member (competent authority) might be a demigod.”

The issue is, the label “demigod” was attributed to Moultrie as reporters spoke to him on the sideline of a constiutency event. Moultrie then called for the autonomy of Parliament, which he believes is held hostage by Cabinet.

He told reporters at the time, “We have developed situations where the leader or the prime minister in these jurisdictions can function like a demigod–like a person who is maximum leader, a person who could dictate.”

When PLP Leader Philip Davis used the term to describe Minnis in the House, Moultrie then presumed that Davis was underhandedly using the words attributed to him as quoted in the newspaper, to describe the competent authority.

Moultrie said, “You are sliding down a slippery slope. It is clear what the honorable member for Cat Island and San Salvador is attempting to do. And what you are attempting to do, you are trying to attribute something to a member in this parliament (Moultrie himself) that was falsely reported in the newspaper. And so I would advise you to…

Davis then interrupted and said, “I said emerging. I never attributed that comment to anyone. I didn’t ask. I said a view is emerging that the member may be a demigod. I attributed that to no one.”

“If you feel as if I’m talking about what you have been saying, that’s not it.”

Many Bahamians have expressed issue with the competent authority as they say he is operating without the consent of the Cabinet and solely by his own authority.

Former Central and South Eleuthera MP Dies at 83

Former Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera in the PLP administration died on Monday evening following a long bout of illness. James Oswald Ingraham was 83-years-old.

Photo credit: Caribbean Elections

Who was Oswald Ingraham?

  • Ingraham was born June 24, 1937, to Samuel and Marion Ingraham in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera.
  • In his youth, in the early 1950s he accepted a position of messenger and became the first black employee at Barclays Bank in Eleuthera.
  • A former Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera, as well as former Speaker of the House of Assembly, and Deputy Governor-General between 2012 and 2017 for the Progressive Liberal Party.
  • Ingraham served as a representative for Central and South Eleuthera for ten years, starting at the age of 64, entering the seat during the 2002 national elections.
  • A native of Tarpum Bay, South Eleuthera representing the area in the House of Assembly as the representative for South Eleuthera from 2002 and 2012.
  • He served as the Speaker of the House of Assembly from 2002 to 2007.
  • In the early 1980s, he purchased a parcel of land in Tarpum Bay and eventually constructed a resort complex, becoming a successful businessman in the tourism and hospitality industry.
  • He is survived by his wife Marie and his children, Terry, Dwight, Wayne, Jackie, Wendy and Velma.

What Opposition Leader says about Ingraham’s death

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of a good friend, a parliamentary colleague and businessman, Oswald Ingraham.
“An ardent supporter of the progressive movement, Oswald was fair in his rulings as Speaker and always protected the rights of the Opposition, allowing them to have their say when the governing caucus would eventually have their way.
“Oswald Ingraham lived a full life and made his contributions to The Bahamas in both the private and public sectors. We thank him for his service as he transitions into eternity. Death is not a full stop, but a mere comma in the sentence of life, therefore, Oswald may be absent in the flesh but present in the spirit as he lives on in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved him.”
Featured image: Bahamas local

PM and Cabinet Mulling Over Turnquest’s Future

As calls for the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister PeterTurnquest grow louder, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis says Cabinet is deliberating that decision.

Why it matters

The Minister of Finance is accused of fraud and a writ as since been filed in the Supreme Court alleging “bogus loans” when he was director and manager of Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight, which was owned by a former business partner Randy Butler.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis says the resignation is being discussed in Cabinet

When asked by reporters to respond to calls by the opposition for the minister to resign and an official investigation be launched in the case, Minnis said, “It’s a court matter right now and Cabinet is deliberating on it. We will get back to you as soon as Cabinet completes our deliberations and discussions.”

What Opposition Leader Philip Davis says

Opposition leader Philip Davis said he awaited a response from Minnis on the matter while calling for Turnquest to resign. He said, “First, the Prime Minister must be reminded that he has a duty to act when his ministers refuse to take the honourable course.”

Davis said if Turnquest does not resign willingly, then Minnis must fire Turnquest.

Attorney John Wilson says no reason to resign

Attorney John Wilson, QC, says not so fast. He said he sees no reason for Turnquest to resign considering the writ is only an allegation, which he called, “uncalled” and “untested.”

“I really see no justification why anyone should resign over simple allegations in a writ of summons because that is all it is, allegations,” he tells Eye Witness News.

“It has not been tested in a court of law and it has not been subjected to any sort of proof; not to mention the fact that from what I have seen, and I can only opine as to what I have seen and circulating on social media, so I say this with this caveat.

“The minister has not been named in these proceedings at all.

“And having not been named in the proceedings, I don’t quite understand why his name featured so prominently in the allegations in the writ itself.

“One would have thought that if there was a case to be made against him, he ought to have been made a party to proceedings.”

Premature US Election Call? But Minnis and Davis Send Congratulations Anyway

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and Opposition Leader Philip Davis quickly extended congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris after news media announced Biden as President-elect after he passed the 270-mark required to win the election. But is it premature?

The big picture

It is not clear who is the winner of the US presidential election as counting continues, recounting is required due to close margins and allegations of fraud and election irregularities and tabulation will be presented to the Supreme Court to decide.

What has Hubert Minnis said?

In a press statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, Hubert Minnis sends a letter to Biden saying, “The Bahamas and the United States have enjoyed long-standing, warm, friendly and historic relations.”

He continues, “I extend my best wishes to you for a successful administration and I am very confident that the warm and friendly relations existing between our two governments and peoples will not only continue but will be further strengthened.”

What has Philip Davis said?

PLP Leader was the first to congratulate Joe Biden publicly saying, “In voting in such record numbers, we applaud the American people for reaffirming the democratic ideals of Thomas Jefferson and recognize that the will of the people has been freely and fully expressed.”

Davis continues, “The PLP looks forward to working with the new administration on a number of national and regional issues of mutual concern and interest.”

What has GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said?

The Republican Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said not yet. She said the media does not decide the winner of the election, adding that voters are the deciders of the outcome of the election. McDaniels argued, “In multiple states, the margins are razor-thin with counting ongoing, several of which are headed for recounts.”

In Pictures: Former Parliamentarian Darrell Rolle Lies in State

Governor-General and parliamentarians gathered in Rawson Square to honour the life of Former Parliamentarian, Hon. Darrell E. Rolle. The national flag was presented to the family. Hon. Darrell Rolle lies-in-state in the foyer of the House of Assembly.

Who is he?

  • A former cabinet minister in the Pindling administration.
  • Darrell Rolle died at his home at 77 years of age.
  • He represented the Mangrove Cay constituency in Andros from 1971 until his retirement in 1997.
  • He was elected to the House of Assembly at age 28 after a bye-election.
  • Rolle served as minister of transport, minister of home affairs, minister of labour, minister of education and culture, and minister of works and utilities, among other posts.
  • Rolle’s last appointment was minister of national security, a position he held from 1990 until August 1992, when the PLP was voted out of office.

(BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna and Letisha Henderson)

Why Davis Says Govt Should Shut-Up and Pay Water Company After Eleuthera Shutdown

PLP leader Philip Davis said it is regrettable that businesses and homes in Eleuthera went without water for about three days due to the government’s negligence. He said the government must pay its bill to prevent disconnection from the water company Aqua Design.

The Big Picture

The government of the Bahamas and Aqua Design are in a payment dispute as government owes nearly $30.8 million to vendors and suppliers, of which a portion was due to Aqua Design at the end of August, this year, according to the Tribune.

Aqua Design has almost nine contracts to supply water throughout the islands, including Inagua, San Salvador and Eleuthera, contracts awarded and signed by the last PLP administration.

What the disconnection means

More than 2000 residents were without water during a COVID-19 period when they are encouraged to maintain proper hygiene amid the spread of the virus.

Areas affected

  • Governor’s Harbour
  • Palmetto Point
  • James Cistern
  • Savannah Sound
  • Windermere Island

How was the water turned back on?

An injunction was filed in the Supreme Court, ordering that the water be turned back on for residents. Government, before the injunction, paid 4 million dollars this year, on its debt owed to Aqua Design. The water company had previously warned that it would disconnect supply to the Family Islands where it operates.

Works Minister Desmond Bannister calls Aqua Design “greedy”

He said the company “could have waited, but they are greedy and we have to deal with greedy people.” He added that the contracts the company signed are one-sided in their favour which “no thinking government would have signed.”

Philip Davis, former Minister responsible for water, says shut-up and pay the debt

Philip Davis, who would have had a hand in awarding the contracts to Aqua Design said the government should stop the finger-pointing and pay Aqua Design.

“The question to the government is very simple. Did the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) pay its bills to the water supplier and if not, is the supplier justified in turning off the water supply for nonpayment just as the government has disconnected the water and power supplies to thousands of its customers for nonpayment?

“The government must lead by example and pay its bills just as it demands payments from its utility customers.”

As Cabinet Quarantines, House Continues Emergency Order to November 30

The House of Assembly passed the resolution to extend the state of emergency to November 30. The resolution passed, with 14 ‘yes’ votes and zero ‘no’ votes.

Although Opposition Leader Brave Davis and Former Health Minister Duane Sands made presentations during the debate and opposed the extension, they were absent in the House during the voting process.

Also absent in the House of Assembly were Cabinet ministers with the exception of Minister Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield and Minister of State for Disaster and Reconstruction Iram Lewis who were not present when other members were exposed to Works Minister Desmond Bannister.

Bannister tested positive for COVID-19 last week. He remains asymptomatic.

In his presentation, Sands said Cabinet should have stopped meeting in Charlotte’s House building for meetings, even opposing the meeting of Parliament during these periods. He, like House Speaker Halson Moultrie, advocate for virtual meetings or a larger setting that accommodates social distancing.

Cabinet ministers are quarantined for 14-days, beginning from the point of exposure to November 4th.

What’s Going on in the Bahamas and Why People Oppose Intended Continuation of Order

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis proposes an extension of the emergency order to November 30th.

He announced the possible extension in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, which will be debated at the next sitting of the House.

Why is it still necessary?

The order has been extended numerous times since its implementation in March. And since then, COVID-19 cases have risen exponentially in the country.

Grand Bahama and Bimini have seen cases lowered as a result of the order, but New Providence and Abaco have seen a surge.

Presently, there are nearly 6000 cases in the country, of which, over 2,000 are active, the majority in New Providence.

There are 124 total COVID-19 deaths.

Health Minister Renward Wells said for the past 30 days, the country has averaged 1.5 COVID-19 deaths each day.

The emergency order has allowed government to place stricter measures on New Providence and Abaco since October 9, with the resumption of a daily curfew of 7pm to 5am and a two-week 24-hour weekend curfew beginning Fridays at 7pm and ending Mondays at 5am.

The PLP and some people oppose the continuation of the Order

PLP Leader Philip Davis said his party will not throw its support behind the government as it “control[s] the lives of Bahamians.”

He calls it “proclamation fatigue.”

Davis believes Dr Minnis “is trying the same old methods, as “the numbers keep going up in deaths and infections.”

“The Prime Minister does the same old things.

“The Bahamas has recorded more COVID-19 positive cases in the past few days than Barbados has recorded since the pandemic began in March of this year.

“We must change course,” Davis said.

Some people have taken to social media to voice frustration with the intended Order extension.

One frustrated social media user said, “Every time I look, this man want an extension. We will soon have to run away from this country and seek asylum somewhere else.”

Finnel Williams addressed Minnis, “You had 7 months. Why are you still repaating the same speech you did in March.”

Princess Bethel said the country should simply adjust and “live with” the virus.”

She said, “If the Bahamas leaders don’t learn to live with COVID, we gonna be in trouble, cause we’ll be lockdown forever.”

However, some people like Ozzie Poitier supports the move saying other counties have had to implement strict measures as the virus surges. He tells fellow users, “It’s clear yall ain’t see what’s going on in other countries and what their leaders are doing.”