Rollins takes a jab at BUTLER AND SANDS camp and accuses them of destroying the FNM! Who were the persons in media and former politicians along in the plot?
From: S. André Rollins, M.P.
Re: Where I Stand
Date: August 1, 2016
I wish to publicly congratulate Dr. Hubert Minnis on retaining his post as leader of the Free National Movement. Notwithstanding the regrets I have about how the push for a convention unfolded, about which I will elaborate below, I wish to state for the record that I stand by my decision to join some of my parliamentary colleagues in calling for an early convention.
At a private parliamentary meeting held on the evening of Thursday May 26, I expressed, in the presence of Dr. Minnis, my strong personal views and concerns about the party’s performance under his stewardship and his own personal conduct as leader. It was evident to me that the party desperately needed a shake-up and I believed that holding an earlier convention would achieve this, while allowing more time for the post-convention healing process to take place. I indicated in no uncertain terms that if an earlier convention were not acceded to, I would join those colleagues in writing a letter to the Governor General expressing no confidence in the leader. I take full responsibility for my actions in this regard.
What I will not take responsibility for is the subsequent decision of others to undermine the party’s leader, and by extension the party, by releasing a blistering letter to the Council, enumerating the perceived deficiencies and failings of Dr. Minnis. It most certainly would have been known and expected, due to the party’s recent history of information leaks, that once those views were put in black and white and sent electronically via e-mail, its damning contents would surface in the public domain for all to read. This would not only be harmful to Dr. Minnis, but more importantly to the party’s chances for success in the next election in the event of Dr. Minnis’ return as leader, since the contents of that letter if leaked would dog the party throughout the course of the general election campaign.
The facts are that I was never once consulted about the letter and did not know about its existence until hearing about it on Carlton Smith’s “Let’s Talk Live” talk show on Guardian Radio after it had already been leaked to the press. I proceeded to make inquiries to others about why my name was included on a letter that I knew nothing about and had not made any contribution to. I subsequently received an apology – written and verbal – from Mrs. Loretta Butler-Turner, whom I suspected was intending to once again run for the party’s leadership. However, still privately upset by the lack of respect shown to me, I decided that the best way to respond to her unethical act was to allow her to suffer her own political demise: If she wanted to make her bed hard, then I would get out of her way so that she could lie down in it.
Those who assisted Mrs. Butler-Turner in drafting the letter were clearly executing a scorched earth strategy intended to benefit her ensuing campaign, by wreaking so much havoc that it would be highly unlikely the delegates of the convention would re-elect Dr. Minnis as the party’s leader. Clearly, it had the exact opposite affect, because the only beneficiary of this misguided political strategy is the PLP, who have been generously supplied with an unlimited amount of ammunition to use against the FNM during the upcoming campaign.
Having witnessed the aftermath of her devious plot, I am left to publicly question why Mrs. Butler-Turner would employ such a destructive strategy, which would severely handicap a Minnis-led FNM, if she was only going to cower in the face of the backlash and quit the race anyway? Had the decision been made to allow the concerns and criticisms of Dr. Minnis to remain confined to our private parliamentary meeting, the job of party healing and preparations for the next election would have been made much easier. Instead the party will have to work a minor miracle to convince the electorate that the FNM is unified and worthy of their confidence.
Furthermore, I am baffled as to why someone who drafted a letter intended to publicly eviscerate the party’s leader, would insist on receiving a nomination to run for the party under that same leader, knowing that their presence during the campaign will serve as a constant reminder of the damning contents of the scathing letter that they authored. This recklessness was compounded on Friday past when Mrs. Butler-Turner boldly accused Dr. Minnis – a man who has made stamping out corruption a focal point of his general election campaign – of spearheading a convention filled with corruption and criminality. To my mind, her pursuit of a nomination under Dr. Minnis, following such egregious actions, is both illogical and unacceptable. Endorsing them would amount to political malpractice of the worst kind.
As for me, I shall keep my word and not seek a FNM nomination for the next general elections. Cognizant of the circumstances, I have also invited Dr. Minnis to rescind my appointment as Shadow Minister of National Security. It is my sincere hope that Dr. Minnis emerges from the recent convention more confident and poised, and able to demonstrate the competence required to lead the FNM to victory and our country to prosperity as our next prime minister.