Oswald Brown Writes
By OSWALD T. BROWN
Here’s a question: Isn’t it incredibly ludicrous that the exciting nomination process in Grand Bahama, the island with the second highest population in The Bahamas, received absolutely no coverage at all on ZNS televised national news on Tuesday or even Wednesday night when the national station provided coverage of nominations in North Eleuthera?
Obviously, the main reason for this is that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, for “officially stated” reasons that make absolutely no sense, decided to cancel the national broadcasts of ZNS News-13 local Grand Bahama news because it was claimed that at $70,000 annually they were too costly. That’s less than the annual salary of one of the ministers in his over-bloated Cabinet.
Of course, there is a body of opinion that the real reason Mr. Ingraham cancelled national broadcasts of ZNS-News 13 out of Grand Bahama was to spite Sir Jack Hayward, co-owner of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), with whom he was embroiled in a bitter dispute at the time over Mr. Ingraham’s denial in December of 2009 of a work permit for Hannes Babak, the then chairman of the GBPA. It was clear that Mr. Ingraham’s primary motive for taking this vindictive action was to downgrade the importance of Freeport as the second most populous city in the country.
However, even though the national news out of Grand Bahama was cancelled, in the “Around the Family Islands” segment of the national news Tuesday night, voters around The Bahamas certainly should have seen what transpired in Grand Bahama when candidates nominated, but again absolutely nothing was shown.
In fact, residents of Grand Bahama who tuned into ZNS-TV 13 for the local news at 6:30 p.m. were disappointed to discover that the newscast had been postponed to 10:30. No explanation has yet been given by ZNS locally in Freeport for this unbelievable change.
I’m a suspicious persons when I can’t make sense of events occurring around me, but I have the highest respect for the persons involved in gathering and presenting the news at ZNS-TV 13 in Freeport, so I shall not accuse them of being complicit in any conspiratorial behavior to not air nationally the groundswell of support incumbent Member of Parliament for West End and Bimini, Obie Wilchcombe, had when he arrived to be nominated.
Certainly, it would seem to me that it should not have been that difficult for ZNS-TV 13 to send an edited version of Nomination Day in Grand Bahama to be included in the national news. But for the rest of the country to not be given an idea of what took place in Grand Bahama on Nomination Day is preposterous.
It would seem that now that he has his hand-picked group of puppet candidates running in Freeport, Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham is trying to control their exposure to national scrutiny, while at the same time pulling out all the stops to induce Grand Bahamians into forgetting the pain and suffering they have had to endure as a result of his harsh and vindictive policies towards Grand Bahama during his dispute with Sir Jack.
I still can’t figure out how Pakeisha Parker Edgecombe, who is running for West Grand Bahama and Bimini against Obie Wichcombe, could have succumbed to Ingraham’s persuasive powers to give up her job as senior news anchor at ZNS-TV 13 to run for a seat that she will almost certainly lose.
Does this mean that she agreed with Ingraham’s decision to cancel ZNS daily broadcast out of Grand Bahama?
Does this mean that she supports the decision by Ingraham and the FNM to totally neglect Grand Bahama because of his hatred for one man?
Does this mean that she agrees with Ingraham’s vindictive policies that totally decimated Freeport’s once firmly entrenched middle class?
Does this mean that she agrees with Ingraham’s mismanagement of the country’s economy that has resulted in the highest rate of unemployment in Grand Bahama’s history?
These questions, of course, can also be asked of Norris Bain, FNM candidate for Marco City, and Peter Turnquest, FNM candidate for East Grand Bahama, the other new candidates hand-picked by Ingraham.
We can, of course, assume that Neko Grant, FNM candidate for Central Grand Bahama, and Kwazi Thompson, FNM candidate for Pineridge, fully agrees with everything Ingraham did because they are two of the five current FNM Members of the House of Assembly who remained absolutely silent as Ingraham imposed his harsh policies on Grand Bahama.
I think that Grant, in particular, sounded ridiculous after he nominated in trying to explain why he should be re-elected. In fact, in their advertisements that are now bombarding television and radio in Grand Bahama, all of the FNM candidates must have reached the conclusion by now that their attempts to convince Grand Bahamians about what the FNM has done for Grand Bahama over the past five years make them look silly.
Nonetheless, with only a couple weeks left before the general election, we can expect that PAPA Ingraham will make more promises about what he plans to do for Grand Bahama in his next five-year term with the hope that Grand Bahamians have short memories.
We can also expect a lot of fanfare surrounding the official opening the new government complex on The Mall and, according to reports out of Richmond, Virginia, Bahamasair is set to begin flights from four major cities in the United States to Freeport on May 1. I will not be surprised if candidates for the FNM are prominently positioned among the individuals lining the “red carpet” for that event.
But I’m convinced that residents of Grand Bahama are not as gullible as Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham thinks they are. They know that over the past five years he made their lives extremely miserable because of his personal dislike for one man, and they will not be induced into forgetting just how bad the FNM government has been, even if he paves the streets of Grand Bahama with GOLD.
But I suspect GOLD will indeed be a major factor in decisions made by Grand Bahamians on May 7, and that’s why I’m predicting that the PLP will win a minimum of 28 seats overall, including all FIVE in Grand Bahama.