Last week, the nation’s second city took center stage on the national dailies but not in the way that many Grand Bahamians have hoped. The recent media reports surrounding the breakdown of negotiations for the sale of hotels on the Lucayan Strip on Grand Bahama are just the latest in series of unfortunate events for the island and its residents.
The passage of the hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 did irreparable damage to the Grand Bahama economy, sending thousands of Bahamians to the unemployment line when the Royal Oasis resort closed its doors. Since then the island has struggled to regain its footing and its residents though promised help and hope by successive governments have for the most part, been left to fend for themselves. Now, under this new administration – five members of which represent Grand Bahama – it appears that history is once again about to repeat itself.
The withdrawal of the Wynn Group from the ongoing talks is telling in many ways and raises some very important questions including one obvious one: Why would the front runner for the purchase suddenly abandon the negotiations in which it has invested so much time and money into over the past many months?
Equally troubling has been the government’s response. When speculation about the viability of the talks broke last week, the Minnis administration, whose entire campaign was run on transparency, missed an opportunity to frankly and honestly address the situation. Instead, they attempted to deflect from the ensuing complications by promising an announcement soon.
These empty, open-ended promises harken back to the previous administration who while promising Help and Hope did nothing but ignore Grand Bahama and its residents.
During the last electoral cycle, Grand Bahama showed overwhelming support for the Free National Movement sending all five of its nominated candidates to Parliament. It is the responsibility of these five individuals to do everything in their power to protect the interests of the men and women who voted for them.
Now, more than ever, Grand Bahamians deserve honest, transparent communication. They deserve a road map detailing the government’s plans to rescue GB from the precipice of economic decline. They deserve Real Help and Hope and not just more empty promises.
DNA Deputy Leader