Minnis: Time to stop ‘airing of dirty laundry’
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Feb 03, 2016
Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis last night urged supporters and party members to put aside their “petty differences” and stop the “constant internal bickering” and “airing of our dirty laundry”. Minnis made the call before dozens of FNMs at a Nassau Village and South Beach constituency meeting to introduce the party’s new candidates: Halson Moultrie, for Nassau Village, and Howard Johnson, for South Beach.
As he was cheered on by a roaring crowd, Minnis said, “Right now FNMs we have an opportunity like we’ve never had before. We cannot squander our chance for a better Bahamas.
“Bahamians, are you ready for it?
“We must put aside our petty differences. We must work together. Together we must seize the moment. This election is our chance for a change, but we must seize it and must seize it together.
“We must stop fighting each other and take the fight to the PLP.
“FNMs, we cannot lose sight of the urgency of this moment.
“It’s easy to get distracted and caught up in the silliness and constant internal bickering and the petty airing of our dirty laundry.
“But FNMs I say to you that we cannot lose focus on the real issues we face today.
“I am convinced FNMs that if we speak with one voice; if we move with one purpose and if we follow one vision no one can defeat us.”
Minnis was referring to the internal fissures that have reportedly divided the party in recent weeks. His handpicked senator, Lanisha Rolle, blasted her parliamentary colleagues on a Guardian Radio 96.9 FM talk show on January 21. Five FNM MPs have called for to publicly apologize.
Rolle, who was seated in the front row last night, cheered Minnis on.
Minnis said that people say many things about him. “They have said repeatedly that I have no charisma," he said. "I want to inform you tonight that I looked up the definition of charisma. Charisma is the ability to attract someone to you.
“Tonight I want to inform you that I have been able to attract my wife to me for 40 odd years.
“She is still attracted to me. So I don’t have charisma? Ask her if she is still attracted to me. That is charisma.”
Minnis’ wife, who was seated in the front row, joined him on stage to the cheers of supporters.
Howard Johnson urged supporters to unite behind Minnis.
“It appears to all and sundry that we have some problems in our party,” Johnson said.
“Ladies and gentlemen, bigger than any of our individual differences is the fact that for nearly four years we have had a government that is long on promises but short on delivery.
“Out there some people are saying that it’s time. I completely agree. It’s time for us to rally behind Hubert Alexander Minnis. It is time for us to get rid of the PLP.”
Johnson, who ran in the Central and South Eleuthera constituency in 2012 and lost, said that loss left him depressed.
“Ladies and gentlemen I want you to know that after the loss on May 7, 2012, I returned to the United States to finish my PhD,” he said.
“Six months after the general election I remained in a state of depression. I was depressed because we lost the general election and Hubert Alexander Ingraham, our former leader, did not get the opportunity to finish his job.”
Johnson also thanked his supporters in regards to the South Beach nomination.
“My grandfather used to say that nothing good comes easy,” he said.
“We all know that this South Beach nomination did not come easy. We appreciate, respect and we love the Free National Movement for making what we believe was the right decision.”
Johnson wrote Minnis last September indicating his refusal to accept any other nomination except for South Beach. Many supporters, including former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, were “greatly disappointed” that former South Beach candidate Monique Gomez was denied the nomination.