The Uncaring and Incompetent Bernard Nottage

Monday 11th, March 2013 / 12:28 Published by

I watched on NB12 news in absolute amazement as the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) Member of Parliament for Bains Town and Grants Town and Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage ignored the pleas for an audience by Tabitha Munnings.  Munnings is the sister of the late Job Munnings, who was allegedly gunned down by police officers in Abaco in January.

Munnings, as well as community activist Troy Garvey and the family members of persons who either died while in police custody or were the victims of murder, were assembled on Rawson Square as MPs made their way into the House of Assembly to debate the resolution to borrow $100 million.  As Munnings and the group called out to Nottage, who was surrounded by an entourage, he just kept on walking as if they were insignificant and subhuman.  Nottage carried on as if he is out of touch and insensitive to the plight of these Bahamians.  The group simply wanted to query him on the rash of alleged police killings.  They want reassurance from the national security minister that they will get justice.

They want to know that the cases of their slain family members won’t get lost in a judicial system which has a significant backlog of cases.  They want to know that if any wrongdoing has been committed the culprits will be treated the same way ordinary people, who have broken the law, are treated by the justice system.  Nowadays, it seems as if you are not even safe when you are in police custody.  These people have every right to demand an answer from Nottage, who is the top brass of this nation’s security forces.  Had this been in a First World country, both Nottage and Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade might have been asked to resign.  The problem that I have with many of our run-of-the-mill politicians is that they often forget that they work for the people.  Judging from the reaction of Munnings and the group as Nottage dissed them, one could tell that they were devastated and felt slighted.

For what it’s worth, Nottage, by his refusal to meet with the group, which was all caught on camera, has forever ruined his image as a compassionate leader who cares about the plight of his people.  He should have emulated his leader Prime Minister Perry Christie, who took time out to talk to the group, after he arrived on Rawson Square.

Whatever Nottage has accomplished in his lengthy political career means absolutely nothing now to the thousands who watched him on TV ignore the distraught group.  By that single act, Nottage has forever ruined his political image.  NB12 viewers are probably wondering if Nottage always ignores the small man who comes up to him with a request for a meeting.  They might also be wondering if he ignores his constituents, most of whom live in poverty.  Whatever the case, the entire incident has given thousands a negative impression of him.

To be sure, if he runs in 2017, he will no doubt win his seat in Bains Town and Grants Town.  Unfortunately, no matter how ineffective and incompetent PLP MPs are, the people in those poverty stricken over-the-hill communities will still vote PLP.  But for the voters in the other constituencies, forever etched in their minds is a PLP minister walking past a group of distraught Bahamians pleading for him to give them just a moment of his time.

By: Kevin Evans

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