By Matt Maura, Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas will attain world-class status as a country and a people only when all of its citizens unite under a One Bahamas or Team Bahamas concept, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said.
“We are first and foremost Team Bahamas. While we have our different political, religious and other affiliations, we have a shared vision and ambition to make ours a land of opportunity, with a commitment to the common good, to social justice and to helping the least among us to leading better lives,” the Prime Minister said.
“We are Bahamians before we are PLP, DNA or FNM. When we cheer our athletes in international competition, we do so as fellow Bahamians, as Team Bahamas. We pledge allegiance to one flag in love and unity. While we may rush as Saxons, Valley Boys, Music Makers, One Family, Roots, Colours [or any] of the other groups, we all share a love of Junkanoo as an expression of our history and heritage.”
Addressing the Jones Communications Network’s Person of the Year and Civil Society Awards (Friday, January 19) at the Jones Communications Media Centre, University Drive, Prime Minister Minnis said while The Bahamas may have a number of challenges as a country in terms of social and economic development and fighting crime, the country also has many possibilities.
“At the end of my address at The Bahamas Business Outlook Seminar (held Thursday, January 18), I noted that if we harness the energy of our people; if we harness the energy of the sun and renewable power; if we harness the many advantages of our archipelago of possibilities – we will have embarked in earnest in creating a new and world-class Bahamas,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
“To accomplish this vision, we need to have One Bahamas and indeed what I want to call Team Bahamas. I include in this, the Bahamian Diaspora around the world.”
Using Cabinet as an example of how being “one team” can best serve the interests of the Bahamian people, Prime Minister Minnis said every Prime Minister has his/her strengths and limitations. Being surrounded by a good team, Dr. Minnis continued, can help a Prime Minister to build upon his/her strengths and to work with others in terms of one’s limitations.
“As I mentioned in a message to Parliamentary colleagues last year, ours is not a Presidential system. There is no chief executive in our system of government. We are a Westminster-based system in which executive authority is vested in the Queen and exercised on her behalf, by the Governor-General.
“The Cabinet has general direction and control of the Government and is collectively responsible to Parliament. Our system demands collegiality, collaboration and teamwork.
“I know from my experience as a surgeon that having a good team is essential. As Prime Minister and as Leader, I know that I will only be as effective as the team with which I work,” Prime Minister Minnis said.