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FNM: Stop playing games on hurricane commission

FNM leader Michael Pintard.

FNM leader Michael Pintard.

FREE National Movement leader Michael Pintard said Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis continues to “titillate” the Bahamian public with the possibility of a commission of inquiry over Hurricane Dorian.

“If he believes that a commission of inquiry is the best way to address these issues and to answer unanswered questions he should get on with the business and stop playing games with the Bahamian people,” Mr Pintard said yesterday.

When in opposition, Mr Davis asserted that an independent inquiry either by outside police investigators or through a commission of inquiry should be held to determine the fate of those missing in Abaco and Grand Bahama after the Category 5 storm.

 Most recently, he said the option has not been ruled out as officials await the police report to make further determination.

 “We have not ruled out the possibility of a commission of inquiry in respect to Dorian, the Dorian episode and trauma, because I feel that there are lessons to be learned from the experiences of what to do, what not to do in times of trials and tribulations visited by external shocks like a hurricane of the nature and size of Dorian,” Mr Davis said.

 There was considerable confusion at the time over the number of people still missing after the storm. In June 2020, then National Security Minister Marvin Dames said in a press statement that 279 people were missing. However, then Assistant Commissioner of Police Solomon Cash said 33 people were still missing.

 It was reported in October 2021 that an ongoing assessment of the impact and recovery efforts of the storm would determine if an inquiry is needed.

 Mr Pintard noted that the FNM is “more than happy” to cooperate with the Davis administration to conclude the matter.

 However, he noted that a commission of inquiry should not primarily focus on periods of when the FNM was in office.

 “Any such commission of inquiry should not only include the period that we were in office but should also cover the period that since he has come to the office,” Mr Pintard said yesterday.

 “Because quite frankly, over the last almost two years their performance has been absolutely miserable with respect to providing concrete relief for persons who have been afflicted by Dorian.”