BIU Leadership Challenge OBA’s C10 Candidate King assertions

In a recent Royal Gazette article dated March 22nd, 2024, Mr. Robert King, a candidate representing the OBA, made several assertions that warrant careful examination.

Mr. King stated that the PLP administration lacked integrity and had failed to address the challenges facing young Black males, particularly those drawn into criminal activities. He suggests that the current administration, being predominantly Black, should inherently be better equipped to tackle issues affecting the Black community.

However, such a stance overlooks the long-standing presence of Black civil servants who have diligently served their country, irrespective of the ruling party.

Therefore, Mr. King’s attempt to imply that the ethnicity of the PLP government and civil service has hindered its effectiveness is unfounded and divisive.

Furthermore, Mr. King appears to have unintentionally insinuated that his own party, the OBA, might face similar challenges due to its Black leadership is perplexing. Mr. King’s remarks hint at a troubling self-deprecation, suggesting that he may harbor internalized prejudices or a discomfort with his own racial identity. Such remarks not only detract from the discourse but also undermine the principles of inclusivity and respect.

The long-standing concerns raised by the BIU regarding understaffing in critical government sectors, including the Ministry of Public Works and Department of Parks resonate with Mr. King’s remarks regarding the neglected state of public spaces but this underscores the need for bipartisan efforts to address systemic issues. Mr. King’s statements failed to provide clarity as to how the OBA would address these issues, and this speaks volumes.

It is worth recalling the OBA’s 2012 electoral promise to create 2000 jobs, a commitment that was not fulfilled. Instead, during their tenure, Bermuda witnessed a decline of 2000 jobs, exacerbating economic challenges. Additionally, the mismanagement of the Morgans Point bailout, which ballooned from a $160 million commitment to over $200 million, highlights the need for accountability and transparency in financial matters.

Lastly, lest we forget, the OBA’s last tenure included the controversial outsourcing of L.F. Wade International Airport operations to Aecon, coupled with the taxpayer-funded minimum revenue guarantees. The agreement’s provisions, obligating taxpayers to cover shortfalls in Aecon’s revenue, underscore the lack of rigorous oversight and scrutiny of public-private partnerships during the OBA tenure in government.

In conclusion, Mr. King’s remarks highlight broader issues concerning governance, accountability, and racial dynamics within Bermuda’s political landscape. Moving forward, it is imperative for political discourse to transcend divisive rhetoric and focus on collaborative solutions that benefit all Bermudians.

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