By JADE RUSSELL
BAHAMAS Christian Council President Bishop Delton Fernander said yesterday the recent spate of murders is cause for great concern, adding “we’ve really allowed this kind of activity to get out of hand”.
Bishop Fernander said: “It is of great concern the number of murders that the country is experiencing.
“As a church and as the community of faith we want to join forces and we believe it’s time for all the pillars of society to join forces. After that we can come back to what is now at a place where we’ve never had it before. The church is willing and has joined forces with the crime commission (and) Urban Renewal,” he said.
Bishop Fernander added that there needs to be more of a national focus.
“People are doing things in silos and they’re doing great things, but we got to do it together now and focus on it like we’ve focused on AIDS, HIV, and all those things we focused on as a nation. It is now time for us to take this by the horns before it destroys the peace and tranquility that we have in The Bahamas.”
When asked what was his reaction to all of the killings, Bishop Fernander responded: “If the data is right, then we’ve really allowed this kind of activity to get out of hand. And now even the public at large is vulnerable because predominantly these young men are not only killing each other, but they are doing it in such violent ways and using high powered weapons.”
Bishop Fernander said he will pray for both the nation and that its young men can be rescued from a life of crime.
Meanwhile, activist Khandi Gibson of Families Of All Murder Victims, said the violence is taking a toll on communities.
She said this year’s current murder count of 74, could be on pace to meet or surpass the death toll of 2015, which saw 146 murders recorded.
For her part Ms Gibson said the country has a major crime problem on its hands.
Ms Gibson told The Tribune the murder rate is greatly damaging the communities while leaving a lot of trauma for the families and children involved.
She said: “They don’t understand the traumatic effect of it. I have a young guy who is in Sandilands right now because his twin brother got killed and he couldn’t take the pressure of that. I’ve seen mothers who had healthy bodies deteriorate and some even died and didn’t get closure for their loved one’s murder.
Ms Gibson said generations of families are being plagued by murders, adding that retaliation killings must stop.
“Our communities are turning into cemeteries. (I) don’t care who we vote in or vote out, no minister of national security has the answer on crime, so we can take that out of our head. The MP’s ain’t fighting, they ain’t killing up themselves, it ain’t a white on a white, it’s black on black in our country.”
She also said: “It’s like let the bad guys kill the bad guys and soon everything will be done with, we can’t take that approach. When someone drops another bad man arrives.”
Ms Gibson stressed this is the time for people to come together and put their best efforts forward in hopes of finding some kind of resolution.
“I can’t say what the answer is because the police don’t even know what the answer is,” she noted.