DNA on Record Breaking Murder Count
For Immediate Release
September 18th 2011
Fellow Bahamians, we in the Democratic National Alliance take no joy in having to address you on the crime epidemic that is suffocating our society, but we find it necessary to speak out against these unprecedented murders and violence. First, we express our sincerest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and our prayers are with them.
One of the foundations of our constitution reminds us that we as citizens are entitled to the fundamental right and freedom to life, liberty, security and protection. Recent news that our nation for the first time in its independent history, reached a record breaking 100-plus murders, surpassing the 94 murders recorded in 2010 has startled the nation and caused us to ask of our government “Just how secure are we?”
We are witnessing the failure of this government’s primary responsibility, which is to protect its citizens. We are also witnessing some of the most gruesome criminal activities to have ever taken place in our country, while being told by a foreign court that these acts do not warrant “the worst of worst." We in the DNA say to that foreign court, that their standard of worst is a lot more liberal than what we are prepared to accept as law-abiding, God-fearing and patriotic Bahamians. As voters, we call on you to send a striking rebuke to the present administration’s rhetoric on crime, as we force them to admit that their crime fighting policy is inadequate. The government can no longer afford to ignore the deep social ailments correlated with crime in our communities.
In his 2007 House contributions, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said, “I would hold my head down in shame, if at the end of my 5 year term there are 100 plus persons charged with murder who I could not cause to be tried within 2 years. I would be ashamed of myself. I would say to the Bahamian people I am a failure. And my punishment of being voted out of office is minor – I should get more major punishment than that."
We in the DNA call on the Right Honourable Prime Minister, to maintain his honour and his word to the Bahamian people by resigning immediately. We have reached 100 murders Mr. Prime Minister and we put the question to you Sir, “What will you do in light of the record breaking murder rate and your statement to the Bahamian public, will you mean what you say and say what you mean, or will you continue to deceive the Bahamian public with colourful and emotive words for which you do not intend to be bound by?”
While crime is a multifaceted condition of a society and requires a multifaceted approach, it has become evident that the current Government has not been involved in facilitating the necessary information and partnerships to combat the rising crime rate in this country, especially the murders here in the capital. We in the DNA are frustrated and worried about the deteriorating security in The Bahamas, and we fear that the present government is “preoccupied” with an election agenda that does not address crime as a top priority for the Bahamian people. As one of our members has so eloquently put it, “the Government is playing the Ostrich game while the cold bodies of our young Bahamians are being stacked up.” We call on all parties, political and civil organizations, public and private institutions to partner together to end the real “fever” that is plaguing our nation. The time to act is long overdue as we quickly approach a point of no return, and we as leaders will have blood on our hands for the lives we failed to protect and secure.
As Bahamians, we must also remember that we too share the responsibility of combating crime and that there must be a joint community approach. However, to date, one finds it hard to believe that the government has yet to say absolutely anything on the recent murders that have caught national attention, unlike the opposition who has at least attempted to respond by unveiling a crime plan. The prime minister must respond to the crime situation with the utmost hast, not just with mere words, but with partnered, calculated and strategic initiatives. Bahamians live in a constant state of panic and fear where most residents are locked up in their homes afraid to go out, while others are afraid to go to the stores at night or walk the streets after dark.
Bahamians, we urge you to remain watchful when going about the island, please exercise prudence and extreme caution when you are out in the evening or the early morning hours. We must come together to fight this evil presence that seeks to destroy our community. The Bahamas belongs to all of us; therefore, we must put the necessary works behind our Christian faith, and make a contribution in combating crime. We assure you that the DNA has a plan and a policy to combat the criminal element in our community and make our streets safe again. We outlined a crime strategy at our Crime Town Meeting on June 20. It can be read on our website (http://www.mydnaparty.org/crime-plan/). We are confident that a change will come to this Bahamas, and I ask Bahamians to hold on just a little while longer.
We pray that the Almighty God will give us the guidance and the strength in our fight to reclaim our nation, one street at a time.