NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Following yesterday’s double murder outside the Sandilands Rehabilitation Center (SRC) on Fox Hill Road, which police have categorized as a retaliation shooting, President of The Bahamas Christian Council (BCC), Bishop Delton Fernander questioned whether aggressive or gang retaliation was on the rise.
In an interview with Eyewitness News on Monday, Fernander lamented that there is definitely a tremendous amount of retaliation going on.
“People aren’t able to solve their matters through conversations and what is happening now, it seems as though people aren’t waiting for police to settle matters and are taking matters into their own hands,” he said.
Monday’s double murder of a young mother and father came on the heels of a violent brawl at a local pizza parlour and also followed a string of what police believe were retaliation killings in the Bain and Grants Town community back in October.
Fernander said the spate of retaliatory crime seems to stem from a lack of respect for authority and a breakdown in the socialization process.
“We need to understand how are we prepared to deal with stress and crisis in all forms and [in]other instances where persons have weapons they need to get to the point where they will not kill others over matters that are very trivial,” he said.
“There seems to be a growing number of persons who don’t understand what is appropriate behaviour and what is the right response. There is an apparent breakdown in the country’s moral fibre.”
Fernander opined that influence from abroad continues to play a huge role in a shift in Bahamian culture and a lack of rationalization.
“I think we have been watching our neighbours from Canada and America and there is a trend around the world that things are changing,” he said.
“If we look at ourselves we really can realize that we need to stop and work on an entire generation.”
Fernander said the change must start at home within the family structure.
“We definitely have homes that are not doing a good job at socializing our children. There may be many situations where one generation adopts the parenting skills from another generation and in some cases, they may not be the best types of parenting methods; so there is a need for review and a shift in culture and mindset so that we can begin to rebuild our communities,” he said.
Fernander said the church continues to do what it can to assist with reshaping communities.