Letter to the Editor: Pockets of New Providence have become literal ‘killing fields’


Communal pockets within New Providence have become literal ‘killing fields’. Of course, alleged and suspected homicides and other serious crimes occur throughout our otherwise wonderful nation but the vast majority of such crimes seem to be concentrated here in New Providence. This is a sad indictment but one must be careful not to ascribe crimes and the causation of the same to any political party.

As a lifelong practitioner of the law and an actual protagonist within the criminal justice system, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that we as, a people,  are breeding ‘criminals’ from young ages. Some adults go into food stores, for instance, and they and their children are to be seen eating fruits and other items with impunity without paying for them. Others go into clothing stores, use children as a distraction, and shoplift selected goods. Yet others are passengers in their parent’s vehicle when they go to visit their significant others so the children, especially the boys, develop the two-timing syndrome where it is ‘normal’ to cheat and lie where ever necessary. They grow into adulthood using these same premises.

There was a time when one had a dispute with someone else they’d talk it over or take the matter to a court of law for reconciliation. Not so today. The average person will lick off a shot at you or in your direction at the drop of a hat. There are no simple quick fixes to crime. I am a partisan, of the highest order towards and for Commissioner Clayton Fernander and his newly installed team, but they themselves have no magic wand to ‘solve’ crime overnight The collective church has the humanistic and spiritual possible solutions but they are, in my view, too compromise themselves.

It has been said that if one wants to find a ‘sweetheart’…man or woman, go to a church of your choice. The turn of the mill politicians, especially an elected one with a portfolio, have been long known to offer governmental jobs for a piece of leg, rib, or wing…regular or spicy. I am not seeking to belittle the ‘system’ but it is what it is. Corruption; compromise and more are the order of the day.

The overall result is a total disrespect for law and order. Justice and equity, in my submission, have long been overthrown. We see rampant crime and gang-related activity where almost everyone dies or is killed. New Providence, in particular, has become killing fields. Almost each and every day or night someone gets done in my violence. Life and Christian traditions seem to mean nothing. You do me something or I perceive that you have done, your life means nothing.

I am not a blood-thirsty person but enough is enough. The activation of the death penalty, which is STILL the law of The Bahamas, needs to be carried out after the completion of a homicide case and where the appellate process would have been exhausted. This ‘worst of the worst’ is one of the most stupid opinions ever rendered by a court of competent jurists. Possession of an unlicensed firearm should attract draconian sentences. Rape and indecent assault, especially on underaged females and males should attract a minimum of ten years, with no possibility of parole.

In Dubai, a favored country of this administration just executed a man for being convicted of having sexual intercourse with five years old female toddler. He was executed, I believe, by firing squad in public. Here at home, a man goes to jail for a few years, a slap on the wrist, and learned lawyers bemoan that the sentence was inordinate or too long! What the hell is this? Apologists in high places or enablers and sympathizers?

The PM and the Minister of National Security are both at the top of the legal profession as Learned Queen’s Counsel. There is some talk about building a brand new prison facility for some 40-odd million dollars. There is little or no talk about rehabilitation. If each of the 2,000 odd churches in New Providence alone, led by the Bahamas Christian council, a useless and ineffective corporate chameleon, were to ‘adopt’, guide, and mentor just 10 inmates, what a turnaround we’d see!

They are in the main, however, seeking political honors; Crown Land, and a seat at the head table. Little has changed since The Lord Jesus Christ walked this earth. We have evolved into ‘killing fields’ and the worst is yet to come. No one, save an Act of God, can hold back the tide. Fernander, a good man, I am sure, has achieved his lifelong ambition. Will he now rest on his laurels while conveniently forgetting his allies and fellows?

The Opposition is hollering for the Davis administration to do more but while it was in office, the homicide rate was almost equal. Who is fooling who, while ordinary Bahamians and innocent ones, inclusive of children are being slaughtered like cockroaches? Does anyone recall the bogus and empty strident talk by Minnis some years ago? He said that he’d be the first man to ‘pop’ their necks. All he did, instead, was to pop the cork from the Champaign while countless Bahamians were exposed to the ‘killing fields. An eye for an eye worked for God. Why will it not work for us?

Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.
Business Consultant & Talk Show Host