NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Residents in South Eleuthera who staged a motorcade last week yesterday apologized to the prime minister and fellow residents on the island.
The motorcade in Wemyss Bight, South Eleuthera, was reportedly a drive-by memorial in honor of a 25-year-old resident who died suddenly last Tuesday.
During his national address on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis scolded residents on the island for not cooperating during the weekend lockdown, adding that he was “extremely disappointed” with those who participated in the motorcade.
The young man’s mother, Angelisa Richards, took to her Facebook page to respond to the prime minister’s tongue lashing.
“At this time, I wish to extend my sincere apology to our prime minister and the residents of Eleuthera as it relates to the drive-by (motorcade)”, Richards wrote.
“…Deo was loved and respected by all who came into contact with. His friends decided to have a simple drive-by around the community where he lived and by my mom’s house in honor of him. They meant no harm
“This was their way of saying “Fatz” we will miss you. It was not intended to become a national issue.”
The grieving mother said the event ended before the 9pm curfew took effect, adding social distancing was adhered to because everyone stayed in their vehicles.
“Please kindly accept my apology and I pray God’s continued blessings on your Bahamaland,” she continued.
“To every else, please let there be peace. No harm or ill was intended.
“These boys were not just friends. They lived like brothers and if you all knew my son you would understand why they are grieving so hard.”
Richards comments came as residents on the islands lashed out on social media over the incident, criticizing the group for participating in the event.
Many of the residents blamed the incident on why Eleuthera has not been allowed to reopen for commercial activity.
The prime minister announced on Sunday that Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros could resume commercial activity on Monday, joining Inagua, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay.
Eyewitness News understands that the group reportedly received permission to host an event at a local bar, which spilled over into the motorcade.
A voice note purporting to be of the police officer purportedly involved in the incident made the rounds on social media yesterday.
In the recording, the man insists that he did not authorize the motorcade but admitted to approving a small gathering.
“I was asked, couple of us want to use the bar to just cook some food and just chill out from the rain,” he said.
“Y’all decide to go on a motorcade while I working.”
The man added: “If I was your friend you would never put me in that position.”
Police arrested 12 men and one woman in Eleuthera yesterday for breaking curfew.
It is unclear whether these arrests are in connection with the motorcade incident.