EDITOR, The Tribune.
It goes without saying that to most Bahamians, New Providence is synonymous to Nassau, and vice-versa. New Providence is 21 miles long by seven miles wide and has an area of 80 square miles.
Despite its small size, it has a population of approximately 250,000. This figure represents roughly 70 per cent of the entire Bahamian population. The remaining 30 per cent of the population resides outside of the capital. Yet despite this known fact, in the December 30 edition of The Tribune, activist Rodney Moncur in an opinion piece called for a lockdown throughout the country.
A lockdown is defined as the confining of prisoners to their cells, typically in order to regain control during a riot, as per Google. Imagine the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) putting a lockdown on the quaint settlement of Abraham’s Bay, Mayaguana, because of the murder crisis!
When was the last time a murder was committed in Mayaguana? Moncur’s call came on the heels of the Fox Hill community massacre on December 26. That was the second mass shooting for the month of December on the island of New Providence.
As a Family Islander, I am deeply offended that anyone would call for the entire Bahamas to be locked down when 95 per cent of the murders are being committed in Nassau. I understand that another murder was committed in the capital just hours before 2014 rolled in. If this report is true, then the official murder count for 2013 is 120. This is not counting the many suspicious deaths which have gone on record as being dubbed as unclassified.
If these suspicious deaths were factored into the official murder tally, it would then mean that 140 to 150 murders were committed in 2013.
Politicians and RBPF officials who continue to perpetuate political talking points about the downward trend of violent crimes due to Urban Renewal 2.0 and other crime fighting initiatives of the Progressive Liberal Party administration are sounding more and more like Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, better known to the world as Baghdad Bob, former information minister and acting spokesperson of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
You would recall that during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which brought about the eventual demise of Hussein and his Ba’athist administration, Baghdad Bob made a complete fool of himself by going on international TV in order to propagandise the invincibility and success of the Iraqi army against the US led coalition, despite the fact that the Iraqis were being methodically routed.
As incredible as this might sound, Nassau is bloodier than New York City. Per The Huffington Post, 333 people were murdered in New York City in 2013. This is a 20 per cent drop from 2012’s murder tally of 417, which was a record low.
Granted, the 333 murders in that city are 213 more than The Bahamas’ official tally of 120. What we must bear in mind, however, is that New York City’s population currently stands at 8,336,697. Nassau’s population is 250,000, as previously mentioned.
This means that New York City’s population is 33 times the size of Nassau’s. And as unbelievable as this might sound, had Nassau’s population been the size of that as New York City’s, the murder rate would be hovering around 3,300. For what it’s worth, New York City is much, much safer than small New Providence, despite that US city’s massive size. Of every 25,035 New York City resident, only one was murdered in 2013. Conversely, of every 2,100 Nassauvian, one was murdered in 2013. Now do you see the glaring disparity, Nassauvians? As a Bahamian, I am very embarrassed at how low Nassau has sunk in violence.
January 2, 2014.