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Pm Kicking Down Door Was ‘Not A Good Impression’

Bishop Delton Fernander, President of the Christian Council. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

Bishop Delton Fernander, President of the Christian Council. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Christian Council President Bishop Delton Fernander said Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis went beyond the duties of his office when he kicked down the back door of a shanty town structure.

In an interview with The Tribune yesterday, the BCC’s president said this approach did not present a good impression to the world as it suggested the Bahamas is “strong-arming” and forcefully handling illegal immigration problems.

As a result of his actions, the prime minister will have to face whatever criticisms might come his way, Bishop Fernander said.

“Obviously he is the leader of the country and he is trying to be I guess visibly seen on the front lines doing things, but I don’t think that’s a job for the prime minister,” he told this newspaper. 

The Nassau Guardian reported yesterday that Dr Minnis kicked down the back door of a structure in the Sand Banks shanty town in Treasure Cay, Abaco during a brief walk through of the community last week.

Dr Minnis was accompanied by several police and Defence Force officers and told the newspaper he wanted to make a point.

“It’s a job for the authorities in that area. They know how to do it they know what to do,” Bishop Fernander continued. “It’s not a good impression to the world to see our prime minister kicking down doors if that is the case and leading in that kind of rush.

“I think he is doing beyond his office. He is taking us down a road as a country where we seem to be strong-arming and doing this in a very forceful way.”

Speaking for himself, as the BCC has not as a body discussed its position on illegal immigration matters, the bishop said the country needed to find a medium between humanitarian duties and obligation to law.

“…At this point I believe the execution of the duties must take place,” he said when asked for the BCC’s position on the issue.

“We do not want ourselves back in a place where thousands of people can be affected by poor structures and things that can lead to their demise.

“I know it’s a difficult time for us to be correcting that problem and maybe the approach is really hard, but it is a problem that needs to be addressed and frankly we don’t need to put anybody in that kind of living conditions where disastrous results can be the same.”

He added: “So we stand as a church and I’m ready to speak in behalf of those who have a genuine right and maybe it’s loss of documents or maybe the process of renewal and if they’re being treated unfairly then the church will speak on their behalf.

“We do not expect the state to be defiling the place of sanctuary called the church in an act of just being strong armed, but we as a church will do our part not to be harbouring anybody that is illegal or anyone that is not properly documented in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and we are willing, the church, to work along with the state in this regard so that those who legitimately have a right and those who might have reached the age and has not applied we can work with them so that this can be brought to a humane conclusion.”

He also appealed to Bahamians to treat others as they would want to be treated.

Shortly after Hurricane Dorian wiped out shanty town structures in Abaco, the Minnis administration announced a six-month construction ban in those areas. Last week, Dr Minnis revealed he had asked Attorney General Carl Bethel to compulsorily acquire the land where shanty towns in Abaco once stood. 

Dr Minnis also told undocumented migrants to leave the country voluntarily – or be forced to leave. 

Comments

stillwaters 1 week, 1 day ago

How come the Christian Council never comes out standing strong like this for Bahamians?

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OriginalBey 1 week, 1 day ago

They will with hot button issues to get media spotlight just like regular clowns over social media. This council has long losts whatever past could be perceived as impact and influence.

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Sickened 1 week, 1 day ago

Because he's of Haitian decent - just look at his features!

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joeblow 1 week, 1 day ago

Umm, Bishop, there are more important things to talk about right now!!

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My2centz 1 week, 1 day ago

Highlighting this non issue appears to be a "Rights" Bahamas move because it falls in line with their false narrative of Haitians being targeted, and living in fear for their lives. I wouldn't be surprised if this bishop was closely associated with them and they are the next to chime in on this non issue and intentionally misconsture Minnis' actions. We all know Minnis loves the Haitian community even if he does not love shanty towns, especially an already destroyed one.

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xtreme2x 1 week, 1 day ago

“I think he is doing beyond his office. He is taking us down a road as a country where we seem to be strong-arming and doing this in a very forceful way.

I THINK GOD HAS ALREADY DONE IT IN A VERY FORCEFUL WAY. WITH SOME WATER AND WIND

IT IS NOW LEFT FOR MR MINNIS AND HIS GOVERNMENT TO CLEAN UP WHAT HAS STARTED.

MR MINNIS WILL BE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE IF HE LISTEN TO YOU INSTEAD OF GOD THE INFINITE.

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Cas0072 1 week, 1 day ago

Man kicks door of an empty dwelling on uninhabitable land. Big deal! Perhaps he was blowing off steam from the fact that the government is being pressured to provide indefinitely for homeless, unemployed, illegal immigrants as a priority to everyone else when organizations like the so called Christian Council could be stepping up to the plate. And where is your sister org, the ridiculously named, League of Haitian pastors? Why don't you guys kick open your church doors to house illegal immigrants? You can also use all tithes and offerings to provide for their upkeep. You can hold church outside or in tents in the meantime. I would love to see the day when you all announce something like that.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

Couldn't agree with you more, save for you referring to them as immigrants. They are in fact aliens who illegally entered our country, many of whom have since fraudulently obtained documents from our corrupt immigration officials or other corrupt government officials.

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TalRussell 1 week, 1 day ago

Let up on criticizing the colony's security minister. Comrade Marvin was just late to respond cries of Abaco's hurricane survivors, calling out him to dispatch more boots on the ground, yes, no ..... Obviously, the colony's "Rambo" prime minister's, one boot through the Abaco's shantytown's door, wasn't enough please some you ... You just can't make this prime ministerial one foot through the door craziness up ....

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jamaicaproud 1 week, 1 day ago

These peoples obsession with Haitians is mind boggling

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

Ask yourself why most Haitian nationals who leave Haiti are very reluctant to illegally enter Jamaica?

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Cas0072 1 week, 1 day ago

Your obsession with Bahamians is mind boggling. I don't care for the attitudes of most Jamaicans that I have met. For that reason, I don't camp out in Jamaican spaces.

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jackbnimble 1 week ago

I think Dr Minnis is tired. Do you know what it is to sit helplessly and watch (mostly) illegal people build substandard structures and live in filth and squalor which successive administrations deliberately turned a blind eye to and to finally get in a position to do something about it only to have one idiot from ‘Rights Haiti’ (cuz it darn sure ain’t Rights Bahamas) get a court order to stop you from tearing down those structures and then to sit by helplessly while those same people die at the hands of Mother Nature?

I don’t blame him. I would stomp every structure down.

I’m glad to see that the Government is finally taking a long overdue hardline stance on this issue.

Does the CC realize that pandering to illegals is what got us in this mess in the first place?.

I’m no fan of this Government but in this case I applaud theIt efforts.

We have just got to stop smiling. These people are extremely determined and unless we are more determined than they are we’ll soon be overrun with shanty towns.

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Zaggappuss 1 week ago

The unbroken cycle

The year was 1963, 56 years ago I was 16 years old and standing in the doorway of our kitchen on that hot July sun, I could never forget the most horrific scene of my young teenage years. I saw people running across our yard screaming, women holding babies that were crying, men being held on the ground and being handcuffed. I very clearly remembered my mother telling three women to hide under our bed so that they would not be caught by the Immigration and Police Officers. Yes, these were illegal Haitian immigrants. The illegal Haitian immigrants is not a new problem for the Bahamas, but here we are 56 years in the future and as our forefathers, we are also hunting them down as though they are less human than we are. We have though our children to despise these people, blaming them for the crime of trying to survive in a hostile foreign land. One would think that over the laps of 56 years a much better solution to the problem would have been achieved. Truth be told, the majority of Bahamians are by far mote prejudice toward the Haitians than the American Whites are towards the Afro Americans. They have never seen them as their equal in fact, they don't see any of the countries of the area as their equal. Every Government that held the office, has always skirted around fixing the problem, now that it is a National Problem, inhumane crumbs are being thronged out to them. We all know that the vast majority of deaths in the land of Abaco were Haitian immigrants and not Bahamians. I can only hope that the Bahamians don't ever have to leave their home because of whatever change may bring about, they will find that their host country may not be so hospitable to them. As a country, we have no compassion for the underprivileged, we preach brotherly love and being our brothers and sisters keeper, but it is only a lip service they were handed down from the elders and leaders of bygone years. The leaders today are clones of their parents, they have inherited all of the ill social gens that govern us today. It is said that tine like travel, broadens the mind, but unfortunately, the minds of our present leaders have not been broadening one bit if it was, then we would not be chasing down immigrants, we would have enacted laws that would allow these people to become useful residents and contribute to the overall growth of the Bahamas. The Bahamas stands head and shoulder above every country in this region and that is a remarkable accomplishment and does say a lot about the stability of the government and the democratic rule of law but little about the empathetic attitude towards its lesser undesirable, impoverished and undocumented immigrants.

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Donnaree 1 week ago

No disrespect but where was the BCC when the Bahamians needed a voice to speak out and up for them? The Bishop talking about our Prime Minister's kicking in a door to an unoccupied house in a shanty town that was illegally constructed in the first place! Where was your voice or where is your voice even now as we the Abacoians that are still displaced bouncing from house to house. Being told that the department of Social Services is no longer giving us any more food voucher. Bishop where is your voice when the shelters were and still is at a overflow with to many people until it's stifling. Why you or your executive team did not order or requested the churches to assist us? Not just a hand full churches that we we thank God for, and the various international charity groups that quickly came to our aid. May the Lord forever blessed you all, for not only that you spoken about helping your fellow men but you have lived it. Bishop, God has spoken. Please take heed Bahamas for next time it just might not be No BAHAMAS!!!!!

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