By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
AS COVID-19 cases in the country continue to climb, Bishop Neil Ellis has cautioned Bahamians to be socially responsible when they turn out to cast ballots in Thursday’s general election.
The Mount Tabor Church senior pastor also urged citizens to remain on alert as it relates to their safety and the wellbeing of others.
In an address to Bahamians, Bishop Ellis further urged people to resist participating in gutter politics or anything divisive in the lead up to the vote.
“We are responsible for safeguarding those national attributes that have distinguished us as a nation,” Bishop Ellis said on Sunday. “We are responsible for safeguarding the Christian virtues that we ascribe to like peace, love and unity, honesty, non-violence, moral maturity and a recognition that belonging to each other as brothers and sisters should always take priority over belonging to any political party or group. Therefore, in this political season we must resist the urge to participate in gutter politics or divisive political tactics. This is not who we are as a people.
“We must do whatever we can to ensure that this is not who we ever become. Believe it or not the world is marking the manner of our bearing. We know better. We must always therefore strive to do better and be better. As a guardian of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a follower of his teachings I remind you that even the scripture encourages us to be responsible citizens.
“We are biblically admonished to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to respect the authority and pray for the leaders who have been established by Almighty God to advocate for those leaders whose vision resonates best with us.”
He also said: “We’re admonished to ask questions, rally support for the candidate of your choosing if you wish and by all means vote but understand that come September 17, we would have elected a government to serve the Bahamian people for the next five years. A decision that will undoubtedly impact the next generation of Bahamians.
“So, even as we go to the polls September 16, I want to remind you that we are still in a pandemic. I therefore caution you to be spiritually sensitive and socially responsible.
“Do not let your guards down as it relates to your safety and the safety of others.”
Earlier in his address, Bishop Ellis said he was encouraged by the number of people who have registered to vote.
“As we approach this 2021 general election, I am advised that almost 300 candidates have been nominated for national leadership. What is even more noteworthy is that more than 190,000 eligible voters will decide who they think is best suited to represent them in the sacred halls of Parliament for the next five years.
“These numbers are indeed encouraging and are a reminder that democracy continues to be alive and well in The Bahamas.
“We are building upon the foundations of our forefathers who fought hard to ensure that the power to choose the kind of Bahamas we want rests in the hands of the people.
“We must recognise however that with great power comes great responsibility,” he said.