Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ recent suggestion that his government is not considering lending aid to Haiti after it was hit by a devastating earthquake is unfortunate, Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Bishop Delton Fernander said yesterday.
Fernander, who was called for comment, said Minnis should remember that “we are better than that”.
“We heard the remarks of the prime minister but we are minded that we are one Caribbean community,” Fernander said.
“Just as last year we were able to do for one of our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean, we should have the same mindset for one that is even closer to us.
“So when it is that we are always mindful in making The Bahamas a better place, with the charity which makes us all one should always flow towards the least amongst us.
“So as a people we must rise up and as a church do the very best we can to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
“We focus on the country but sometimes we have to be broader than just our backyard.”
On Monday, Minnis was asked if the government intends to give aid to Haiti, similar to the help his administration gave to Dominica following the passage of Hurricane Maria last year.
Minnis said, “At this point in time, I am looking at moving The Bahamas forward; Bahamas first.”
He also expressed concern over reports he said he heard that the earthquake compromised a Haitian prison and freed hardened criminals, who may be headed for The Bahamas.
“We don’t know whether they are murders, we don’t know what type of crime they have committed, but it’s a serious matter and we must assume that they have done the most heinous crime and we must look out for our borders, and I again ask all Bahamians to be very vigilant because they could have a devastating effect on our country,” he said.
“There is a possibility that criminals may have been released and are traveling toward our shores.”
Fernander said while Minnis appeared to be focused on national security and not charity, the BCC president said, “We must be able to do both at the same time.”
“We are better than that,” Fernander added.
“I think his remarks were focused on national security and not on charity and Bahamians have proven themselves to be our brother’s keeper. Today is them, tomorrow it could be us.
“As a Christian church we are concerned about the national security but we are definitely concerned about our brothers and sisters in Haiti.”
Haiti was hit with a magnitude 5.9 earthquake on Saturday and a magnitude 5.2 aftershock on Sunday. Reports indicate that at least 15 people were killed and 333 were injured.
Education: College of The Bahamas, English