BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday June 23, 2016 – Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is disturbed by the recent violence in the country and has challenged Barbadians to fight back against criminal elements and be prepared to “risk their lives if necessary” to protect their society and their country’s reputation.
“It does nothing for the reputation of Barbados to have human life devalued in the way in which I see it being devalued in cold blood by certain elements, admittedly a small element in the society. But that small element can do Barbados’ reputation untold damage,” he told the media yesterday.
“I think the society has to come together at all levels, recognize that we are all under threat if this approach to life takes hold in Barbados.”
Stuart said Barbadians had to be brave if they wanted to ensure Barbados
“Let’s be very frank about it; these people have the courage to fight for what they want, to lose their lives for what they want. What they want is the wrong thing. Those of us who want the right thing have to be equally determined to fight for it as well, and to risk our lives if it is necessary,” he said.
“We have to fight back in this society and as Prime Minister I am prepared to lead that because I don’t think that that direction for this society is going to pay off in the long run,” the prime minister further declared.
He also contended that society was partly to blame for producing the kinds of people responsible for acts of violence.
The Barbadian leader pointed out that these individuals are products of homes, schools and even churches and, “if after passing through all of those processes, this is what we end up with, it means that we are failing at various levels of our social interaction”.
“We have to get back to the drawing board and pay more attention, from the time children are in nursery school, to what is happening with them,” Stuart contended, adding that parents must also be more vigilant.
“I think that we have to wake up. This is not a problem, as some would want to rush to say, for the Government; it is not a problem for the Opposition; it is not a problem for any individual segment or sector of the society. This is a problem for everybody, and we all have to come together…to fight it,” he insisted.
There has been a recent spate in gun violence and people arrested for gun possession in Barbados.
In a recent case, one young man was arrested after trying to get into a court with a concealed gun.