In the wake of the high profile Boxing Day murder of a cousin of Barbadian superstar Rihanna, Government Senator Jepter Ince yesterday said the level of violence that has gripped the country in recent times was foreign to Barbados.
Addressing the congregation at the New Testament Church of God’s centennial celebrations at Abundant Life Assembly, Bank Hall, St Michael, Ince said he was particularly concerned about the number of young people who were losing their lives to violence.
“It would be remiss of me if I did not point out to the fact that we are living in perilous times that see mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends weep over the loss of loved ones to violent acts, many of whom do not live to realize the superb talent within them. Brethren, this is not the Barbados that we want to pass on to our children; this is not the heritage to which we are accustomed,” Ince said.
“We are a society that relies on God to always be our guide. Acts such as these are foreign to us and so, moreover, we need your prayers as we wade through these turbulent waters.”
Ince, who represented Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Ecclesiastical Affairs Steve Blackett at the event, promised that the ministry would introduce programmes that would benefit the island’s youth.
“These young impressionable minds are our future and we need not, indeed we cannot, give up on those who are left behind. Rest assured the ministry will continue through the various departments to play its part by focussing on relevant programmes to meet the needs of these young persons,” Ince said.
The senator said the church and Government had similar missions to ensure everyone enjoys a good quality of life.
“Like the church, the Government is called to serve diverse groups of people and remains committed to uplifting and improving their lives by providing and improving equal opportunity for all citizens to achieve an achievable and sustainable standard of living,” he said.
Barbados recorded 30 murders last year, 23 of which were gun-related.