Yet another Government Minister has joined the chorus of people demanding an end to the country’s deadly spate of murders.
Hours before Barbados recorded its eighth murder for the year, Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment, Adrian Forde declared, “Government would not allow the criminal element to take over the country.”
Forde was speaking yesterday to scores of young people during the launch of the Youth Achieving Results Program in the ministry’s training room at Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, Saint Michael.
His comments came amid a bizarre spate incidents, which resulted in the death of three women in less than 48 hours. His comments also come as an apparent gang war rages in the New Orleans and Chapman Lane areas, which has resulted in the death of one man and injuries to others.
“It is no secret that crime and violence have raised their ugly head in this country,” said Forde, who promised that government would not sit back on its laurels, but instead, would “handcuff” it, put it before the magistrates’ court and lock it up for life, because we are not going to allow the criminal element to take over our country. It’s as simple of that,” he said.
Speaking directly to the participants of the program which works on the skills of young people in the areas of dance, drama, voice training, technical theatre, as well as a personal development costume design, jewellery-making and garment construction over an eight-month period.
These skills, Forde described as the “tools of empowerment,” which he pleaded with young people to view as viable alternatives to crime and violence.
“At the end of the day, our young people matter the most. I am imploring you to put down all of those weapons of destruction and pick up the tools of empowerment…the tools of the creative culture, the tools of your imagination; these must go with you every step of this journey,” he told the participants.
“This voice that you hear from the minister of youth is the collective voice of every single member of the Cabinet and the government of the day,” he added, while reminding them that too many meaningful opportunities exist which should be pursued as alternatives to crime.
“Put down those deadly weapons because the reality is that if we lose one, we lose one too many and our country should never be reduced to a country of fear. Barbadians must be able to carry out their duties in a fair environment.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure that we provide that vehicle for you to succeed and see yourself as a leader,” he promised.