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VIDEO: Bahamians blast OPM for two wedding approvals

As Bahamians scrambled to postpone weddings and funerals planned for this weekend in the wake of a last-minute weekend lockdown imposed on the entire country, Competent Authority Dr. Hubert Minnis gave a couple in Briland and another couple in New Providence permission to go ahead with their big day as planned.

On Friday, Minnis made it clear that weddings and funerals scheduled for this weekend could have no more than five people. So imagine Bahamians’ surprise when images of a grand destination wedding on Briland surfaced on social media with a full-blown Junkanoo rush-out and dozens of guests who wore no face masks and threw social distancing protocols to the wind.

Amid outrage on social media, the Office of the Prime Minister acknowledged two couples received approval.

“The Competent Authority granted permission for two pre-planned weddings with more than five in attendance to be held over the Weekend Lockdown, provided that proper COVID-19 mitigation protocols were adhered to,” OPM said in a statement tonight.

“Permission was granted for a destination wedding on Harbour Island, Eleuthera and a Bahamian wedding in New Providence.”

“The Competent Authority has asked the Royal Bahamas Police Force to investigate reports that proper COVID-19 protocols were not adhered to at the wedding held on Harbour Island.”

No one believes this so-called investigation will go anywhere. What they do believe is that there are two sets of rules for the haves and the have nots and the competent authority should be renamed the inconsistent authority.

One person wrote,”This is why people lack confidence in Dr. Minnis. There are too many inconsistencies. A lot of people had to cancel their weddings due to this sudden lockdown. No consideration was made for them, especially for the money they spent.”

What was so special about these two weddings that they were allowed to go on as planned while other excited couples suffered the inconvenience of learning on Friday - one day before their wedding - that they could have no more than five guests, would be stuck with boatloads of flowers and food and a wedding reception was out of the question.

If those Bahamians were forced to comply with Emergency Orders, why weren’t the others, who defied those orders for all of social media to see?

“They don't give a rat’s &$@ about Bahamians. This is the height of disrespect to our people. The Prime Minister works for the foreigners only,” said one fed up Bahamian.

Another opined, “I guess the Bahamians didn't preplan their weddings and funerals. This has to be a joke.”

Vendors affected by the weekend lockdown also expressed their frustration.

“As a Bahamian wedding and portrait photographer this is extra frustrating as I have lost several events, ie substantial income, due to all of these lockdowns. Many of us have. If this wedding could happen then so should my recent portrait sessions been exempted and my wedding in two weeks which has been postponed three times now. I am an advocate for all of the safety measures but really not happy about this continued double standard,” said a local photographer.

The competent authority’s hypocrisy was on full display in this situation. To say the two approved weddings were “pre-planned” was a slap in the face. Aren’t all weddings and funerals pre-planned? What about the children of people who died but were unable to attend their burial due to Emergency Orders that limited attendance to five people.

Families begged the government to allow them to bury their loved ones as planned, with a promise to wear masks and practice social distancing, but they received a firm no from the competent authority.

All of this while a big wedding popped off on Briland with the competent authority’s blessing.

Someone should explain to the prime minister that we are all equal and what you do for one must be done for all.

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