Comment from BFP reader “Hants”…
This has made me think about the situation. This could be an immigration scam.
…One would expect that the type of people flying from so far away for a vacation would be middle to upper class with jobs and commitments requiring them to get back home asap.
Instead they are working in construction.
On BFP…sooner or later…the truth will out.
UPDATED: Stranded Passengers Working Illegally In Barbados – Want To Remain (Surprise, surprise!)
The Nation News finally published a story on the plight of 149 Ghana International Airlines passengers who were stranded in Barbados for weeks when their return flight did not arrive. (See The Nation News: Stranded)
It turns out that some are now working at a construction site while others have moved on. Unsurprisingly, some stranded passengers have announced that they would like to stay in Barbados.
Really? Gosh… what was our first clue that not every passenger arriving from Africa would intend to return? Any idiot could have predicted that – especially with the many Nigerians who took the flight to Barbados “for a vacation”.
Yup, this embracing of Africa will result in refugee claims and other uncontrolled immigration to Barbados, so our government and immigration authorities had better be on it.
But our Chief Immigration Officer Marva Farmer doesn’t seem to be answering the phone for the Nation News.
Has anyone seen Marva Farmer around? Please relay the message that folks would like to know what is going on!
Original BFP Story below…
Passengers From Ghana & Nigeria Can’t Get Home
Well… this really makes me want to take Ghana International Airlines back to Africa to connect with my historical roots.
Ahhh… on second thought even though it will drive Ikael Tafari to smoke more than he should… maybe I’ll take British Airways through London…
According to one African website, the holdup is with the Barbados Ministry of Transport… but I don’t buy that at all. Here’s what is said…
According to the statement, over the last week or so, the Charterer has been trying to procure another permit from the Ministry of Transport, Works and International Transport in Barbados to enable it transport a second batch of tourists to Barbados.
However, the Ministry insists it would not allow the Charterer to bring in additional tourists unless the first batch is repatriated to Accra, thus the Ministry would only permit the Charterer to bring an aircraft without passengers.
The Ministry of Transport, Works and International Transport in Barbados on February 1, 2008 granted a permit to GIA on behalf of the Charterer to operate one rotation- Ghana/Barbados/Ghana- but the ongoing dissimilarity in position between the Charterer and the authorities in Barbados prevented the repatriation of the tourists to Ghana.
… from Daily Guide Ghana
Barbados Media Fails To Report Story
Now, maybe we’re wrong here, folks. Maybe it was on the news and we didn’t hear it. Maybe the newspapers printed a huge article on this human interest story of Africans being put up in private homes all around the island. Please correct us if we’re wrong…
Yup, there’s nothing like the PROFESSIONAL Barbados news media: always so quick to make a major story out of government press announcement that a meeting will be held next week – but when it comes to anything but retyping a press release, they are lost.
… and the story from Young Bajan Lion…
What a big disgrace!
SHAME! GHANA! SHAME!
I started this month bursting with pride and happiness when news broke on 1 February that Ghana International Airlines had created history in Barbados by making the first direct flight from Africa to Barbados. So proud was I of the achievement that I rose in solid defense of GIA which came under attack from many skeptical Ghanaians here who cast slurs against the airline’s effort.
But tonight I hang my head in shame.
Two weeks after that first inaugural charter flight, GIA on Friday 15 February failed to show up on the planned second flight to Barbados and back, leaving 149 African passengers stranded in Barbados for ANOTHER TWO WEEKS until the next scheduled flight which is supposed to arrive on 29 February. The only solace I could find in the news story was that many of the Africans had deserted the guesthouse where some of them had been staying, and had taken up lodging with various Bajans whom they had met after arriving here.
A delay of a day or two is understandable, but to be stranded in a foreign country for TWO WHOLE WEEKS is outrageous. Surely some of those passengers have jobs and other responsibilities waiting for them in West Africa. They paid for TWO WEEKS in the Caribbean and now because of GIA’s atrocious bungling they have ended up spending TWO MORE WEEKS in a foreign country with money running low while food and accommodation still have to be found every day. GIA should be SUED for this, and I am sure that some Bajan lawyers would do it for free. There is no way that people should be treated like this.
I strongly commend my Bajan people for reaching out and accepting these Ghanaian and Nigerian strangers (who are our African brothers and sisters) into their homes. But I am very angry with GIA for ruining what should have been a historic and enjoyable visit to our country, because the whole idea of coming to Barbados is to make all visitors feel comfortable and welcome.
SHAME AND DISGRACE TO GHANA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES.
They started well and finished badly.
Nuff Respect, Young Bajan.