Assassinations threats have prompted Premier of the British Virgin Islands Hon Andrew A. Fahie to have a police escort.
During the Budget debate in the House of Assembly on 25 April Hon. Fahie disclosed that his life was threatened; the Premier announced that persons have mockingly referred to the fact that he has security accompanying him. However, he firmly stated that this is no laughing matter since there have been three threats to his life.
The Premier told the House of Assembly, “Since becoming premier it is now documented through authorities that I have received three major threats of assassination.”
While Hon. Fahie said that he couldn’t say everything, he did indicate that the situation is serious albeit some he said have made light of the situation: “I don’t like to know that taxpayers have to go through that. As a matter of fact Mr Speaker, I bring it up because I noticed that before I got to make a speech, there are those making fun of it. But I don’t take nobody making fun of my life,” the Premier mentioned.
The BVI Leader explained that the situation has disrupted his routine. Hon. Fahie said that he watches shows such as ‘Blacklist’ and ‘Scandal’ and never once imagined that such a scenario will play out in his life. He also stated that intelligence revealed that the persons plotting are motivated because of greed. He said that with him as Premier and Minister of Finance the plotters are no longer gaining.
“I want to tell those three entities here today that you are not going to frighten me, you are not going to frighten me from doing the business of the people. We have sat down with the Commissioner of Police, we have sat down with the private security…” he disclosed.
Further the Premier explained that there is not enough evidence to bring formal charges against the suspects. However, he said that it was felt that the situation required the implementation of a security for his safety.
“The street is where I first heard it but I didn’t take it serious,” he said noting that the persons wishing him harm wish to see his “two daughters without a father, wife without a husband and mother without a son.”
Now with a security officer in constant tow the Premier said that he is not happy with the situation because he is used to moving freely about. However, he said that this is necessary; and criticized persons who are making mockery of the situation.
“I had to re-arrange my life and it has not been a nice time… One time I even paused and say, is this even worth it? …I use to be around this place free, free as a bird representing the people of the First [District] in this House doing what I got to do. Now because of some greedy people, that’s who they are, because we have a tip-off what it’s about… some greedy people, want to see if they can assassinate the Premier,” Hon Fahie added.
Opposition Member Stands with Premier
Second District Representative and Opposition Member Hon. Melvin Mitch Turnbull during his debate contribution on 26 April decried the news of the threats to harm the Premier and stated that he supported the security decision.
Hon. Turnbull said that the decision to have security escort for the Premier could have been made a few years back since it was recommended by in a report tendered by the National Security Council in 2015 or 2016. He said that this report was presented to caucus which he attended.
Hon. Turnbull noted that the office of the Premier should command respect and people should not take lightly the announced threats. “When someone threatens anyone’s life, elected or not, I take it seriously. When you threaten somebody’s family, it is of utmost importance. Hon. Premier when I saw the security with you, this is what I said: ‘I hope the Premier will keep the security with him for as long as he is elected because it has nothing to do with Andrew Fahie,” the Second District Representative said.
Hon. Turnbull further pointed out that the judiciary and executive (Governor) branches of government are given more respect than the legislative branch and noted that the other two arms have security escorts.
“Premier, I want you to know I support you and as a country, you have made the right step,” the Second District Representative added.