BVI News

Baba Aziz’s nationality cost him the Attorney General position

Former Attorney General Baba Aziz and Premier Andrew Fahie.

While noting the difficultly in finally getting a local to hold the post, Premier Andrew Fahie has said if the former Attorney General (AG) Baba Aziz was a BVIslander, he would still have been in that position to date.

Aziz, who is a native of Ghana, served as AG from February 2015 to September 2020 after his contract was initially due to expire in February 2020.

Premier Fahie made the comments during a recent session in the House of Assembly after outlining the section of the BVI’s 2007 Constitution which states that a qualified local should be the first option to fill the vacant position of Attorney General.

“Look at what the Constitution advancement did in 2007 when we fought to make sure that whenever you’re looking about filling the spot of the Attorney General. Not the person in the seat, but in terms of the institution, the Constitution says that it must be a Virgin Islander/Belonger with at least 10 years’ experience to hold the seat of Attorney General.”

He added, “Thirteen years later is when it finally kicked in because somebody stood up and said that’s enough. It isn’t that I am against the former AG at all, because then they put us against each other. That’s one of my African brothers and I love him to death but the Constitution was clear. I would hire him any day. If he were a Belonger, he would be still here, but he wasn’t.”

Government had to challenge for the position

Premier Fahie said that despite the Constitution clearly having provisions that legally allows for a qualified local to fill the position of AG, his government still had to go above and beyond to ensure that Dawn Smith received the appointment.

“The only reason that the current AG is in the seat now is because they couldn’t get past the Constitution when we challenged it …But I didn’t get it just for Dawn, I get it for future Dawns,” the Premier stated.

“When Dr Smith (the former Premier) and the constitutional team put it in. You know why they put it in? I was in politics all then, all of us, all 13 were saying it is time for a local to get in the seat of Attorney General. So the crafters the framers of the Constitution did it to ensure that. And then years later, I’m going to come to fight an entity that’s trying to sidestep what the Constitution says?”

Smith became the territory’s first local to hold the post in years. Queen’s Counsel Dancia Penn is the first local to ever hold the post. 

Premier Fahie and his government has made it clear that their intention is to localise the territory’s workforce to the extent where the percentage of locals exceeds the percentage of expats.

Presently, approximately 70 percent of the BVI’s labour force comprises expats while the remaining 30 percent comprises BVIslanders.  

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  1. Racism says:

    Perfect example of BVI’s racism against non-belongers, we should be appalled at our behavior as belongers to allow this man and the political parties to discriminate on nationality. Shame on you Premier

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    • why says:

      why you people don’t understand that the BVIslanders should come first.

      Your family and kids are first to be fed in your house.

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      • @Why says:

        BVIslanders being first priority does not essentially mean that everyone else is s**t. You can be proud of being a BVIslander without castigating everyone else. It’s funny how we are upset with the Governor and white people for foolishness but we treat our fellow black brothers and sisters like f**king plagues and all should be well.

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        • NONSENSE says:

          Baba was not up to the job, never replied to letters and was far too self important. He was also in the pocket of Jonah. The BVI will be better off without either of them.
          If there was a competition between Dawn Smith and Baba Aziz, Dawn would win hands down.

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      • @ Why says:

        Because it’s discrimination. Can’t fix stupid

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      • WTF says:

        Actually, in my house, we have manners. We feed our guests first.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t people learn the meaning of words before using them as weapons upon others? It seems that they don’t realize how ignorant uniformed they appear, all to put someone in a negative light.

    “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalised. ”

    “the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.”

    That article does not comport with the definitions of racism in any form.

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  3. annudda2cents says:

    the first ever? i thought that wwas Dancia Penn Sallah from 1992 to 1999?. am i missing something? this aside, i don’t believe the Premier needs to be giving explanations for something that is Constitutional. he made a decision, and I think most persons – at least I am – are happy that such a senior position was given to a BVIslander. appointing a locally qualified candidate in the person of Dawn Smith was an excellent move in my humble opinion.

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    • @2cents says:

      Fahie is pratting because he is …child. The Constitution says a qualified local should get it and a qualified local got it. Why does he have to rant on and on as if he did a personal favor.

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  4. Awful says:

    What is amazing is that the BVI hates this same behavior that comes from the mouth of Donald Trump against persons in America. We are outraged by it. But right here in our home, we have this very same behavior from our Premier and there is no outrage. What does this say about us? Mr. Premier and the VIP stop this xenophobic behavior. There is nothing wrong with putting nationals first but stopping making other people feel like trash because they were not born here.

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  5. Keep telling Y’all says:

    The Premier is a undercover r****t trapped in the cl***t.

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  6. The Nation says:

    No…his nationality didn’t cost him it…it was that fiasco on MW contract with the HoA

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  7. Bvi says:

    That headline is utter nonsense

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  8. Listen says:

    I came here some yrs ago seeking a better way of life . I did achieve what i set out to accomplish. Thanks to the wonderful people of the bvi i now can called here my home. The small country that i was born still exist with a small population but i never read or hear about the government advertising vacancies for expatriates to come and applied. The attorney general is local ,the commissioner of police is local,the dpp is local ,the bank managers are locals . Every top ,middle and most lower end jobs are done by locals. Why does the bvi have to advertise especially government jobs to foreigners??why?? In this day and age when the bvi that i called home send so many people to colleges around the world to study. Many came back and many more on their way back to fill what ever positions available. Why do this country needs a foreign commissioner of police?? We had to local commissioner of police before ,what did they differently than the ÷English man?? We had local attorney general before ,what are the foreign attorney general doing that the educated people here can’t do?? You guys have been importing Caribbean nationals for yrs some good some not so good and some bad. Some remain ,many had left after yrs and return to their home country. Now you have a new set been inported in the last few yrs and my gosh they are multiplying so fast ,can the bvi keep up with such a fast increase. The schools were already to capacity before Corona. Most of the government institutions were bursting at the seams. Some businesses now only employing the Asian people because of cheap labour. These people are machines. They hardly take lunch and they dont asked for increase in salary. Now the local population will not and cannot compete with these Asian people. If it wasn’t for government jobs and projects most bvi lander’s would have to migrate especially within the last 10 yrs. Mr premier and minister of labour it is time for new laws to protect your people. Every country is doing it why its a problem when this country trying to do just that. Recently it was said that the there is about 500 of these take anything people here but one of them was in the news saying that that was a lie it is actually 800. Well the local cannot find jobs in the financial sector anymore. The real estate are hiring them over the local to sell your land .what a thing!! The construction industry is hiring them,the insurance companies hiring them,you name it ,every where you turn in this island that was one predominantly black. What is going to happen to your local people?? Mr premier and ministers please concentrate on your people,look out for them.if you don’t who is going to?? Everyone is looking for big profits and in doing so your local population wouldn’t last another 50 yrs.

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    • Interesting says:

      Cast the blame on Immigration and Labor Dept for such atrocities.
      They are they offending agencies. They issue the permits.

  9. Barbecue Bat wingz says:

    The constitution stated a local person shall take up the post of AG. That’s all well and good. So now that we have a local AG, what is the succession plan moving forward. Are you going to groom up other locals to take up the mantle once the AG has resigned or retired or even passed on? #makecareersattractiveforlocals

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  10. Observer 1 says:

    ….and they walk among us! What utter rubbish! This is obviously the comment of an unschooled mind.
    Have you every tried looking at the size (or lack there of) of the pool, which you have to choose from? Where des one place the bar? Or maybe a watered down version of EVERYTHING should be the status quo?
    Suggestion: Expats should be brought in to do the work and locals receive the remuneration.

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    • @ Observer 1 says:

      “Expats should be brought in to do the work and locals receive the remuneration” – Isn’t that called slavery?!

  11. Guy Hill says:

    It’s what it is. Breath in. Breath out, move on.

  12. @Observer says:

    And the expat should be the white European.

  13. Rofl says:

    Dawn is qualified and right for the job.

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