Opposition legislator Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull is throwing his support behind Premier Andrew Fahie’s decision to hire personal bodyguards.
Turnbull declared his support for the decision while noting that Fahie had extended support to him when his (Turnbull’s) own colleagues and party members in the previous NDP administration was against him.
“I stood on the government side for three-plus years and for many times the things I would say would be frowned upon … would be ridiculed. I remember one time, one of them who ain’t here no more — he’s up on the wall — he jumped up on me and basically tried to discipline me for saying what was in my heart, in my conscience,” Turnbull said.
He continued: “And, I remember it was the then Leader of the Opposition; now the honourable Premier who stood along with our late sister, Honorable Delores Christopher, and they supported me in saying what I had to say. Now I am going to return the favour, not that he requested it.”
Security for Premier raised during NDP’s rule
Turnbull said providing security for whoever sits as the territory’s Premier was also raised during the tenure of the former Dr D Orlando Smith-led NDP administration.
He said he recalls a caucus meeting that took place in late 2015 or 2016 when a report from the National Security Council made the recommendation.
He said the report “strongly recommended that … security be provided for the Premier”. According to Turnbull, the said report underscored that the Office of the Premier ought to command respect.
“When someone threatens anyone’s life, elected or not, I take it seriously. When you threaten somebody’s family, it is of utmost importance. Honourable 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’,” Turnbull said.
He said such positions ‘ought to mean something,’ and pointed out that the judiciary and legislative branch of government are given more prestige and respect than the executive.
“Premier, I want you to know I support you and as a country, you have made the right step,” said Turnbull who is representative of the Second Electoral District.
Premier Fahie recently faced criticism for hiring personal security, which persons suspected was at the expense of taxpayers. While confirming that suspicion, Premier Fahie also revealed that he made the decision to have armed bodyguards because he received three assassination threats since becoming Premier.
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