(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
The Fourth District Representative and Opposition Member, Hon. Mark Vanterpool said that he was concerned last Saturday when the security detail of Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie, was hovering in the church during the funeral service of one of his constituents. Further, Hon. Vanterpool said that the presence of the security detail of the Premier is interfering with the vision of peace the Territory has always enjoyed.
The Opposition member noted his concern about the security detail on July 16 and announced that this and other matters will be raised at some point in the House of Assembly.
In fact, Hon. Vanterpool even accused the Premier of needing the security for personal reasons instead of for official purposes.
Hon. Vanterpool presented his concerns in questions format and said that he intends to ask the House of Assembly, "Why Premier and Minister for Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie is the first leader of Government in the history of the Virgin Islands to attract a full time security detail? Why is this security detail costing us tax payers millions of dollars; and why is this security detail that is for Hon. Andrew Fahie – the Man himself Andrew Fahie, and not for the Office of the Premier? In other words, the question will be asked as to whether the Acting Premier, when he is Premier, receives the same security? Why is the taxpayer to pay over $5 million for the security of Honourable Andrew Fahie over the next four years? Why should we pay $5 million dollars for his personal security, and the Acting Premier doesn’t get the same security?"
The Fourth District Representative mentioned the Premier's announcement that his life was threatened, and said that if this was so he condemns the act. Nonetheless, the Opposition member stated that he believes that the bodyguards are for personal reasons.
"It therefore goes to say that the security is not for the Premier, the security is for Hon. Andrew Fahie. Therefore, the taxpayers should not pay for that security...I wanted to say Mr. Speaker, we heard the Premier talk about threats to his life, and if that is so, that is very unfortunate, I would say; and I condemn those threats to his life if that is so. But Mr. Speaker, why haven’t we heard of confirmation of this from the Commissioner of Police," the Opposition member declared.
In further calling for police verification of the situation, Hon. Vanterpool said that police from the United Kingdom should have been investigating the matter.
"Where is the Commissioner of Police on these threats; the people must know. If it is a threat on one’s life, especially if it’s a threat on the Premier of this country's life, we need to order a full investigation into this threat. We needed to have Scotland Yard detectives here long time ago to find out why our Premier is under threat."
Further, the Opposition member claimed that the Commissioner was not aware of the threat.
"As I heard reliably, the Commissioner of Police has no idea what this threat is. Up to now the Commissioner of Police has no idea what this threat is yet the people of this Territory has to spend millions of dollars for security of the Premier," Hon. Vanterpool pointed out.
The Opposition member said that he wanted to ask the Speaker of the House, but was unable to. Therefore, Hon. Vanterpool while standing in the yard of the House of Assembly asked, "When the Hon. Andrew Fahie is no longer Premier, since this threat appears to be personal, who will pay for the personal protection of Hon. Andrew Fahie or will a Bill be passed in this legislation for the lifetime protection of Hon. Andrew Fahie?"
Additionally, Hon. Vanterpool opined that the security detail hovers and makes their presence felt event at a funeral and in a church.
"I went to church on Saturday to a funeral of one of my constituents, and standing over me was security in the middle of church, while my former Premier was sitting next to me quietly. Is that what our culture is changed to? Is that what is expected over the next years? My people wake up, this is not right for the Territory of the Virgin Islands, a quiet place where we live in peace.”