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President summons Nizam
A week after promising to work with the Parliament to address the alleged ethnic imbalances in the Police Service, chairman of the Police Service Commission Nizam Mohammed has been summoned to the Office of the President for a face-to-face meeting today. Mohammed’s remarks have angered many nationals, including Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, who have both condemned Mohammed. Persad-Bissessar said on Wednesday that President Richards was seeking legal assistance on the issue of revoking Mohammed’s appointment. Sources say that advice was received yesterday. Contacted for comment yesterday, Mohammed said he received a call from the Office of the President yesterday asking him to be present at the said location for a meeting with the President.
Mohammed, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, said he was not told what was on the meeting’s agenda. “I am going with an open mind...I don’t know what the meeting is all about,” he said in an interview. “I am not afraid...I have done no wrong.” Up to late yesterday afternoon, Mohammed was at his barber being groomed for today’s meeting. Asked if he was expecting his appointment to be revoked during the meting, Mohammed repeated: “I have no idea what the meeting is about but I am going.” Sources say today’s meeting is expected to provide an avenue for Mohammed to clarify his statement. Sources also say that Mohammed must be given a hearing before any action could be taken against him.
But other sources are saying that the President has no grounds to revoke Mohammed’s appointment.
Two days ago, Mohammed said he was not about to resign his job and was preparing instead to continue his work at the commission. He said he met with the Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs and ACP Fitzroy Fredericks, who were critical of his initial statement. He said they now have a better appreciation for what he said initially. The former Speaker continues to draw criticism for his statement. Yesterday, Sport and Youth Affairs Minister, Anil Roberts said Mohammed “went overboard with emotions” in his remarks. Roberts and Mohammed are members of the Congress of the People, a member of the People’s Partnership Government.
Roberts, who spoke at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, said Mohammed should “apologise and move forward.”
He added: “It is clear that Mr Mohammed, no matter how well-intentioned he may have been, he cannot really address the issues in front of him.” Roberts also responded to Mohammed decision not to resign, despite public criticism by Persad-Bissessar. He said: “Mr Mohammed is a big man, he knows what he has to do.”
Roberts said the Cabinet was united in its position against any move to divide the country on the basis of race. He said: “We have no interest in defining any citizen by race, we move on meritocracy, if you’re good, you’re good (and) if you’re bad, you’re bad. End of story.” Roberts later said if the President did not revoke Mohammed’s appointment, the PP Government would abide by the law.
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