ACTING Police Commissioner Stephen Williams yesterday said he did not perceive as a threat statements made by coup-maker Yasin Abu Bakr earlier this week in response to the raid of the Carapo mosque and the detaining of several worshippers during the holy month of Ramadan.
On Tuesday police raided a mosque in Carapo and detained 18 people.
During an interview on WIN Radio 101.1 FM, Bakr responded to the raid and warned Williams, National Security Minister Gary Griffith and Roger Alexander, head of the North Eastern Division Task Force and host of TV6’s Beyond the Tape programme of an appropriate response being taken if their unacceptable action continued.
“The question of coming into the mosque in Ramadan and detaining people unlawfully will not, and I repeat will not be accepted. Big man Alexander, if you think you can do whatever you want and you are not accountable to God, Mr Commissioner of Police, Mr Griffith, this is Abu Bakr, I am saying if you continue this transgression against us, we will respond appropriately, end of talk,” Bakr said.
Speaking to the media following his appraisal by the Police Service Commission (PSC) yesterday Williams said he did not view Bakr’s statement as a threat.
“I don’t take what was said by Yasin Abu Bakr the imam as a threat. I think he chose his words carefully and if you recall exactly what he said he speaks to ‘appropriate action’. What will be the appropriate action? I know for a fact it is easy for us to jump from one point to say he was responsible for leading an event which we refer to as the attempted coup of 1990 and if he makes reference to appropriate action then it may be linked to a piece of action like that, but it does not necessarily mean that. Appropriate action can have so much meaning maybe the media can verify what he means by appropriate action but I don’t take it as a threat,” Williams said.
Williams said the Police Service has changed since then and any situation facing the country will be dealt with.
“What I can tell you is I am leading an organisation which is not the Police Service of 1990. I am leading an organisation where we have highly skilled officers capable of dealing with any situation that confronts this country.
“So the public can rest assured the Police Service is prepared for any eventuality and not only the Police Service, we have a Defence Force which is highly skilled and highly prepared so I have little concern around what people consider to be a concern,” Williams said.
“We have to focus as a nation and do not feel threatened by any single individual, we have to grow beyond that as a nation,” he said.