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Sunday 23 September 2018
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Nafeesa: I am not trying to drive a wedge in the Muslim community

Nafeesa Mohammed
Nafeesa Mohammed

FORMER Senior Legal Advisor to the Office of the Prime Minister Nafeesa Mohammed has denied claims in a recent publication about her termination which, she said, was meant to tarnish her name.

“It is clear whoever person informed (the newspaper) has an agenda against me. Whatever it is almighty God is in control. I have no malice or animosity to anyone. I am a real citizen concerned with developments in recent times and as an attorney-at-law a lot needs to be dealt with so can put proper systems and develop institutions in a manner that would redound to the benefit of all of us,” she told Newsday in a telephone interview.

On her Facebook page on Friday she posted an image of a Weekend Mirror article, dated March 2, about the termination of her employment in the Office of the Prime Minister and said the story contained “brazenly false statements about the termination of my employment in the Office of the Prime Minister.”

The article claimed that at the People’s National Movement (PNM) General Council meeting last week Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley refuted claims that Mohammed had been fired from her position but that she was transferred to a similar position in the Ministry of Planning and Development. The article further claimed from sources that Mohammed wanted to retain her original post and declined the transfer. The article also claimed that the Prime Minister did not discuss recent terror threats with her and that Mohammed and a “band of followers” had been visiting mosques and bad mouthing the Prime Minister.

Mohammed in her Facebook post said she had not been a member of the PNM’s General Council since 2013 and she is not in the habit of discussing party business in public.

“The source who claims that I wanted to retain the title of Senior Legal Advisor to the Prime Minister is obviously bent on tarnishing my name and character. At no time did I indicate my unwillingness to be reassigned.”

Mohammed also said that at no time was her advice requested on any of the matters pertaining to the alleged plot to disrupt Carnival or any terror or other security activities.

“It is also a downright fabrication and malicious statement to say that I am trying to drive a wedge in the Muslim Community. I have been consistent in encouraging unity because the fabric of our diverse society is rapidly being eroded.”

Mohammed said there are issues that require sober and statesman-like management given the shifting power in the region with our strategic location near to Venezuela.

“The war on terror has been waged in other countries with heart wrenching results. The Muslim Community has always collaborated with whichever party is in Government to build a better nation.”

She said there is a need to put more effective mechanisms in place to achieve more accurate information before taking action that have eroded the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens. “We all want to live in a safer and more secured country where every creed and race find an equal place.”

Mohammed’s cousin Tariq was among 13 people detained and later released over an alleged terror plot to disrupt Carnival. After her cousin was detained Mohammed posted on Facebook that the “cabal seems to be at it again.” She was fired from her position as Senior Legal Advisor to the Office of the Prime Minister and told Newsday that no official reason was given for her termination. Muslim groups have called on Government to explain the reason for her termination.

Yesterday, Mohammed told Newsday that that while law enforcement agencies have a job to do there is a need for better understanding of the fabric of society rather than profiling and jumping to conclusions.

“Recent events has shown what trauma is created in communities where persons who were always law-abiding citizens have to feel the full brunt of law in a manner foreign to us.”

She said there needs to be a stock taking exercise at the highest level and added that the country’s sovereignty is important to all of us.

“We are peaceful, law-abiding citizens. We helped build this nation and we will continue to do what we can. We want to work with authorities in a collaborative method and to ensure all citizens can be at peace and help to heal and unite the nation.

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