RESPONDING to Jamaat al Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr’s declaration of "war" on the Government over injustices against African people, acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob said if Bakr wants "a battle," the armed forces are prepared for it.
But Jacob said now was not the time to create and develop new enemies.
Throughout a 75-minute broadcast from his mosque in Mucurapo on Friday night, carried live on Facebook, Bakr, who led the 1990 attempted coup against the NAR government, spoke of injustices against the schools run by the Jamaat and warned Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly “to fix it or else...”
Jacob said the tape is being reviewed by the police Special Branch and legal department to determine how they should proceed. He said the video is receiving attention to determine if it was a credible threat or an emotional outburst to grab headlines and attention.
Nevertheless, Jacob said as an intelligence-driven body, “We are on the alert. We have upped our security. We are working with the Defence Force in terms of any eventuality. “
He said the perceived threat against Gadsby-Dolly has been taken into consideration.
“Everything has been taken into consideration. We don’t want the situation to be blown out of proportion. We want the country to have confidence, that we have upped our game, I cannot spell out what that is, but we are doing what is required to be done.”
Following the release of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) results on Thursday, Bakr said his message was aimed to bring solace to parents and children who were sad, having ended up in the “junior sex-condary” schools even though they performed better than others who ended up in the “prestige” schools.
He blamed this on the Concordat agreement between the State and denominational school boards which allows the boards to select 20 per cent of students on the basis of the SEA exam.
He said the Concordat is biased against the Jamaat, which he said had produced doctors, lawyers and engineers, but is denied funding or entry to students wanting to list its secondary school as a choice.
“How come these schools are able to take 20 per cent of the children whether they fail or pass?"
Saying he understands the Concordat is being reviewed, Bakr warned Gadsby-Dolly,
“Miss Minister, I, Yasin Abu Bakr, tell you if this school, my school, is not included in the Concordat, all the taxes that we pay all these years, give us our taxes back so we could pay our own teachers.
“Since this is how you all are dealing with this injustice, we will show you what is injustice. So you better include the Jamaat al Muslimeen.”
He asserted this was not a threat, but a warning, because, he said, the denominational schools were getting all of the money that he and his members were paying in taxes.
“Miss MoE, remember I say I eh threaten you. I warning you. Fix it this time. Fix this injustice. Fix it,” he said repeatedly warning that "the flood" was coming
“All the children topping the class is Indian. What the a-- all you doing, black man?” he asked, chastising the Prime Minister for “giving (the late) Sat Maharaj all the money for the Indian children.”
“War!” he cried. “They could say what they want, war is a word in the dictionary and it is used.”
He said for 46 years, the Jamaat has been struggling, without a cent from the State, and blamed parents for not standing up in defence of their children.
“I am going to lift their spirits today. I am going to release you from the doldrums if you are prepared to stand for what is just and right.”
He said African children deserved their just due and he was no longer going to allow this injustice to continue.
He said the parents have refused to follow him when he called for them to stand up for justice, but warned that their children are listening and would join him.
He said Rowley, as a black man and leader of the country, had an obligation to look after black children.
Speaking about the killing of mainly African males by black police officers and their incarceration for up to 15 years without a trial, Bakr warned Government and the armed forces that the deaths covid19 had brought were merely "the waves, but the sea is coming.
“I tired see African people get killed, murdered by the same African men.”
He warned against the killing of Muslims, saying there would be no place for the perpetrators to run or hide.
“Don’t fix the society. In Trinidad and Tobago, don’t fix up. Don’t readjust the society. Don’t give to the poor what is their just due. Don’t be fair and just, don’t let go the prisoners you locking up for 15 years without a trial.
"Don’t do that and you would see what would happen.
“I warn you today. I warn you three times. You have no warning after this. I am warning the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, I am warning the police, the army, Coast Guard. I am warning everybody who involved in repression, oppression of the African people, this is the last-day warning. If you do not change, if you do not adjust the society, it coming on you.
“God is going to destroy you. You have no weapons to defend yourself. It proven already because right now we have covid and you can’t do nothing.
“Don’t feel you can call the army and police, all of them could just fall down and dead one time, because instead of covid coming in waves, covid coming in sea. It coming one time."
Bakr challenged the Government and the police on Friday night “to bring their lawyers like you are accustomed doing, say to 'charge him with some kind of thing.' Come with your stupidness this time. This time you will see the sea coming on you.”
Bakr has been charged under the Sedition Act in 2005 with inciting others during an Eid sermon at his Mucurapo Road mosque, to demand money by menace and for committing a breach of the peace. A retrial is pending.
Bakr has also challenged a criminal complaint against him after he refused to answer a summons to testify before the commission of enquiry into the 1990 attempted coup. The complaint was filed after the DPP did not charge him.