MSJ: Commissioner's appointment must not be politicised

MSJ leader David Abdulah.
MSJ leader David Abdulah.

IN the midst of the ongoing saga of the appointment of a police commissioner, political leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah has chastised acting CoP Gary Griffith for politicising the position.

He also reiterated his request for the Government and the Opposition to sit and review the entire constitutional arrangement by which a commissioner is appointed.

Abdulah said this must be done as a matter of great urgency so the future the process will be transparent and void of any notion of any political interference in the choice of person to be appointed.

He warned that further delay in appointing a commissioner could lead to campaigning, which is not good, as different interest groups could start lobbying or state support for individual applicants.

“This is not a healthy thing. The position of commissioner ought not to be a politicised position.”

He said Griffith has placed comments in the public domain almost like a politician seeking public support.

He said Griffith has been doing polls, “attacking people, including attacking members of the media, attacking other public officials, attacking the PSC, attacking the Minister of National Security.

“That is not role of the top CoP. That is definitely not how a CoP ought to function, because the CoP has the responsibility for ensuring officers under his command exercise their responsibility of enforcing the law in a fair and impartial manner.

“If Mr Griffith himself is casting aspersions on different individuals, then officers below him may very well feel they cannot discharge their responsibility in a fair and impartial manner in terms of enforcement of the law.

“The position of CoP must not be seen or acting in a way that suggests he is involved in the political cut and thrust in the country.”

Abdulah pleaded with the Police Service Commission (PSC) to get things right.

During a virtual news conference on Sunday, Abdulah said it does not seem that the appointment of a top cop will be made any time soon and called for the immediate appointment of an acting CoP to avoid any further difficulties.

He suggested the PSC appoint either a deputy or acting commissioner to act until it can provide a merit list to the President, who will in turn forward it to the House of Representatives for a debate.

The acting appointment of Mc Donald Jacob in the absence of acting commissioner Gary Griffith expires on September 20.

Griffith has applied for the position and Abdulah said he is entitled to do so and be considered, although whether or not his name will be on the merit list is left to be seen.

There have been allegations of a plot to undermine the reappointment of Griffith.

Abdulah said the appointment of a commissioner is no longer a bacchanal but a serious business, as it entails the proper management and functioning of the police service and the morale of officers.

“It also has to do with ensuring there are clear lines of authority and responsibility and accountability, not only in the police service, but in the constitutionally supposedly established independent PSC.”

He said events over the last few days have shown how murky this whole process has become.

He cited the situation with Griffith being asked not to return to work, the different versions of a conversation between the Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds and Griffith, as well as the reported emergency meetings between the National Security Council (NSC) the Cabinet and the PSC.


"MSJ: Commissioner’s appointment must not be politicised"

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