Leader of the Opposition Philip 'Brave' Davis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff
By TANEKA THOMPSON
Tribune News Editor
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis has called Cabinet’s consideration of a possible curfew for Abaco in response to security concerns a “knee-jerk” reaction.
Mr Davis, who will travel to Abaco today, said the nation’s leader should think carefully before restricting civil liberties and must canvass Abaco residents before a decision is made.
“The call for a curfew in Abaco by the prime minister seems like a knee-jerk reaction and as usual the prime minister’s sudden concern for security shows once again that he is late to the table.
“For weeks since the storm passed, the PLP has warned the prime minister about the security situation,” Mr Davis said in a statement.
“The prime minister buried his head in the sand. The communities of the Abaco cays and Marsh Harbour cried out for help. The prime minister ignored them.
“We told the prime minister how the marines and police officers sent there were being ill-treated and underfed and that their command instructions were confused. Now the prime minister rushes in with cameras in tow with half-baked solutions.
“. . .We think the prime minister should think carefully before restricting civil liberties. There should be consultations with the population of Abaco before any such drastic solution is implemented.
“We also urge the prime minister to disclose fully the death toll from the hurricane. Further, he should ensure that the security and other personnel sent to Abaco are properly resourced and not left to fend for themselves,” Mr Davis said.
Last week, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told The Nassau Guardian that he is “not happy” about Abaco’s level of security.
“We requested an additional 150 personnel,” Dr Minnis said on Wednesday.
“We will again talk to the defence force. We have, I was told, 40, 50 individuals who may have retired. You know they force retirement early, at 55. So we will call all those individuals back so that they can assist with security.
“Cabinet and I, we will have to decide whether…once I survey and have a better understanding of the situation, we will make a determination as to whether we will institute a curfew.
“There is no reason for people to be about moving in the darkness.
“We need extra manpower. We need more personnel, no doubt.”
This came after The Tribune reported about looting and other crime fears of Abaco residents post Hurricane Dorian, with one resident threatening to “shoot anyone dead” that attempted to enter her property.
Others fear that the problem is festering and will only worsen if authorities there on the ground don’t double down on measures to protect people from thieves.
“Abaco don’t got no law right now,” the woman, who did not want to be named, told The Tribune from her porch in Marsh Harbour.
“I tell ya one thing, me and everyone else around here is armed and I’m sure if someone tries to come in here I’ll shoot them dead. I’ll shoot anyone dead.”