National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis has declared in response to calls on social media for his resignation, that he works at the behest of the prime minister.
“If the prime minister believes I am not being as efficient as I can be, then it is his prerogative to decide to change me,” the former Deputy Police Commissioner told St Lucia Times.
He asserted that most of the times the critics on social media hide behind fake names.
However Francis explained that he has never backed down from any challenge.
“So it is up to the prime minister to decide whether I stay or go,” he stated.
He noted that his job as Minister of Home Affairs, Justice and National Security entails much.
“If you sit in my office for one day you will understand the vastness of my office – there are a number of things to deal with,” the minister explained.
He said they include the fire department, Bordelais Correctional Facility, issues of citizenship, the matter of insufficient court houses and criminal matters.
“Some people just look at it as ‘You’re the minister of Home Affairs and you are supposed to solve crime,’” Francis said.
“I can’t solve crime. I can assist the police – give them the materials and ability to fight; but at the end of the day it has to be the Commissioner and the hierarchy of the police force to devise polices and methods of dealing with crime,” Francis told St Lucia Times.
The former police officer spoke against the backdrop of Thursday night’s shooting in Marchand that resulted in the death of a senior citizen and injuries to two young people.
According to reports, a lone gunman, estimated to be in his teens, opened fire at another youth, wounding him in the buttocks.
However according to persons who spoke to St Lucia Times on condition of anonymity, stray bullets hit a teenage girl and penetrated a wooden house, hitting the senior citizen who was inside.
He is reported to have died on the spot.
The gunman fled the scene after the shooting incident which occurred about 7:45 p.m near Ti J’s Ultra Mart.
Saint Lucia has so far recorded 43 homicides for the year.