Rowley blames Gary Griffith for OPV fiasco
Crime and emailgate took centre stage on the People’s National Movement (PNM) platform in Arima on Friday night, as Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley slammed the People’s Partnership Government for failing to stop the “killings after killings after killings”, saying crime today was worse than 2010 when the PNM lost office.
He also slammed the People’s Partnership’s fourth Minister of National Security Gary Griffith as being the mastermind behind the Government’s decision to “dismantle” the offshore patrols vessels, even as he now spoke about buying similar type vessels from Colombia.
Rowley, who disclosed what were said to be e-mails linking Griffith to an alleged criminal conspiracy against key institutions of the State, questioned Griffith’s appointment even as he was being investigated by the police and the Integrity Commission.
“Imagine, while Gary Griffith is under that level of investigation the Prime Minister promoted him to Minister of National Security. Are these people for real? You came in on a mandate to fight crime, and while this man is under investigation by police and the Integrity Commission, you make the man Minister of the Police.
“People of Trinidad and Tobago, what madness is this? It is disrespect for you the people and on that basis alone I am asking you the people of Arima to vote solidly for the PNM,” Rowley told his supporters at Princess Royal Park, Hollis Avenue last Friday.
Rowley said the People’s Partnership could no longer hide behind the excuse of being a new government simply to excuse themselves from wrongdoing.
“I am inviting them to describe themselves as the outgoing government because they are on their way out...”
He said crime remained the biggest problem and the Government must accept it has failed and failed miserably.
“So if in 2010 crime was the number one problem and you elected a new government to come and treat with crime problems and in October 2013 it is probably worse.
“Today we are hearing on a daily basis killings after, killings, after killings,” he said, adding that the murders now seem to have international connections, referring to the recent murders of two Latin American nationals who were killed and dumped in a forested area shortly after arriving in the country.
“Every single day this one kill that one and that one kill the other, nothing has changed with respect to unacceptable level of violent crime in the country after you elected a government to address that problem and so the failure is confronting us.”
He pointed to the rapid changes of National Security ministers to show the People’s Partnership’s failure, starting with Brigadier John Sandy, whom he described as a “knight in shining armour”, but who, he said, “defeated himself in the first month”.
“He will be remembered for coming to Parliament and giving us UNC lies about the qualifications of Reshmi Ramnarine, who Government had put in charge of the SIA. After him was Jack Warner who is now telling us he formed a political party to fight crime. After him came Emmanuel George who the PM put there in a hurry.”
Referring to Griffith as “General Shultz” from Hogan’s Heroes, Rowley said the crime situation was a serious concern to all.
Rowley questioned why the government, which came to office on a mandate to fight crime, was doing nothing even though it was aware of criminal activities within its own fold, and in State enterprises like National Quarries.
He said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar will pay a serious price for failing to deal with those Cabinet ministers such as Attorney General Anand Ramlogan who the population does not want.
Responding to accusations by the Prime Minister that he wants to bring down her government Rowley said, “That is my job, as long as I do it legally.”