By: Jack Warner
We never understand the brutality or the reality of crime until it lands on our doorstep and on Friday November 15, 2019, it did.
Right at the Lopinot Corner, less than 400 yards away from the office of Sunshine Today, two young men were brutally gunned down in plain sight just around 7:00 pm that fateful evening.
The staccato of gunfire that pierced the silence of a peaceful night betrayed the closeness of the moment and people who were simply liming even further away or perched in their homes scampered to safety fearing their lives were at risk.
This was not an incident we were reading about on social media or video captured by onlookers. Neither was it an article published on print media. This was actually an event witnessed by citizens in real-time going about their normal business.
The threat was not just to those who were there hanging out with friends. The threat posed included commuters who were wending their way home using the nation’s main road.
The threat posed included pedestrians who were walking past along the Eastern Main Road and it is only based on God’s mercies that collateral damage was null and void as the parabellums found the targets the assailants attempted to hit.
The Commissioner of Police after being appointed made it very clear that his optimal goal was not just the reduction of crime nor specifically the murder rate that continues to enslave our people. He made it clear that his specific goal is the reduction of the fear factor that is crippling our society.
As a nation, the people do not feel safe anymore. The security infrastructure has collapsed and to cop out by suggesting the protection of citizens is the job of the Commissioner of Police is the reason why we are in this ridiculous state.
The time for talk is over
The average citizen is living under stress not knowing when they would be assailed by some miscreant. Not knowing when they will be slain by an assassin’s bullet. Unaware if today they will return home after completing an honest day’s work.
People are disappearing from our streets. Our young girls and very young ones too are victims of kidnapping while our boys are being groomed to take over the reins of power after gang leaders find themselves behind bars. And yet there are no recommendations coming from you as a leader relating to a particular way to change our society.
Friday night in Arouca was a wake-up call Mr. Prime Minister and the sad reality is your party’s slogan today is “Getting it done”.
This is the mantra that the PNM is bandying around during this local government election season. Getting what done Mr. Prime Minister?
With the police having to battle with AR15s and assault rifles, hand grenades and deportees some of whom have imported the American culture of confrontation with law and order and intimidating those sworn to protect and serve driving them to a level of impotence what hope is there for the law-abiding citizen who is seeking to create a life of peace for himself?
Where are the social programmes the PNM once had that at least used to provide some measure of relief for families in distress? Where have these gone?
And what is the plan you have in mind to recapture our streets, Mr Prime Minister? To stop the unholy slaughter of our young men and the rape of our little girls and to stem the blood that flows daily upon our streets?
The time for talk Mr. Prime Minister is over. As a people, we can no longer be fooled with cheap talk that the crime rate is dropping because we are seeing the rise in front of our doorsteps and across social media and the people have now reached the point where no longer will they be duped with the lies of your administration.
The government has surrendered to the criminals
Mr Prime Minister, you walked into office with a so-called agricultural agenda and yet today, instead of land being distributed to persons who are interested in farming they are being occupied by Chinese and Venezuelans who have invaded our borders and are squatting on State Lands and are not being touched.
Mr Prime Minister, when you came into office, you said things would be rough and that we need to tighten our belts but you have done nothing to increase our revenue. After four years, no system has been put in place to ensure compliance by big business, collect outstanding VAT owed and ensure that taxes that are due and regularly paid.
We would have thought that Property Tax by now would have been enacted because we need the money to fight this war against crime. But it is as though this Government has surrendered all to the criminals and after last Friday the question that is being asked is why do we need Keith Rowley and his government?
What bothers me is that politicians, especially Prime Ministers, believe that they will be in office forever; that they will perpetually have the protection of the Special Branch. But unless we come to the understanding that we have to cultivate the culture of this country to allow us to live here safely, forever we will be living under stress as prisoners in our own homes.
We no longer have sacred cows
Dr Rowley, you may not think much about Barry Padarath. And his notion of politics may be totally different from yours. But when you take into consideration that he is a standing politician who was robbed of his car and his mobile phone you must admit that in our society we no longer have sacred cows.
Dr. Rowley you must also admit that if a sitting Member of Parliament can be attacked by miscreants, if you were to leave office the very said demographic that you are not seeking to address may see you as fair game and engage in a type of assault that may force you to wish that you had acted otherwise.
Mr Prime Minister, you know your roots. The journey you have made from Les Couteaux into Morvant on your way to the Diplomatic Centre is there for all to see and read.
You would understand the struggles of your mother, how in spite of the challenges of the day she stuck to a task of raising a son who today can sit today in the seat of Prime Minister with an opportunity to bring more people out of the morass of poverty.
But you are not taking up the challenge. Your administration is silent on the slaying of the lambs, dumb on the destruction of our daughters, hushed concerning the abuse that is taking place in our society and the only thing that seems to be getting done is nothing.
The people of Arouca need to hear from you
Mr. Prime Minister, you have a Commissioner of Police who is not afraid to put his life on the line for the country. This is what he has been trained to do and this is what he is fearlessly doing.
Mr. Prime Minister, your Commissioner of Police has set up SORT, a most fearless unit that is pushing back against crime in this country, paralyzing the power and wealth of the Mr. Bigs and intimidating the so-called bad boys roaming our streets.
But not even that is getting it done and this is critical because election is upon us and you have little time to make that giant step to convince us that you deserve one more chance to lead our country.
The people in Arouca need to hear from you as does the rest of the country. The people of Arouca need to be comforted after Friday’s massacre and they need to be told that everything is going to be alright.
This country wants a Prime Minister whose hands are on the pulse of the nation and not one whose hands wave wildly in the wind as if to suggest he has surrendered. Therefore my advice to you this week, Sir, is to ACT NOW ON THE CRIME SITUATION in the country.