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Stand up and make things right

The race is well and truly on for the local government elections due to take place August 14, a mere five weeks away. And as is par the course, the mud-slinging has started.

A few days ago, PNM political leader Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley launched a scathing attack on former police commissioner Gary Griffith whose National Transformation Alliance (NTA) has entered into an accommodation with the Opposition, the United National Congress (UNC) to contest the local government elections.

The Prime Minister, who admitted he was instrumental in the appointment of Griffith as top cop warned of what he described as a “grave and mortal danger” being faced by citizens from the UNC/NTA accommodation. According to Dr Rowley, the country would become “awash” with guns that would be used by one race against the other.

At a time when the country is facing a worsening crime situation, where the murder count is close to 300 in the seventh month of the year, one would hope that those charged with running the nation’s affairs on both sides of the political divide would temper their comments, especially on the political platform, and not use language that has the potential to incite one race against another.

Surely the authorities including the Police, Army, National Security Minister, and  National Security Council should be on top of their game to prevent a free flow of guns into the country.

Dr Rowley, as head of the National Security Council, has access to information that can help this country stop the flow of guns. The national security apparatus needs to bring down those who have made crime big business through the importation of guns and drugs. If their trade is being facilitated by anyone, then those who facilitate must also face the music.

There are other examples from the platforms, but we urge those on all sides of the political divide to temper their rants on the hustings, there is too much at stake in this country.

In the face of the defeat of the West Indies cricket team the PM took time to post the following on Facebook: “Playing for West Indies requires a desire to fight, to believe, to win. To saunter through to defeat is unacceptable.” Those statements must stand true also in all walks of life and more so in the political arena, where too often mediocrity is allowed to fester.

If all of us, including the politicians truly love and believe in Trinidad and Tobago we must all stand up and do what is needed to make things right, not continue to “saunter through defeat” that gives the criminal element the upper hand.

It is the duty of those who hold the reins of power, red, yellow, and whatever other colour there is, to work together to ensure that the crime situation is brought under control.

There are too many challenges facing the country for our leaders to want to sow further seeds of divisiveness. The nation’s children are looking on and it is from the adults that they take their cue.

Let us as a nation stand together in the face of these challenges and take heed of this weekend’s gospel reading from Matthew to “Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” This is God’s promise to us if we walk in His ways.