Griffith accuses Hinds of disrespecting THA and people of Tobago

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Griffith accuses Hinds of disrespecting THA and people of Tobago

NTA leader Gary Griffith, has accused the Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds of disrespecting the people of Tobago after Hinds recently ‘summoned’ THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine to his office in Trinidad in what appeared to be an attempt to address the escalating crime issues in Tobago.

Griffith, in a release on Sunday, said: “This action not only displays blatant disrespect for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and by extension the people of Tobago, it also reflects the laziness, ignorance, and arrogance that characterise this Keith Rowley-led government’s top-down approach to governance.”

According to the former Police Commissioner, “This approach has proven ineffective, not just in national security but across all areas of the public service.”

He added: “During my tenure as Minister of National Security, when the THA was under Chief Secretary Orville London, who hailed from a different political party than the Central Government, as is the case now with Hinds and Augustine, I made it a point to visit Tobago every three months to meet with London, regardless of the fact that the table of precedence would have Cabinet Ministers placed senior to the THA’s Chief Secretary.”

“These visits were not merely symbolic; they were driven by common sense and basic manners. More importantly, they provided an opportunity to engage with various Tobago stakeholders, including heads of the TTPS, Customs, Immigration, and Fire Services from Tobago, as well as representatives from their business sector, to hear their concerns and recommendations, so we would have a holistic approach, with their on the ground expertise to help guide what Central Government did in formulating plans and policies to effectively treat with issues.”

Griffith said: “This instance of lack of leadership and proper management is just one of a pattern, as Tobagonians can attest to the fact that they will be hard pressed to recall when last Hinds met with all stakeholders, not just those in law enforcement agencies, but with those in the private sector, for them to voice their concerns, so as to reach common ground to find avenues to effectively deal with crime and other national security issues in Tobago.”

“This is why this recent meeting in Trinidad served no real purpose and is unlikely to result in significant initiatives to combat Tobago’s escalating crime problem. And while it’s tempting to recommend that Hinds visit Tobago and prioritise the people’s needs over political posturing, we know it would likely be futile, as Hinds’ actions are consistently driven by ignorance, arrogance, and political expediency, qualities that define him and this Keith Rowley-led PNM government,” Griffith added.