Leader of the National Transformation Alliance (NTA) Gary Griffith, says the recent testimony of Paria managers at the Commission of Inquiry into the deaths of the four divers was difficult to watch for many reasons and it no doubt would take an emotional toll on a nation already traumatised by the daily bloodshed that seems to be occurring all around us.
In a statement on his social media page, Griffith said, “what was also revealing to me was that this is the very reason that you need trained individuals at the helm, who have proper leadership qualities to make the right decisions, when these situations occur.”
“What is also clear as well is that not only did we have untrained civilians making life and death decisions, they were starved of operational information because of decisions by those who are ultimately responsible, the ones who shut down the National Operations Centre, which was designed and built, at great cost to taxpayers, for situations just like this.”
He said: “Additionally, whilst it may be understandable for a civilian to defer from risking lives, the very nature and ethos of members of the protective services and the defence force is to train to acquire the skills to do just that. This is why during the 1990 attempted coup I saw my fellow soldiers eagerly answer the call to face the country’s enemies to democracy, and this is why on a daily basis the brave men and women of the TTPS, who I had the honour of leading, face the criminal elements who are often armed with high-powered weapons, which is why it is not uncommon to see, whilst civilians scramble to run away from gunfire, police officers running into the direction of gunfire.”
Griffith continued by saying: “Not ‘Gung ho’ or having a death wish, members of the protective services know that whilst their decision to join the services increases exposure to risk, their training helps to mitigate against it, and whilst it is ever present in the minds of these heroes, the concept of ‘no man left behind’ is etched in the DNA of those who answer that call to serve. This is why I am convinced, if given the chance, some would have volunteered to risk their own lives to rescue the lives of the divers.”
“So whilst heroes are built differently, so too are cowards. Cowards dismantle and shut down the National Operations Centre for political reasons. They thrust ill-equipped civilians into dreadful situations, hiding in the background, shirking their responsibility. They take vacation whilst the country is experiencing its bloodiest year ever. They play golf with celebrities whilst the country is in the full grasp of criminals, and they hide away in their palace whilst hundreds of thousands of citizens are being negatively affected by floods,” said Griffith.