The ruling PNM Government doesn’t care about its supporters and has failed poor black youths who comprise the majority of people in jail, UNC MP Rodney Charles declared yesterday.
Slamming Government on a motion concerning T&T’s crime situation, Charles added, “They’ve failed to support inner city youth but PNM has a responsibility to young black males who are crying out for help! This isn’t the Eric WIlliams PNM. This Rowley PNM has failed young poor black men!”
“ You cannot attempt to criminalize a young man from Beetham whose main fault was that he didn’t know how to express his utter disgust at poor representation by his MP. That should have been a teachable moment for any caring MP ….teach the young boy, he needs help,” he said.
Charles apologised to former National Security Minister Edmund Dillon whom he said was better than current National Security Minister Stuart Young,”Mr Dillon, we’re sorry,” Charles said, adding 810 were murdered under Young’s watch.
He said Young was “clueless, too young, too inexperienced, too unqualified ….his friend and mentor – the AG’s even worse.”
Charles said TT is on target for close to 600 murders this year since there’s been 88 murders in 56 days. He added over 2000 citizens were killed since PNM took office in September 2015, “They must take shame and do the honorable thing and resign immediately. This administration cannot forever continue to blame others for its gross incompetence since, in 2015, it falsely claimed it was ‘red and ready”’to deal with crime. They mustn’t use the excuse that they’re now belatedly aware from Caricom that crime is a health issue.”
“This is the most pressing crisis here today Everywhere is unsafe. Everyone ‘s scared. In every corner, citizens will tell you they don’t feel safe anymore. We avoid certain areas. We don’t go out at certain times. We swiftly perform errands and race home .We’re scared to even watch someone the wrong way – this is no way to live!”
He said PNM’s Laventille West MP during a Parliamentary Committee meeting said, it appeared” some members of the African community have fallen behind.”
Charles added, “But after all this old talk and urging inner city youth to not lag behind, the facts tell a different story. Budget allocations for programmes targeted at youths most times aren’t fully spent.
He listed programmes which were budgeted for, but where only small sums from the allocation were spent ,”Is this how the Government shows their interest in our youth? The PNM is the problem. They aren’t the solution. I’m not ‘dog whistling’ (inciting) today. They’ve failed their members, failed inner city youth – they’ve failed young black men. Period. You cannot spend $126,000 on the Scout movement and $198 million on the SSA in 2020 and say you’re concerned about our youth, “
“You cannot close Petrotrin and be totally blind to the ripple effects on employment opportunities for males on the Line or Battoo Avenue in Marabella. You’ve failed your supporters!”