Gary Griffith kicks off ground campaign in St Joseph

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Political leader of the National Transformation Alliance Gary Griffith waves to a resident during the party first walkabout in the constituency of St Joseph on Saturday. – ROGER JACOB

Political leader of the National Transformation Alliance Gary Griffith continued to ride the wave of popularity after his three-year stint as commissioner of police during the party’s first walkabout in Aranguez on Saturday.

The event took place in the constituency of St Joseph where Terrence Deyalsingh is the current MP.

During the walkabout, Griffith was greeted by residents and some business owners who came out to show their support and even voice some concerns.

Members of NTA executive – including Griffith’s wife Nicole Dyer-Griffith – walked along Queen’s Street and then the Eastern Main Road to greet supporters as police in two SUVs followed the group. Residents all commended Griffith on his previous achievements as CoP.

Resident Robert Bachan said “When he (Griffith) was in the police service, he really had the crime under control and now it really bad. We really need someone like him again so things can change and come back far better than what it is right now.”

Bachan’s neighbours, Girly Patel and Indira Singh, echoed the same sentiments.

Singh said, “There’s too much crime now, so if he can make a difference for the lives of children and young people that will be something. But we wish him all the best.”

A bar-owner, who identified himself only as Shiraz, said “Change is always better because this current government isn’t doing anything.”

He added that the only thing he was sure about was that Griffith was “the best Commissioner it had.”

A light drizzle did not deter the group but they had to seek shelter at a nearby bar when it started pouring.

Griffith told Sunday Newsday “What we have seen in politics in the last few decades is that persons who want votes wait until mere months before an election, and then they come out. I am not doing that. I’m not here to try to fool persons. This is genuine. The same way I put a lot of passion and my heart as a commissioner of police and as a minister of national security, I was able to transform the TTPS and the NTA will transform TT. It is not difficult.”

He said politicians have been involved in hatred, division and bitterness for too long which has to change.

“I have nothing against and I don’t want anybody to have anything against the PNM, the UNC, the ABC or the XYZ. We have put too much hatred. You can’t expect to want to govern a country and you hate half the country.”

“Yes, there was a general support base for Gary Griffith as a commissioner of police and 89 per cent of the country supported me regardless of their political affiliation. This is what the NTA intends to do, not to politicise any situation. We intend to support the government at this time and hope they can succeed, but they can’t, they have been weighed, measured and forgotten. We intend to do what is required to transform TT.”

Griffith said so far he has only gotten positive feedback except for two dogs that barked at him.

“The only negativity we had were two dogs, one tried to bite me, I think it was a PNM dog, but as okay I will try to transform that dog as well.”

Griffith said he will not be deterred by any other competing political party as he is determined to transform TT especially for the young people.

Though this is the party’s first walkabout, the NTA has hosted several meetings in west Trinidad before moving to the east/west corridor.

The party plans to head to central Trinidad next.