Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Residents of Laventille mob Jack
Scores of Laventille residents mobbed interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner, demanding jobs, housing, tee-shirts and money during his walkabout in the area yesterday. Children lined the street shouting: “We love Jack” as the Chaguanas West MP, accompanied by several ILP officials walked the streets, stopping to talk with residents along the way, while some party activists handed out t-shirts from a van. At John John, a man sat on a bucket holding a placard bearing the words, “Jack is de boss.”
Heavily armed police officers kept watch as Warner’s team made its way from the Tokyo Panyard at the bottom of Picton Street to Pump Trace, Laventille. One resident, Helen Henry, said she was excited by Warner’s promises to build a better life for the people. “He is the only one who can help us. I have a house I am fighting to build and I want some help,” she said. Another resident, Shenice Innis, said: “Jack is the only man with the money to help us. That is why we want to vote for him.”
Ex-national footballer Travis Mulraine said Warner understood the plight of the people. “I believe he can bring meaningful change and he can create sustainable employment for the people here.” Warner said he was shocked by the squalid conditions in the community. “Never in my life have I see a country that has benefitted from so much oil revenue and yet people have to live like this.
“There is so much poverty and less than a mile away is so much wealth. All those tall buildings that are dotting the sky and people are living here in squalor. I am shocked at what I am seeing here today.” He added: “There is no time for crocodile tears, no time for rhetoric, it is time for action. People want better homes and jobs.” Warner said the ILP will set up a political base in Laventille as well as homework centres where people can get training. He said he will also lobby for a community centre.
Former Senate President Lyndira Oudit who resigned her post to join the ILP, said she hoped to bring about a cultural transformation in Laventille. “This is what the ILP is about. It is not about giving a handout, it is about changing the minds of the people. This is the vision that we want for the country. This is what the people want, they want Jack. He is a man of performance.” ILP’s interim deputy political leader Anna Deonarine-Rampersad, the party’s cultural change represented a break in “tribal crapaud, tribal politics.”
“This is a wave sweeping the country. No matter what the PNM or the UNC does to try to divide the people and keep them in that vicious cycle, it will not work because of the maturity of the people of T&T,” Deonarine-Rampersad said. Late, in response to questions from reports Warner says nothing will come out of a police probe into allegations that he tried to bribe officials of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) last May.
Police have concluded investigations and a file has been submitted to Director of Police Prosecutions Roger Gaspard. Asked whether he was worried about the probe, Warner responded: “Out of zero comes zero and out of nothing will come nothing so why are you worried? You cannot pursue anything out of this.”
Commenting on crime talks between Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley, Warner said: “ I have never seen Rowley smile so much, even in his campaign. For both of them, the ILP is the enemy now so to them, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
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