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Samuel supports any means to curb murders
National Diversity and Social Integration Minister Rodger Samuel says he will support any measure, including the postponement of Carnival and a gun amnesty, if that will stop the onslaught of murders. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday during a tour of heritage sites in La Brea affected by the major oil spill, Samuel said he was brought to tears after learning of the murder of maxi taxi tout Derek Pena, 21, in his constituency of Arima on Tuesday night. A strong advocate for the resumption of hangings, Samuel said: “I stood there and saw a young man with his head blown off. I understand he was shot five times in his head. “It brought tears to my eyes and I became emotional, because it is something I have been saying over and over, and here it is I am driving home from church and it happened there and it affected me tremendously and I felt, oh gosh, stop. I started to almost cry... “We can’t go on like this. When sin goes unpunished blood covers the land and we cannot use human reasoning to deal with spiritual issues.”
A pastor at Christian Restoration Centre, Arima, Samuel added: “Capital punishment is the law and also it is a biblical law. God said that if a man sheds man blood then by man should his blood be shed. And when the law sheds your blood, that’s not murder. That’s obeying God’s command.” As soon as the opportunity ariose, Samuel said, he would address the resumption of hangings in the Parliament and it matters not if he gets support from his colleagues. “Whether I get support or not, I will continue to be a voice because I am mandated to be a voice for what is right.”
Asked if he supported a call by Umar Abdullah, head of the Islamic Front of T&T, to suspend Carnival activities and call a gun amnesty to deal with the crime situation, Samuel said: “Anything that will pull us back together. Anything that will cause us to think and not allow the onslaught to continue I will support it, anything.” He recalled that in July/August last year he was moved to go on a fast for the nation. He said his ministry was working with the Inter-Religious Organisation to call a national day of prayer and fast for the nation in the next two weeks. He said crime was not a government issue alone, but a national problem and everyone had to do his or her part.
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