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UNC: Wants Answers In Boy’s Death

UNC wants answers in boy’s death

The death of 12-year-old Ezekiel Paria, who was hit by a stray bullet while riding his bicycle in Laventille on Thursday, deserves a response from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his Government, says Opposition Senator David Nakhid.

And he called on the Children’s Authority and other stakeholders to demand answers from the Government, regarding protection for the nation’s children.

Nakhid was speaking yesterday at the United National Congress (UNC) weekly media briefing at the party’s headquarters in Chaguanas.

He said, “Who could not be moved by these headlines in the Express? Here we have ‘Shattered Dreams’. You all know the story of Ezekiel Paria, 12-years-old, killed riding his bike, described by his mother as outdoorsy, loving football, aspirations to go to Fatima College, out of Eastern Boys. This might seem normal for a lot of our citizenry but for our boys coming from Morvant/Laventille, Beetham this is an extraordinary aspiration.”

Nakhid said it was not merely a boy’s dream, but the dream of his family and the community.

“This is a community that I came from, this is Laventille. This is where my mother, my uncles come from so when I saw this ‘Shattered dreams’ my response was not only to be sad and angry but to let our people understand where we are,” he said.

As Prime Minister, Nakhid said, Rowley was obligated to go into these communities and speak with the residents.

“At least people of Trinidad and Tobago, you would expect the leader of a country to be omnipresent, not only to be there where his money jumping up or to protect his private interests. A Prime Minister for nine years and has not once addressed the murders of our children,” he said.

Nakhid also referred to a shooting outside the gates of Rose Hill RC School in Laventille, which had left students, teachers and parents traumatised. “We heard no comment when that shooting in Rose Hill RC School occurred, the school where my mom and my uncles attended. They didn’t even go and visit these young students,” he said.

He called on director of the Children’s Authority, Sheldon Cyrus, to demand answers from the Prime Minister, after it was revealed that there were 500-plus cases of abuse reported in January 2024.

“Sheldon Cyrus, you must call upon Prime Minister Rowley and ask…with these increasing cases of abuse why hasn’t anything been done,” he said.

Nakhid said community groups, including the Emancipation Support Committee, should begin seeking out answers from the Government regarding criminals acts against children. The trade union movement, he said, should also get involved because poverty and unemployment lead to crime. He said there must be a reason why young boys in Laventille, who are unable to afford a bottle of water, own weapons valued at thousands of dollars.

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