Tobago’s Unity of the People candidate on local election chances: ‘I’m excited – win, lose or draw’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Afia Griffith, Unity of the People (UTP) candidate for Febeau/Bourg Mulatresse, left, and UTP leader Nikocy Phillip, right, with a supporter. –

Afia Griffith, 36, has decided enough is enough.

So the rigger technician, from La Canoa Road, Lower Santa Cruz, is the lone representative from the Tobago-based Unity of the People (UTP) political party in Monday’s local government election.

She will seek to represent the Febeau/Bourg Mulatresse district in the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation.

Speaking with Newsday by phone on Thursday, she said: “I am excited – win, lose or draw.”

As election day gets closer, she said she is ready – but this is just the start.

“This local government election is just the tip of the iceberg for me. I am going to keep going, I am going to keep entering, I am going to keep fighting for the people, I am going to keep going for the people at the end of the day.

“This is our home, our community, and sometimes if you take your time and you comb through an area, you’ll realise that there are parts of my area that are neglected, and I am here to be that voice for the voiceless.”

Griffith is also studying law and is also enrolled at Cipriani Labour College, studying health and safety.

She said she decided to enter politics after hearing the constant complaints in her community, and told herself, “Let me take a stand.”

She said she chose UTP as her vehicle after studying the ideals of the party.

“They seek the interest and welfare of the people of TT, more than just the political arena.”

She said as a single mother, she has the full support of her family.

“Honestly, my biggest strength is my mom (deceased), my dad and my son. My mom always told me, ‘Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t,’ and every day I’m proving her right. I just wish she was here to carry me through this in person, rather than in spirit.”

She has also been well received by those she aspires to serve, she said.

“The response from Febeau Village/Bourg Mulatresse has been an amazing one. They are all willing to welcome change and I, Afia Griffith, am going to achieve all their concerns, whether I win, lose or draw.”

She said there is a lot in store for the residents from August 15.

“Priority – running water and roads, a proper community centre for functions, a rehabilitation facility, a river gang cleanup crew and the TT Youths Will Rise youth camp, which was launched in 2018, but governments both past and present ignored.

“Not forgetting the health card initiative which the (party’s) political leader Nikocy Phillips brought forward, the Christmas hamper drive and the online scholarship programme, plus a lot more.

“Win, lose or draw, we are going to achieve this with or without any assistance from the government.”

Phillips said she is “well pleased” by Griffith.

The UTP made a promise to contest all elections in TT, she said, and that is something it will continue to honour.

“A promise is a comfort to a fool, and I don’t intend to make the citizens of TT any fool. I made a promise since the 2020 general election, and I am doing just that. I would continue to fulfil my promises by entering all elections.”

Phillips described the candidate as “awesome,” saying the party had called for candidates and received 27 applications.

“I am glad that we actually have this one candidate, because her level of productivity, her level of intelligence, her level of persistency in serving the people of her community has been exceptional. That is the kind of people we want to run under our umbrella – people who have the interest of the people, their community, and people who are intent on serving.”

Phillips felt Griffith’s chances were “very good – we have been getting so much positive feedback so far. I have faith that she would do good, and she would be victorious.”