In a statement, Griffith said had not done so, it would have resulted in a strained relationship between T&T and Jamaica.
His comments came hours after he was criticised on social media for appearing at Banton’s concert at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, stating that he was just looking for fame and to score points.
But the police commissioner, in a ‘WhatsApp’ message to media personnel, said he was invited by the Jamaican Reggae Star to join him on stage.
Griffith lambasted his detractors whom he described as immature and ignorant, pointing out that it was not his aim to please persons who are jealous or have tunnel vision, but rather those who are patriotic, possess humility and responsibility and would put country first.
On Saturday, the Jamaican reggae star's room at the Hilton Trinidad was searched without any success by members of the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit (OCIU), who claimed they had a warrant to search the room.
This incident, Griffith said “was set to cause a major rift between our country and Jamaica. This was because of a poor procedure by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) in the conduct of the search. Hence the TTPS may have been directly responsible for such a rift,” Griffith stated.
Griffith has since announced a major overhaul of the OCIU following the raid. He said the officers did not carry out proper surveillance before acting.
Hours after the incident, Griffith met with the reggae singer where he apologised and gave the assurance that the remainder of Banton’s visit would be peaceful and incident-free.
In a release, the TTPS said Griffith met with Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, at Hilton Trinidad to indicate that he (Griffith) was aware of the “embarrassment, anxiety and inconvenience” which the earlier search of Banton’s room had caused.
Addressing the actual search of Banton’s room on Saturday, Griffith said officers of the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit (OCIU) had received certain intelligence which led them to search the artiste’s room.
The CoP, however, said he was concerned that the intelligence was flawed, as nothing was found.
Banton immediately took to his Instagram page after the raid, posting a video.
“I just realised something, I’m chilling in my hotel room and the cops came to check me. A whole bunch of them saying they got a warrant to search my room and all them kind of stuff,” Banton said.
“How can you obtain a search warrant for a hotel room on a Saturday?” Banton asked.
During the concert, Griffith promised Banton that T&T and Jamaica would remain “allies forever.”
Griffith also advised those who were more concerned about national popularity to put their energies where it can be better valued.
“Had I not done this, relations between both countries could have been severely affected.
“Possible boycotts of our products and other private sector sanctions were also on the table. If others are not aware or care about this due to ego over common sense, I cannot help that.”
If his actions affected some people but helped to bridge the gap between the two Caribbean countries, Griffith said he felt sorry for them.
“I did what was needed to be done. Not to please those who have nothing better to do other than criticise due to their inability to understand the bigger picture.
“If others are upset, then they should report it to the entertainment police.”
- Countries: Trinidad_Tobago