IN the wake of Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz shutting down the group’s office until the day after its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) next Tuesday, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly is keeping an eye on the organisation.
She told Newsday yesterday, “Though this is an internal Pan Trinbago matter, the ministry notes and follows closely the turn of events and expects the upcoming elections to be free and fair and reflect the views of the wider pan fraternity.”
Colin Lucas, National Carnival Commission chairman, had no comment to make on the situation.
At a press conference on Thursday, Diaz said he decided to close the offices until after the EGM for security reasons.
Told there was a campaign on social media to persuade members to stay away from the meeting, Diaz said that was not supposed to happen, as it was being done outside the ambit of the office, and was in flagrant contravention of the association’s by-laws and articles of association.
Nevertheless, he said, the EGM will go on as planned.
Keron Valentine, manager of Hadco Phase II Pan Groove, spoke of his concerns about Pan Trinbago.
“I am very concerned, as a panman and a steelband administrator. Also, as a recipient of a Pan Trinbago business scholarship, it’s an emotional thing for me to see the organisation that invested in me can reach to this state of affairs.”
He added that when he was mayor of Port of Spain, he presented Pan Trinbago with the keys to the city. “And those things you got to guard jealously.”
He said once elections are called, he will be running for president and hopes the membership will elect a body to bring the organisation back to a sound footing and regain the confidence of stakeholders.
As for the meeting next week, he said he will be there representing Phase II.
Another presidential hopeful, Beverly Ramsey-Moore, also said she will be at the meeting.
“I have been bombarded with calls from the Tobago region membership and others from Trinidad to go up for the position.
Thanks to that, she said, coupled with an apology from Diaz, “Day by day I am closer to saying yes. Pan Trinbago needs a transformational leader like myself.”