Platform of Truth leader Hochoy Charles has called on Canaan/Bon Accord residents to place their trust in the Tobago Liberation and Empowerment Team. Charles said residents should stop making deals with the Government, claiming the coalition movement would save all the properties being affected by the airport expansion project.
Speaking at a public meeting at Milford Court, Bon Accord, last Saturday, Charles said: "You people must stop making deals, because my information is that there are people who are involved in the area that is to be acquired and they are making individual arrangements and deals with the Government."
The former chief secretary warned such action would be detrimental.
"We must stand as a people on these issues," he said.
"And I am saying to you that once we, as a people, stand together now as one voice, the change will be made."
Charles said he could not understand the Government's hurry in pushing for the expansion of the terminal building at this time.
"Why is there such a hurry?" he asked, claiming the project has been on the drawing board since 1998.
Charles assured those affected that the leadership of the Tobago Liberation and Empowerment Team, which also includes Tobago Forwards leader Christlyn Moore and Tobago Organisation of the People leader Ashworth Jack, will support them in the struggle.
He told the gathering Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, while reiterating the call for Tobago to speak with one voice – the coalition.
"You cannot accept anything that Kelvin Charles says to you because he has no voice at all. One voice will build your terminal and your road without disrupting the lives of the community.... It will be built. Once you stand up with one voice in Tobago, you are not going to be disrupted."
Charles said he understood some 22 businesses, including small guesthouses, are to be disrupted in the exercise.
"Why are we doing that to the people? It is unnecessary and uncalled for and the terminal building can't be built there."
Charles also told listeners that the problem with Tobago is not Trinidad, but Tobago voters.
"We have used our vote over the years to give our power to voices from Trinidad," he said.
"What I am saying has nothing to do with not liking Trinidad or hating Trinidad. It has nothing to do with that because we love them as our brothers and sisters. But what we allow Trinidad to do to us, they will not allow us to do that to them. They determine how they are governed. They also determine how we, in Tobago, are governed. They will not allow, for one moment, Tobago to determine how Trinidad is government. And that is our problem."
Charles said the mission of the Liberation and Empowerment Team is to ensure Tobagonians determine how they are governed.
"We must decide that. Nobody must decide that for us."