Vice-chairman of the People's National Movement's (PNM's) Tobago East constituency Joel Jack has put supporters on an election footing.
Noting the PNM has already selected two candidates for next year's general election, Jack told supporters: "What these developments suggest to us here at home in Tobago is that we need a greater sense of urgency to start organising ourselves and getting ourselves in a greater state of readiness to ensure that the two Tobago seats remain in the safe, caring and responsible hands of the People’s National Movement."
He was addressing the party's Tobago East constituency conference at the John Dial Multipurpose Facility on Monday night, held under the theme "One Goal, One Party...Committed To Service.”
PNM's assistant general secretary Daniel Dookie also urged party members to rally together ahead of the upcoming polls.
“This is not the time for murmuring, this is not the time for grumbling, this is not the time for disobedience… I call on all of us to stand united against the enemy, stand united against the UNC and all those who want to play political party in Tobago. I call on us to stand united as one,” Dookie said.
Jack recalled in 2010, he had warned Tobagonians to not put the United National Congress (UNC), under the banner of the People's Partnership, in power.
“We must not take anything for granted and we must work diligently to ensure that we return the two Tobago seats and that we ensure that our MP Mrs Ayanna Webster-Roy is returned to office."
Jack said the PNM's oppponents must not be trusted as they would do "anything to derail Tobago’s development and stymie this island’s advancement for self-determination."
He stressed, "We are reminded of this important quote, ‘If you forget your history, you are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past all over again.'.
"The period of 2010 to 2015 is instructive to us here in Tobago and in Tobago East, as we witness the disdain and disrespect for Tobago, Tobagonians and the Tobago House of Assembly during this period. We need, therefore, to remain vigilant, focused and organised, holding one voice and one vision as we seek to prevent a repeat from the past."
Jack, the electoral representative for Bacolet/Mt St George as well as the island's Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance and the Economy, said all hands must be on deck.
"We're not just a political party, but we’re a movement. We're an organism and we’re going somewhere. This constituency conference assumes added importance in that it is occurring at a time when the party is mobilising for both the local and general elections. You may have noticed that screening is ongoing and we have selected candidates both for Point-a-Pierre and Chaguanas East. "Kelvin Charles, political leader of the PNM Tobago Council, again appealed for Tobagonians to become more productive.
Recounting his observances at the Charlotteville Natural Treasures Day and at Great Fete Weekend recently, Charles noted the intermittent showers did not prevent people from having a good time.
He questioned why the same doesn’t apply to work.
“Not that people cannot fete… allyuh don’t get me wrong.
“I’m saying on a normal day if rain set up, people say they can’t work; they can’t work in rain, can’t got to work, but they feteing and drinking in the rain. Not too long ago, I was invited to a function, a sun-up fete – daylight. I remember from doing geography that 2’o clock is the hottest time of the day… At 2’o clock if you see man and woman under their liquor, hot sun feteing and we can’t get them to work four hours from 7-11 am.
"Folks, we are the ones who have to develop this island, others who may come not coming to develop it for us. If they come, they coming to develop it for themselves, enrich themselves.”