Lack of representation has led 31-year-old youth activist Nickocy Phillips to throw her hat into the race as an independent candidate contesting the Tobago West seat in the August 10 general election.
Speaking with Newsday on Monday, Phillips, a native of Battery Street, Buccoo Point, said: “Persons only seek the interest of representation for their party and try to make themselves look good and to make their party look good.
“I think the people deserve better than that. Tobago needs a voice. Its needs someone who can voice their opinion without any biasness, and I am willing to serve every single Tobagonian in the West and the East by extension. When I do representation, I represent every single person in Tobago and that is the kind of representation that we need in the Parliament right about now.”
Phillips added: “As an independent candidate, I am willing to work with the government, the opposition, persons in authority... I believe that whoever wins in Tobago East when I become the MP for Tobago West, we both should go down to Trinidad and defend Tobago’s rights in the Parliament.”
The Harmon’s Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) School past student is contesting the election under the banner, Unity of the People with the theme Transparency, Equality, Accountability and Unity for All. While the party has not had its official launch as yet, Phillips said the party applied for registration with the EBC two months ago, “but because of some technical difficulty with the symbol, it was approved last week.”
Phillips first made the announcement on July 11 via social media and has seen all the negative comments which followed.
“I have no problem with that. I welcome all the negative comments but that would not bring me down.
“At the end of the day, I am doing something with my life and I’m willing to serve the people of Tobago West to the best of my ability. I am not perfect, but I am hoping that at the end of the day, when I go to serve, I swerve with transparency, accountability, equality and unity for all the people of Tobago.”
Phillips added: “Tobago people need to wake up and smell the coffee. They need to understand that I am not here to make friends, I am not here to win their hearts by telling lies and promising things. I am not promising anybody anything. What I am promising is to represent Tobagonians and Tobago West to the best of my ability.”
Phillips said there are a number of issues in Tobago to be tackled.
“Self-governance is a topic. We’ll also have to look at the air and sea bridge. We have to look at tourism and how tourism is now being reformed – I think it still needs a lot more enhancing,. We also have to look at the budget – the portion of what we get for Tobago. So those are the issues I would have to address immediately when I get into Parliament.”
Phillips said walkabouts began one week ago in the Bagatelle area and reached as far as Scarborough and environs thus far.
“I am not really into the show and tell. I am taking notes, I am writing down the names and numbers of those affected so I can get back to them. I am not into the big flashy, flashy. I need to hear from the people themselves in order to hear what the issues are. I am not making any promises, I am just meeting with the people so they can know who I am and what I am capable of.”
PHILLIPS AT A GLANCE
– Associate Degree in Applied Science in Pharmacy at COSTAATT.
– Certified in communication, introductions to micro business and entrepreneurial and micro business discussion from the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) Ltd.
– Dance choreographer, musician and steel pan player, youth activist.
– Elected the youngest youth officer of the Buccoo Village Council
– Elected in the top ten in the country's first Youth Prime Minister Competition 2015
– Took on role as ambassador for TT Youths Will Rise, an NGO formed in 2015, and represented TT at the United Nations women’s conference – the 63rd Session on the Commission of the Status of Women 2019.