The Prime Minister is warning the people of Tobago to be wary of leader of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Watson Duke. Dr Rowley is alleging that the PDP is contesting the Tobago East and West seats on behalf of the United National Congress (UNC).
He was speaking at an election campaign meeting at the Signal Hill Secondary School on Sunday.
In the 2015 general elections, Duke entered the election race as an independent candidate for Tobago East and lost to Ayanna Webster-Roy. Rowley recalled that even then he warned voters that Duke was a proxy for the UNC but no one believed him.
“I’m telling you again, he is the official candidate in Tobago, and how I know it because I am contesting against the UNC and I get my information from the UNC.
“As a matter of fact, they are paying more attention to and providing more resources in Tobago than their own seats in Trinidad, that’s what it is.
"So when they’re saying that they’re not having a coalition, no partnership, they have a quiet one going on with an arrangement with Watson Duke if you put God out of your thoughts and give him one of Tobago’s seats.”
Rowley also called on Tobagonians to vote resoundingly for Webster-Roy in Tobago East and Shamfa Cudjoe in Tobago West. He rated the two former MPs who are now asking for a second term, saying they have served the people well.
“As head of the Cabinet, I want to say to the people of Tobago, that your choices in 2015 were very good choices. They represent the best that you have to offer. They have worked well, and they have served Tobago, not just their constituencies, but they are serving their country well."
He impressed upon his audience the importance of ensuring that Webster-Roy and Cudjoe were part of the team which forms the next government.
“You know if you vote these two PNM candidates into office, they would sit where the decisions are being made with the rest of the PNM team in the government of Trinidad and Tobago and you would be well served.
“Others who would like to replace them offered you independence. Then when that didn't take root to excite your reactions, they said okay – what they’re fighting for is internal self-government. Such conversations assume that you are stupid, and you would then follow something that looks good, sounds good but then it’s a nothing.”
Rowley boasted that his government made the most progress towards ensuring internal self governance for Tobagonians. He said two draft pieces of legislation was put before a joint select committee and will be dealt with once Parliament resumes.
“You don’t need any ill-disciplined noise maker to tell you about your quest for further autonomy in Tobago.”
He said former chief secretary Orville London spearheaded two years of consultation in almost every village across the island under the guidance of legal experts.
“So when you hear ill-disciplined Watson Duke talking to Tobago about he going to give you self-government, what he is threatening to do if he ever finds himself in a position to do so, is to derail all of that. You only have to look at his record all in the PSA to know what you’re going to get.”