Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) leader Watson Duke has responded to claims by the People’s National Movement (PNM) that he has been an absentee THA representative.
The claim was made by Tobago Council political leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine of the PNM.
Duke was speaking on Sunday evening during the party’s first drive-in meeting at Gardenside carpark in Scarborough.
He told the gathering: “So they asking for me. They say I absent... Is miss they miss me. Tell them I here.
"They have been trying to engage me, but people tell me leave them alone...so I would not engage them.”
He said the PDP’s dream has always been and continues to be about transforming Tobago.
“Our dream is that we must cease being a ward to Trinidad.
“What we want is freedom to write our own laws in the House of Assembly. Nothing must go to Trinidad. What we want is the right to control our own economy. We shouldn’t have to beg Trinidad,” he said.
He said the PNM continues to employ scare tactics, telling workers if they vote for the PDP, they will lose their jobs, but he said workers have nothing to fear.
“I want to assure all workers tonight that you would not lose your jobs, but your jobs will be made more secure.
“Yes, those contract workers who have been working years upon years, we would ensure that every contract worker is permanent in this country, starting with those ten years and over. You would be made permanent. So, workers in this country, you have nothing to fear but our political enemies.”
He said in the upcoming election, he doesn’t see anyone better suited for the post of chief secretary than his deputy, Farley Augustine. He compared himself and Farley to footballers Dwight Yorke, a Tobagonian, and Andy Cole.
“When I think of Farley, I think nothing less than a brother. Think of football...Anybody remembers Manchester (United), when Dwight Yorke use to play for Manchester? There was a famous duo called Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. Folks, there has never been a duo like that since. They were different, different personalities, but they understood each other well.
"Another thing about Manchester you cannot take away from them is that they know how to score in the last minute. Therefore, even though you’re not a Manchester fan, when it comes to the last few minutes of the game you can’t write them off."
He said the PDP's political enemies had also been writing off the PDP "for a mighty long time, writing us off, saying all kind of bacchanal story; we can’t make it, we’re this and we’re that, trying to create all kind of bacchanal in we camp.
"But watch out for the goal. Keep your eyes on the clock," he warned. "Because right now we have two strikers in the front. They are asking where me all the time – tell them I am here. I ent going anywhere, and together Farley and I and the PDP, who form a nice team, we would score a nice goal and bring it home for Tobago.”
He encouraged all to get their voting cards in hand early, which would be their ticket, “as this match on January 25” is set to transform the island forever.
“Our political enemies would be no more. And going forward, there would be a party that you can trust, it would be representation that you can trust, and we will transform Tobago with your input, using participatory democracy,” he said.