THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine claims he has no knowledge of Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke’s call for him to return to the party.
In a radio interview on Tuesday, Duke urged Augustine and the entire THA executive to rejoin the party in the interest of Tobagonians.
The executive had resigned from the PDP on December 4, 2022, almost a year after their resounding 14-1 victory over the People’s National Movement in the December 6, 2021 THA election. They have declared themselves independents.
In the interview, Duke called for peace not war, saying the issues confronting Tobagonians were not about personalities but governance.
He said he was certain Augustine’s team would not win a seat in the next THA election if he decides to form his own party.
But speaking to reporters on Friday after addressing the UN Development Programme’s formal handover of the Main Ridge Visitor Centre Solar Installation to the THA in Parlatuvier, Augustine said, “Let me be honest with you. I have only been told about it because I did not hear it or see it myself. The last week and a half has been quite chaotic for me in terms of schedule, personally that is. So I have not been able to really look at it.”
Augustine said he will assess the clip with his team.
“I prefer to talk to the team, what he (Duke) calls the team? The jellyfish gang. Then we will make that assessment.”
Asked if Duke’s call is something he would consider, he said, “I have learnt in life to always consider everything. I consider everyone. But what my response will be I cannot give at this moment,”
On whether he was surprised by Duke’s call for peace talks, Augustine added, “At this juncture, nothing that comes from Mr Duke surprises me. But the truth is I didn’t hear it myself. So I probably need to take some time to look at the clippings to see exactly what he is saying and that is why I am cautious about giving a detailed response except to say that I will consider everything. There are no guarantees for sure and certainly I am guided by what the rest of the team thinks.”
Augustine also responded to a question about his planned reshuffle within the THA, saying it will occur towards the end of the month.
“I will give clear updates in terms of how that will go, what the structural changes will be like because we spent one year in office and we got a chance to see what works, what doesn’t work, what requires some tweaking because it is all about being able to efficiently roll out the mandate to the people of Tobago.”