PNM Tobago Council political leader Ancil Dennis believes the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) has hoodwinked Tobagonians.
He made the statement on Tuesday during the Minority Report.
Dennis was again commenting on the controversial voice note of a man and a woman – believed to be THA officials – discussing using state funds to hire people for public relations and propaganda.
There have been mounting calls for Chief Secretary Farley Augustine to clear the air on the matter but he is yet to do so.
Dennis reiterated that the voice note, which has been making the rounds on social media, is a very serious matter.
“It appears to be a meeting of more than one person, at least two individuals. It appears to be individuals holding the highest offices in Tobago, conspiring to misappropriate, misuse, abuse public funds for their own personal and political benefit and that is a serious matter,” he said.
“Clearly, the people of Tobago were hoodwinked because these are the same individuals who put on a show at one of their political meetings, the social contract that the Chief Secretary (then a PDP deputy leader) was boasting at that time, that he would hold everyone accountable and he has the power to even discipline the political leader (Watson Duke).”
Dennis was referring to a PDP meeting at the Magdalena Grand and Beach Resort in October 2021, in which Augustine, urged all of the party’s 15 candidates to sign a contract ahead of December 6, 2021, THA election, agreeing to follow eight principles for good governance.
The contract addressed integrity, accountability and transparency among other issues.
Augustine promised that those in breach of the contract would be removed from the executive council.
He also said while the contract may not have any real legal standing under the laws of the country, candidates were required to act in good faith in keeping with the PDP’s principles.
On Tuesday, Dennis asked, “Now does he have the power to discipline himself? He clearly needs disciplining.”
He continued, “So it is vexing, the people of Tobago were hoodwinked and there is a saying that says all in the dark must come to light.”
Dennis said the THA executive had no regard for the law or the people who voted them into office.
“Clearly, they put on a show because they pretended to be individuals they were not.”
At a news conference last Friday, Dennis said the voice note must be investigated by the Integrity Commission and Police Service.
The PDP enjoyed a 14-1 landslide victory over the PNM in the December 6, 2021 THA election.
A year later, on December 5, 2022, Augustine and the other members of the executive resigned from the party.
The Tobago People’s Party was formed on April 17, 2023 with Augustine as its interim political leader.