PNM TOBAGO Council political leader Ancil Dennis says Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke and Tobago People’s Party (TPP) interim leader Farley Augustine have both “lost their way.”
He was responding on Wednesday to Duke’s call for Augustine to join forces with him to discuss Tobago’s development.
During a news conference on Monday at the PDP’s headquarters, Port Mall, Scarborough, Duke told reporters he had written to Augustine, the Chief Secretary, asking that they put aside their differences for the good of the island.
He believes there are several issues affecting Tobagonians, none of which are being addressed by the THA.
Duke’s call for reconciliation came three weeks after the Augustine administration launched the TPP in Scarborough.
On Wednesday, Dennis scoffed at the notion.
“It matters not whether these two men reconcile because they have actually, in the last 20 months, traumatised the people of Tobago,” he said in a WhatsApp voice note. “It is the most chaos and confusion we have at the level of our governance on the island of Tobago.
“And therefore, reasonable, right-thinking Tobagonians should have no expectations that these people will actually buckle down, govern and lead this island while delivering in all of the grandiose promises that they have made to the people of Tobago. Reconciliation or not, it is a sad state of affairs.”
Dennis alleged “rampant and blatant corruption” was taking place in the THA.
“We’ve had public officials under investigation by the police. We have had the blatant selling out of Tobago’s resources to individuals and companies from Trinidad, although they promised to put Tobago first.
“So again, reconciliation or not, the bacchanal and the confusion continues and this is quite unfortunate for the people of Tobago because this is certainly not what they voted for.”
THA Minority Leader Kelvon Morris did not want to comment on Duke’s gesture.
“Such a call is an extension of PDP/TPP party matters, which as Minority Leader, I don’t get myself involved (in),” he said in a brief statement via WhatsApp. “My focus remains firmly on being a champion advocate for all of Tobago and exposing the gross incompetence and arrogance of the Chief Secretary and his TPP colleagues.”
The Tobago Business Chamber, meanwhile, does not believe Augustine will accept Duke’s call for reconciliation.
Chamber chairman Martin George said in a WhatsApp voice note, “I cannot see this reconciliation happening and even if it does, it won’t last, because at the end of the day, it would simply be the two of them circling each other, holding their knives behind their backs, just waiting to pounce on each other. So it will be the night of the long knives.”
Saying “Duke needs Augustine more than Augustine needs him,” George said the PDP leader and assemblyman for Roxborough/Argyle has engaged in all sorts of "frolics and follies," such as fights for the local government elections in Trinidad, where he was "a spectacular failure.”
He added Duke has now returned to Tobago “seeking some sort of relevance.
“I think Duke has a whole lot to prove to the Tobago people and also to Augustine and his new party before they will accept him back, because at the end of the day, in our local parlance, it is said that two man rat cannot live in one hole. And having gotten rid of the other man rat and having that other man rat on the outside, why would you then invite him back inside?”