Watson Duke is calling on the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to stop the bickering and disputes with various authorities and address the needs of Tobagonians.
In a statement on social media pages, Duke, who is the leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots, urged the Farley Augustine-led administration to fulfil their duties responsibly.
He said in his capacity as PDP leader and assemblyman for Roxborough/Delaford/Argyle, “I have witnessed a significant neglect of duty by the THA.
“They have turned away from the needs of Tobagonians and instead, engaged in disputes with various authorities.”
According to Duke, the THA is yet to implement a comprehensive crime plan for the island.
Duke said, “We now in the eight month of the year and Tobago is grappling with a rising crime problem, recording nine murders so far. This trend is distressing and must be halted.
“We want the Chief Secretary to prioritise the people’s safety and security over personal or political disputes. It is time to build a better Tobago, brick by brick, family by family, village by village.”
He added the THA’s focus should be on “serving the people we have committed ourselves to lead.”
Duke said the crime plan must be backed by all stakeholders, including the police.
But he claimed police officers have been informed they will no longer be provided rented vehicles for their duties and that accommodation will no longer be provided for licensing officers coming from Trinidad.
“This is hardly the right course for a developing island like ours.”
Duke said it is disconcerting to note that the Chief Secretary and interim political leader of the Tobago People’s Party (TPP) is engaging in disputes with the Prime Minister, who is the chairman of the national Security Council, rather than focusing on Tobago’s pressing issues.
“We need level-headed conversations centred around Tobago’s needs. It’s time to remember that people should always come before politics. We urge the THA to operate as a responsible administration, taking care of the 60,000 Tobagonians, rather than acting as a political club.”
He said the THA responsibilities extend to all aspects of life on the island, most importantly, the fight against crime.
Duke said the PDP was committed to the people of Tobago and will continue to advocate for their safety, security and prosperity.