Tobagonians have been urged to pull together for the island’s benefit, especially to stem a rising number of crimes.
The plea has come from Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Farley Augustine.
In his New Year’s message, he said boulders encountered must be turned into building blocks, especially to build communities and Tobago.
“As Tobagonians, we absolutely cannot afford to cower in the face of any challenge. And some things are far too valuable for us to give over without a fight.
“So as we witness a concerning rise of criminality across the island, we must be willing to stand together as Tobagonians, regardless of our differences and collectively say: Not on our watch.” He said Tobago is a paradise that must not fall.
“Therefore, we cannot allow fear to cause us to turn a blind eye to the wrongs around us, after all silence empowers darkness. As Tobagonians, we must also be willing to ask for a spiritual intervention for this island, and render the crucial support to our security forces.
“I wholeheartedly believe in us, and know that we will do all in our united power, that this does not become our new norm.”
Augustine’s message came as Tobago’s murder rate reached 13, even as autopsies are awaited to classify the deaths of two women found dead on Wednesday in an apartment at Moriah – Shevonne Moffat, 34, and Gemma Alexis, 62.
Augustine said Tobago’s progress must not be derailed, but its people must continue pushing towards greatness.
“Time and time again, we have shown that we are tenacious. We have demonstrated that we are indeed a resilient people, capable of weathering any storm. This is the Tobago that I know. This is the Tobago that I love. This is the Tobago we must protect.” Augustine asked Tobagonians to again include Tobago in their New Year’s resolutions, and act on them.
“I am certain that many of our aspirations will overlap for this island, so it should not be too complicated to join forces. I believe at the end of the day we all want the same things.
“We all desire to be able to exist here safely with our families, on an island with opportunity, and growing prosperity.”
Confident of people’s visions aligning, he said it was now no longer sufficient to only talk about loving Tobago.
“In 2024, let us all strategically think about Tobago’s improvement. Let us commit to transforming Tobago and making her even more beautiful day by day.
“Above all, let us ensure that Tobago and her generations continue to thrive and triumph!
“So, on behalf of my family and the Tobago House of Assembly, I want to wish a Happy New Year to the ‘Greatest Little Island’ on the entire planet.”