By Sue-Ann Wayow
DO not throw away all the gains that you have made under the People’s National Movement (PNM) leadership.
This was the appeal made to Tobagonians by Political Leader of the PNM Tobago Council Tracy Davidson-Celestine during a PNM political meeting in Black Rock on Sunday.
As the general election for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) heats up with a few more days to go, Davidson-Celestine encouraged Tobagonians to not fight amongst themselves but to fight for the unity and continued development guided by the PNM.
She said, “In this election, you are voting for basically three things. One. For stability which is a very important word in this time that we face. Here on this island, we have only two deaths that have arisen as a result of Covid and we are so free as a people. If nothing else, you must ensure that you vote to keep the present arrangement where we are all free and alive in a situation where people are dying around the world.”
She continued, “Look at how we have treated with managing the economy on a whole. Unemployment at this time is at a level of 5% which is full employment. Look at how we have dealt with the inflation rate on this island. We have been putting money, into your bank accounts. We have been improving your standard of living on a very consistent basis and we have been investing first and foremost in the development of our young people and not so young people.”
The second reason was that Tobagonians should ensure that they vote for the best organisation and the PNM’s 65 year history was proof that the PNM was the best organisation for the job, Davidson-Celestine said.
And in rallying support for herself, she said the third reason was demonstrated leadership and she was the perfect choice to be at the helm given her 16 years in politics.
Tobagonians must vote for demonstrated leadership, “at the level of the political leader first and foremost,” she said.
Davidson-Celestine said it was a “chalk and cheese” comparison if anyone had to compare her with political leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke.
“If you had to make the comparison, Tracy Davidson-Celestine stands out by miles,” she said.
Speaking about the PNM’s plans for Tobago, Davidson-Celestine said, “We have presented to you our manifesto since the start of our campaign. The other party cannot at this time show you what is their plan of action or what is their vision for taking the Tobago people forward.”
On the list of improvements for the island are an online portal for THA services, the establishment of a unified health care information centre , the pursuance of hydro and solar initiatives, identifying potential revenue generating activities for Tobago, and working with farmers to increase production.
She said she often wondered to herself why fruits were not being used to make juices on a larger scale instead of falling of trees and wasting.
Davidson-Celestine said, “Some of us see agriculture as something linked to slavery or something that is linked to servitude, and if we are saying that we want to expand the agricultural sector, that we want to create more employment, that we want to first and foremost treat with the issue of food security, we have to ensure that we have a marketing campaign and a marketing drive to improve the image of agriculture going forward.”
Development of the fashion and film industry will also take a priority and research and development, she added.