THE Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) has accused the People's National Movement (PNM) of waging a "race war" under the guise of their In Defence of Tobago campaign slogan for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election, set for January 21.
To substantiate its claim, TOP has produced an audio tape which it claims is a recording of Hilton Sandy, PNM representative for Roxborough/Delaford and Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, addressing constituents at a public meeting on Friday December 4 in which he suggested that if they (his constituents) did not vote for the PNM, East Indians will move to Tobago and take over.
In the audio tape, the voice, allegedly of Sandy, states:
"Be strong, do not let anyone distract you, you are focused, you are on a good ship, because as I told another crew down the road there is a ship at Calcutta waiting to sail to Tobago. That ship is waiting to sail to Tobago; they are waiting to get the results of this election, if you bring the wrong results, Calcutta ship is coming down for you! You must stop that ship! We must not allow that ship to sail and if you don't want the ship to sail what you have to do? Vote the candidate Hilton!"
TOP, in a release issued yesterday, said Sandy "proudly made these pronouncements in the presence of the PNM's Political Leader Dr Keith Rowley, Chief Secretary Orville London and other members of the rank and file of the party".
TOP added: "As Sandy concluded his statements Rowley and London cheered on and applauded in full agreement, welcoming him back to his seat with a standing ovation and warm embrace.
"Having no policy for the future of Tobago or record to run their campaign on after spending $22 billion in 12 years, the PNM has focused their campaign on maligning the name of Tobago Organisation of the People candidates and making injurious statements about the invasion of East Indians into Tobago," the release said.