PNM candidate for Roxborough/Delaford, Neil Beckles, is urging the people of Roxborough to release the “historical baggage” they have been toting all their lives.
He was addressing a political meeting at the Roxborough Secondary School on Tuesday night, ahead of the January 25 Tobago House of Assembly election.
The meeting took place hours after the Prime Minister addressed the formal opening of the $98 million Roxborough Hospital on Bloody Bay Road.
Beckles is being challenged by Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke.
The “historical baggage” he referred to was that “People try to portray the PNM as the enemy,” he told supporters.
“The PNM is not your enemy. You must, as the saying goes, ‘Let go and let God.’”
Beckles urged residents to take advantage of the development that has come to the area, particularly within the past five years.
“You must reject the false narrative and seek the embrace the development that is occuring. If you continue to hold on to that belief that the PNM is your enemy, then the opportunities that will come your way, you will not see them. You will not capitalise on them.”
Beckles said residents should be considering ways to exploit these opportunities.
He said he recently told a woman she could capitalise on the opportunities that are likely to come about through the hospital.
“I told her she could be her own entrepreneur, set up a business, and, ‘Two years from now, you will tell me something different.’”
“No doubt, there will be opportunities as well as service contracts to offer with all this infrastructure taking place.”
The candidate told residents if they don’t grasp the opportunities, “Others will come right here and take them up and you will be the laughing stock.”
Beckles said while the PNM is not a perfect party, no one could dispute that it has performed.
“It is not difficult to conclude that the party has done well and has contributed significantly to the development of our island.”
He said development is not a destination but a work in progress.
“I come to you with the fire and commitment to work towards the continued development of Belle Garden East/Roxborough/Delaford,” he told supporters.