Toney Mapp

Camille McEachnie

President of the Seventh Day Adventist Tobago Mission Toney Mapp told members of the recently formed Innovative Democratic Alliance (IDA) to stay clear of corruption.

He was speaking at the ceremony to bless the party’s headquarters on August 18 at the E&M Building, Scarborough.

“There are too many underhanded things happening around us. There are too many things having to do with who you like and too many things having to do with what deals pass under the table. Too many things having to do with who give you a cut and who you have to give back something.”

He added:” People are getting contracts based on who is their friend. (Also) Depending on who the contractor is (they) could even pay them their full money before the contract is done.”

He said if the present trend continues, adults would have no moral grounds to talk to children.

He said for the situation change, adults must develop character.

“ People like reputation, but reputation is who people know you to be, but character is who God knows you to be.”

He encouraged the IDA representatives to refrain from the current practice of serving only members of their party.

“There are too many instances where we are treating people based on whether they wear our colour or not …For 15 or 20 years you can ask them to fix a little drain, but it only gets fixed if they know what colour you are wearing or they know the election is around the corner. Something has to be wrong with that,” the pastor said.

Fielding questions from the media at the end of the ceremony, Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus, who virtually launched the party on August 2, said the IDA is different from existing parties.

Asked what it offered to Tobagonians, she replied: “All inclusiveness. Our party has open membership. It means that we are not asking persons to have a party card to benefit from the natural resources that (belong to Tobago).”

Former People’s National Movement(PNM) assemblyman, Aldington Spencer, who attended the ceremony, said he was an integral part of the IDA.

He explained his reason for leaving the PNM.

“ The PNM has brought Tobago thus far and it appears to me that they can’t take us any further. The PNM had two opportunities to unite Tobago- when we had 12 -nil and now 6/6…and therefore the baton has to be passed to people who can take Tobago forward.”

Spencer, a former THA secretary, endorsed the PNM Tobago Council leader, Tracy Davidson-Celestine in 2009.

Spencer said he was responsible for registering the IDA with the Election and Boundaries Commission