Last update: 11-Dec-2013 6:16 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
New Chaguanas councillors told: Avoid corruption like the plague
Newly-elected Chaguanas Borough Corporation councillors were yesterday advised by former Independent senator Rev Daniel Teelucksingh to “avoid corruption like the plague.” In a sermon at a special service at the St Charles Presbyterian Church, Chaguanas, Teelucksingh urged: “All councilmen and aldermen across this country, please do not tarnish your service and your career with any form of corruption.”
He said it appeared that corruption comes easily, not only for people in political life, but citizens as well. He urged the new councillors to ensure their political careers are not tarnished or spoilt by any form of corruption. “Corruption can destroy your personal life, corruption can destroy your family and public life,” he warned.
“Avoid like a plague, councillors and aldermen, avoid like a plague all enticements, tainted with graff and bribery and any semblance of wheeling and dealing. It is going to bring disgrace on personal and family life and your career.” Teelucksingh, who hosted the special service, told the newly-elected representatives that they have a “sacred obligation” to the people who voted for them and have a responsibility to work together for the benefit of all citizens.
“Please forsake all arrogant, discourteous attitudes towards political opponents,” he said. “You must work together as a team. It is obligatory that you all must work together as a team. We demand this of you—work together as a team.” He said after the “October war” citizens are looking forward to Christmas and Carnival relief and want to leave behind “the restless rage and the intense and bitter contest of this month of local government elections.”
“We have never seen anything like this. I could tell you that. Are we witnessing a new era in political warfare?” he asked. Teelucksingh, who offered prayers and blessings for all councillors nationwide, urged them not to have any ill will towards each other.
He said: “After the October war has ended we hope that there will be no cold war as there was at the end of World War II. There was a cold war. All the members of parliament and all the councillors and aldermen...we at this level will never want there to be an extension of your war. There must never be a cold war. We have had enough.”
Yesterday’s service was attended by the winning United National Congress (UNC) and Independent Liberal Party (ILP) councillors for the Chaguanas Borough Corporation. None of the People’s National Movement (PNM) councillors attended
ILP interim political leader Jack Warner, the MP for Chaguanas West and his Chaguanas East counterpart, Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz, as well as outgoing Chaguanas mayor Orlando Nagessar and deputy mayor Gopaul Boodan, attended the service.
During the service the division between the politicians was clear as the UNC councillors and Cadiz sat on one pew and Warner and his councillors sat on another. Teelucksingh said with the elections over and ballot boxes put away, it was time for healing. He offered prayer for unity. “We will pray for you to find instruments of healing in all of the political world and all who stood on political platforms in the month of October,” he said.
“We have to find instruments of healing, you have to find instruments of reconcilation, you have to find instruments of forgiveness. It is not that you may do it, I speak on behalf of one million people in T&T, you must do it,” he said. Cadiz, in brief remarks at the start of the service, said the election had been a difficult time but it was time for citizens to work together. Warner commended Teelucksingh for his initiative but said unity would only be cosmetic if divisions remain.
“If we cannot even sit in the same church and sit in the same pew and sit together, I wonder how successful your gesture will be, because in life it is not what you say but what you do and we all have to live and learn,” he said.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.