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Sour note in pan affairs

COREY CONNELLY Sunday, January 8 2017

Aquil Arrindell, the man who quit his job as education officer of Pan Trinbago on Friday, said the organisation was crying out for change to ensure greater accountability and transparency.

“There is need for change.

There is need for policies to deal with day to day office matters,” he told Sunday Newsday.

Arrindell, who has served on the Keith Diaz-led executive for the past two years, claimed there was no set policy within the organisation to address expenditure.

“When is it okay for the president to say, go ahead with this or that in terms of spending money and when it is not okay.

Is it over the $5,000 line, over the $1,000 line, when would we need to get board consent.

There is nothing to show that,” he claimed, adding that there also nothing in place to scrutinise the award of contracts.

Speaking in the midst of the raging stand-off between Pan Trinbago and the newly-formed United Players Movement, led by All Stars pannist Dane Gulston, Arrindell stressed the leadership of Pan Trinbago must step down if the organisation were to progress.

“At this point in time, given all I have been seeing in the newspapers, the Government has lost confidence in the present executive and then the membership is also asking everyone to step down. So, I think the honourable thing to do is for everyone to step down and allow the organisation to breathe,” he said.

“I think that people staying there is just stifling the organisation and we would not be able to go anywhere because we need assistance from the government.

“And if we not getting the Government to negotiate with the executive, it not making any sense being there. Give somebody else a chance to try and unite everybody and have a united front.” A meeting has since been organised by Pan Trinbago for Tuesday at City Hall, Port-of- Spain, to discuss plans for Panorama 2017. A report is also expected to be delivered to its membership at the meeting.

Saying he did not want to speak too much about Pan Trinbago’s internal workings, Arrindell claimed that “a lot of things have been going on behind the scenes.” However, he blamed disrespect on the part of the executive for his decision to abruptly sever ties with the organisation.

Arrindell told Sunday Newsday, he had attended a meeting of the disgruntled pan men at All Stars panyard early last week to discuss the non-payment of monies owed to players among other issues.

Arrindell said he lent solidarity to the group and encouraged other executive members to follow suit “because we need to be empathetic.” He claimed Diaz subsequently took issue with his decision to lend an ear to the Gulston-led group of players and exhibited a hostile manner to him.

Diaz, he claimed, also stopped answering his cellphone calls and left him out of an executive meeting at the organisation’s headquarters.

“I have been getting reports from people that the president no longer wants to have anything to do with me,” Arrindell claimed.

Arrindell said he could not tolerate that level of disrespect and felt he needed to resign.

He said the players needed to be paid for their services.

“But part of the problem is that the pan man has no voice, no union and there appears to be a line between the executive and membership,” said Arrindell.

Gulston, meanwhile, reiterated his call for the executive to go. He said a fresh election should be called within the next three months.

Pan Trinbago executives serve a period of three years. The last election was held in October 2015. (See page 17)

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