Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP) D.Gisele Isaac says she is tired of the Antigua Labour Party’s use of entertainment as a distraction, especially for the young people.
While the Browne Administration is endorsing a December 17 concert featuring a Nigerian recording artiste, Isaac notes that the country’s roads are in a deplorable condition and Social Security pensioners are still waiting to be paid for October.
On Wednesday, November 16, the Cabinet reportedly held preliminary discussions on this concert, in which it claims it has no financial involvement.
“Despite the presence of government officials at the launch, there is no financial liability on the part of the Ministry of Tourism or the Ministry of Creative Industries,” this week’s Cabinet Notes claim.
Since May 2022, the Notes add, the Ministry of Creative Industries has endorsed 147 such events, without providing financial support to any.
“If that is the case, then why is this concert a matter for Cabinet discussion?” Isaac asks REAL News. “I certainly don’t remember the Cabinet making any similar statement about the other 147,” she says, “and I think they ‘doth protest too much.’”
Further, Isaac notes that the staging of lavish concerts is not indicative of good governance, especially in this period of economic struggle for so many residents.
In the meantime, Algernon “Serpent” Watts, the UPP Candidate for St. George, says he is appalled that Prime Minister Gaston Browne would endorse a Facebook comment saying he would be given another five-year term for bringing the African artiste here.
Watts also addressed the likely price tag for bringing this entertainer to Antigua and Barbuda.
Meanwhile, many people are voicing curiosity about the promoters of the event – Fete Kingdom – which appears to be unknown to most locals.
Watts says he has heard the organization is about a year old, although it surfaced only a month or so ago; and he implies that some politically connected persons might be behind it.
On a different note, altogether, the Cabinet says it has made arrangements for the Annual National Service of Thanksgiving to be held on the first Sunday of the New Year, January 1, 2023.