Wehner calls on residents with a conscience to support Black March in remembrance of West Africans lost at sea

A clarion call is going out to concerned residents, encouraging them to attend the Black March & Candlelight Vigil slated for Thursday, April 13, in remembrance of the 17 West Africans who perished in last month’s tragedy at sea.

UPP Mobilisation Officer George Wehner says the heart-wrenching incident touched people not only locally, but regionally and internationally as well.  

Accordingly, he invites residents to attend and show their support for those who lost their lives and for the families left behind.  He describes Thursday’s memorial as a “symbolic and powerful act” and notes it will be led by members of the clergy and concerned persons.

Wehner condemns as “heartless” the Browne Administration’s position that it bears no responsibility for the demise of the Africans.

Given the lack of empathy shown by Prime Minister Gaston Browne and his colleague ministers, Wehner says there is even more reason for the UPP and conscientious citizens to find a way to commemorate the lives of the deceased – since the Government will not.

Meanwhile, he outlines the route where and how the March and Vigil will begin.

The procession will then go north along Market Street and down to the waterfront area on Lower Long Street, where prayers and a wreath-laying ceremony will be held.

Next, the mourners will move to Newgate Street, where the clergy will engage in prayer outside the St. John’s Police Station.  According to Wehner, this stop is to ask for God’s guidance in the police investigation.

The vigil will then continue onto Independence Avenue and will culminate at the roundabout adjacent to Government House.

Wehner says the men of the cloth will pray at that location, asking the Lord to guide the Governor-General to call an inquiry into the genesis of the tragedy.

He hopes the prayers will help in the commissioning of an inquiry into the establishment of Antigua Airways Ltd. and the Nigeria-Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce.

Describing the tragedy at sea as having trans-national implications, Wehner says investigations are ongoing by authorities across multiple jurisdictions – namely, the French, Dutch, European Union, the United States, St Kitts and Nevis and officials here in Antigua and Barbuda.