The government has come out in defense of this weekend’s One Nation Concert after the opposition said it was a slap in the face to people who donated to the Barbuda relief effort.
United Progressive Party (UPP) leader Harold Lovell said the government is spending $250 thousand dollars for the “free” event on Saturday.
Writing on his Facebook page, the UPP leader said, “this is very disrespectful of our citizens as well as the many donors, whether individuals, agencies or countries, who have come to our assistance to help rebuild Barbuda.”
Lovell questioned the justification for the spending when “six months after Carnival, prizes and fees for many artistes and vendors remain unpaid.”
“We condemn this concert! It is a wrong move by the government, especially at this time,” he said.
In response, Cabinet spokes man and Information Minister Melford Nicholas defended the venture which will be staged for the second consecutive year.
He told reporters that the government must serve more than “the narrow interest of the Barbudans”
The minister said “the One Nation Concert really brings together the gelling and congealing of all the efforts of the people who live here.”
“We have people from all over the Caribbean living and residing in Antigua and that is the unity that we want to build upon,” he said.
Nicholas said the Barbudans have been well taken care of and so the argument only to spend money on them is unjustified.
He said the concert will be an annual event.
This year, it will feature UB40, Christopher Martin and other local and regional performers.