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Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne expressed his gratitude to God during Sunday’s National Service of Thanksgiving for steering the nation through challenging times to achieve three consecutive years of robust economic growth.
PM Browne highlighted that the economic gains of the past year are expected to continue in the current year with God’s guidance.
He emphasized that this progress is an accomplishment for all the people of Antigua and Barbuda, not just for members of the Cabinet.
Governor General Sir Rodney Williams called for all to be productive in a national nation-building effort, which PM Browne echoed in his remarks.
He urged citizens and residents to join in this national effort to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
PM Browne also noted the absence of senior leadership from the opposition, who were invited to attend the service.
He invited Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle to read one of the lessons and give brief remarks.
Unfortunately, they were absent. To avoid a re-occurrence in the future, the prime minister has offered to involve the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in planning next years’ service.
He emphasized that it is not an ABLP service but a National Service of Thanksgiving, and all senior public servants, including members of both houses of parliament on both sides, have a responsibility to attend.
PM Browne extended an olive branch to the opposition to ensure their attendance at the service in 2025.
“To encourage the opposition involvement, I will recommend that the service for next should fall under the auspices of the Cabinet and the Leader of the Opposition. This must be inclusive. We cannot divide over such an important national event,” he emphasized.