Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow, during the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in Dangriga, announced that Government would make a “significant contribution” toward fundraising efforts to pay sculptor Stephen Okeke for his bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos, now residing in Dangriga. That contribution is ten thousand dollars, confirmed this afternoon. With the six thousand raised in pledges via a telethon organized by activist Abdul Marin Nunez on the weekend before Garifuna Settlement Day, the target of 30 thousand dollars is just over halfway met. Nunez spoke to PLUS News this evening.
Abdul Nunez, Activist: Well as everybody is aware, the Prime Minister made a public pledge. Today we got confirmation from the financial secretary that they will be depositing a sum of $10,000 into the account on behalf of the team, the telethon team, I would like to personally express my gratitude to the Wright Hon. Prime Minister of Belize Mister Dean Oliver Barrow and also to the people of Belize who have supported us in the Endeavour. We are more than halfway now in reaching our objective. I’m calling now on the National Garifuna Council, the Mayor of Dangriga, people for Gulici, my brothers and sisters from there, and the general public who want to see this matter finally resolved. They can still deposit their monies into the account 200580041 at the Atlantic Bank and I also want to call on those people who have already made pledges, I know that the hustles and bustles of life has maybe distracted you from making your commitment but I want to encourage you please make the deposit. I’m reaching out to some of you but I haven’t been able to reach all because some people are out of connection, for various reasons.
Though he says there is a “sense of fulfillment” with the news, he admitted he could have asked for more. Nontheless, it moves the matter closer to full settlement. According to Nunez, the president of the National Garifuna Council, Robert Mariano, is to meet with his executive today concerning the issue. Until then, Nunez reminds those who have made pledges to follow through and those who wish to contribute to do so at Atlantic Bank account number 200580041.