As Jamaican singer Buju Banton prepared to leave Guyana yesterday he left a message for President David Granger.
“This battle… is a marathon. My utmost desire is that all nations can find a common ground so that they can all coexist politically, socially, economically, educationally and otherwise and this Mr. President is the challenge you are faced with to create this platform where every Guyanese is a Guyanese irrespective of ethnicity,” the artiste said in a Facebook video posted by Minister of Youth, Simona Broomes.
Buju, real name Mark Myrie, spent three days in Guyana during which he headlined a sold out concert at the Providence Stadium and visited several communities with Broomes.
He took time to offer gratitude to the administration especially Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan whose permission was necessary for him to perform in Guyana.
“I am sincerely grateful for opportunity to be here again and for permission granted by the Minister of National Security and those who are in a position to accommodate us,” he explained in the one-minute video during which he also wished “strength and prosperity.”
“Continue to strengthen my people and give them hope. I know what you are up against cuz I’m very aware of the political situation on the ground but I’m telling you my brother, soldier on cuz this battle is not a race. This is a marathon. Set our people right, keep looking out for the people, keep uplifting the people who are the original inhabitants of this land yes irrespective of the upheavals that you may face,” he advised.
Myrie who was recently released after spending seven years in a US prison for drug related charges has had several aspects of his visit to Guyana politicized.
Myrie was invited to Guyana by the Guyana Carnival Committee which is led by Bobby Vieira. The latter has close ties to the government and questions have been raised as to who paid Myrie’s fees. The PNCR also raised eyebrows when it acknowledged that it had purchased a block of tickets for the Banton concert for free distribution to its members.