Assembly gives titles back to church

National

THE Morobe provincial assembly (Tutumang) has renounced the Songang and Kasiga titles bestowed on two former governors back to the original custodians, Kotec and Yabem districts of the Lutheran Church.
Governor Ginson Saonu and MPs Renbo Paita (Finschhafen) and Thomas Pelika (Menyamya) “handed over” the titles to  ELC-PNG assistant bishop Rev Lucas Kedabing, Evangelical Lutheran Church  Kotec district president Rev Jonathan Metu and Yabem circuit president Gulingmuki Giusu on Sunday at Simbang, Finschhafen.
Saonu said that the Kotec and Yabem districts were the two rightful custodians of Songang and Kasiga titles.
The Kotec district conferred on former governor Luther Wenge the Songang title and the Yabem’s conferred the Kasiga title on his successor Kelly Naru.
“According to the Kotec and Yabem dialects, these titles are reserved only for church elders and not politicians, thus, the names never reflected their true sense when politicians are addressed as Kasiga or Songang,”  Saonu said.
He said that the provincial executive council decided to release the titles back to the church.
“The purpose is to set a clear pathway to ensure the church uses its own titles to conduct its businesses in spiritual and social development whilst the government uses its political titles to perform its service delivery and development activities,” Saonu said.
Acting administrator Sheila Harou and deputies Masayang Moat and Robin Bazinuc, local level government presidents Waka Daimon, Philemon Tomala, Okam Paton, Jeffery Tobias, Manasseh Laina, and Noel Kipindu witnessed the occasion.
The ceremony was held at Simbang, the birth place of Lutheran Church, with a church service led by Martin Luther Seminary lecturer Dr Zirajukic Kemung.
Saonu urged the respective district church presidents to advise church memberships of the provincial government’s decision.
He said that releasing of the titles from the Tutumang should not portray a bad image of the two former leaders who held the titles.
“They may have their titles in respective congregations and normal life but we at the Tutumang will never use the two church titles in government business,” Saonu said.
Kedabing said that Wenge and Naru were conferred with the titles because of their strong conviction and involvement in various church activities as elders before becoming politicians.
“On behalf of the Kotec and Yabem districts we are satisfied with the returning of the two titles back to their original place,” he said.

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