By GYNNIE KERO
NEW East Sepik Governor Allan Bird says he wants to represent his people properly and not just switch sides to bring development to the province.
Bird, who had made his intentions known that he would stay with the Opposition, showed no regret when the 10th parliament convened yesterday.
The session saw the appointment of Manus MP Job Pomat as the new Speaker, replacing Theo Zurenuoc, and Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister.
Bird, in an interview with The National yesterday, said he was mandated by the Sepik people to manage the affairs of the province and empower them after taking over from retired Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
“I stood on this side (Opposition) not because I don’t like Peter O’Neill,” Bird said.
“I don’t like what they (government) is doing.
“The reason I stood for election is to help my province.
“When I campaigned in East Sepik, I was against all the government borrowings, etc.
“The people heard me and elected me and I won, with a 23,000 votes difference between me and the runner-up.
“They felt I am the right person to represent them and I have to repay that faith and trust they had in me by representing them properly.
“I must always pick the road that is right for when I stand on the floor of Parliament, I’m not Allan Bird, I represent the people of East Sepik.
“I cannot jump across to (the government side) or betray my people as they will never forgive me.
“I want to be a leader who can inspire young Sepiks to reach further than those of us who are here now.
“I want to assure the Sepik people that I’m going to do the right thing.
“I will come home and work.
“I am going to manage our province properly for my people and empower them.
“I feel proud to be sitting among the group on this side (Opposition).
“If fighting for good means being unpopular with the government, that’s fine.
“If this is the team (Opposition) that is going to stand and fight for good things for this country, than I’m going to stand and fight with them.”
By GYNNIE KERO