Celebrate freedom: Somare

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GRAND Chief Sir Michael Somare says citizens have a reason to celebrate the Independence Day anniversary – the freedom to govern ourselves with “no one standing over us”.
In his final Independence Day message as East Sepik Governor and MP, Sir Michael said the people of PNG must take pride in what had been achieved in the 41 years but must also realise that they had roles to play.
“As I prepare to leave you, it is important for you individually to understand that in life, we all have a role to play,” he said.
“We are not here on a free trip to just breathe, sit around and wait for our lives to end. God has given us, including me, the power to change our own lives.
“God has given us the power to do great things in our lives. We must not sit around like our pet dog or cat and wait for food and others to provide for us all the time.”
He said when Sir Pita Lus called to join him in politics in 1967, “I had no idea that on the 41st anniversary of our nationhood, I would still be standing here”.
He said people who continued to question what had been achieved over the 41 years must be blind or stupid.
“No one is standing over us. We are our own bosses. But we also enslave ourselves by thinking we cannot do it,” he said.
“There is reason to celebrate. So happy independence Papua New Guinea.
“Yes we have our challenges. Many developed and developing countries have challenges.
“But be mindful that we are not too hard on ourselves.”  He is retiring from politics and will not contest the 2017 general election.
“The elections will be completed this time next year and you will have a new regional member for East Sepik and a new Governor,” he said.
“I therefore, take a low bow today and thank you (the people of East Sepik) again for your support and undying trust in me for the last 48 years.”

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