Local Kainantu leader guarantees travellers’ safety

National

PEOPLE walking through the closed off Kainantu section of the Highlands Highway should not worry about their safety as they will not be harassed or intimidated, a local leader says.
Anku Aintenu Landowner Group (ALG) chairman Aaron Afantai yesterday said his people were only blocking the highway to show their frustration against the Government and not the travelling public.
“I guarantee that no one will be harassed, attacked or robbed while attempting to cross this affected section of the highway by foot,” he said.
“We have stopped all vehicles from crossing our traditional land but we are not stopping people from crossing on foot to the other side to catch PMVs to continue their journey.
“Our people have an issue with the Government and not the people who are using the road.
“It is a pity that our petitions to the Government to settle our road payments have ended up like this, but we will not suppress the people’s right to movement.”
Afantai said leaders instructed them to help travellers.
He said that it had taken them 51 years to fight for the payments of their traditional land on which the State had built a highway.
He said they would continue to block the road until they met with either the Works secretary, Works minister or the prime minister to get some answers.
Afantai said they were not prepared to listen to the police, the army or any other government officer.
“We have taken the last eight years going in and out of all the government offices and no one listened to us,” he claimed.
“Now the people have taken their land back and have no time to talk to any of these officers,” he said.

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