Wenge, Naru slam returning of traditional titles to church


FORMER Morobe governors Luther Wenge and Kelly Naru have described the move by the Tutumang (provincial assembly) to revoke Naru’s right to the titles of Songang and Kasiga and return them to the Lutheran Church as like that of a cult.
Naru said the title of Kasiga was never bestowed on him by the Tutumang and therefore could not be taken away by the Tutumang.
“How can the Tutumang remove that title from me which was conferred on me by the Yabem district conference. It seems to be a cult idea,” Naru said.
Wenge said that Songang, meaning custodian in Kote, was conferred on him by the Ukata district conference at Gangulut village, Yus, in 1997 when Governor Ginson Saonu was MP for Kabwum.
“The Tutumang has no authority to remove the Songang title from me. This is insane,” Wenge said.
Senior Morobe statesman Sir Jerry Nalau said that Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu was ill-advised to give the two titles away at the wrong forum and in the wrong place.
Sir Jerry said that when Naru received the title he received it with its traditional head dress, a pair of pig tusks, a wooden pillow, a club, a spear and a bilum. The item given to the church at Simbang was a carved wood inscribed with Kasiga and a bilum.
“The Kasiga title has no affiliation with church and politics,” Sir Jerry said.
“In Yabem language, the prefix ka means ‘tree’ and suffix siga means ‘big’, meaning big tree. And Naru was the symbolic figure of the big tree thus my family at Yabem district conference conferred him the Kasiga title as a form of respect in the traditional sense of a
knighthood and that cannot be removed.
“The title was inherited from my great-great grandfather Kasiga Obokoc, the grand chief of Yabem tribe and the warrior at the time when the first Lutheran missionary arrived in Finschhafen and later christened him Geame.”
“I am sad that our good governor was ill-advised by some self-centered people who have no knowledge of the genealogy to force the return of the titles at the wrong forum using public funds for the wrong purpose.”

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