The National, Thursday June 20th, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
YOUTH leader Thomas Agiru is contesting Lae’s Ward One seat despite his amputated leg because he believes in his ability to bring positive changes to the people.
The 34-year-old of East New Britain and Southern Highlands parentage but born and raised in Lae is part of the growing movement of young men in Morobe who are putting their hands up to take a lead in the local level governments.
Agiru, a popular face in Eriku, Lae, is a leader of the Eriku youth population who have decided to turn a new leaf and turn away from criminal activities.
Once right in the middle of lawlessness in the city’s commercial business centre, they are now city rangers.
He has a registered contract and a group of 30 young men paid to clean up around the Niall Oval. He was awarded the contract mainly because of his leadership qualities among the young men in Lae.
The men earn an allowance of K200 each.
He said mobilising the unemployed and finding positive opportunities for them was one of his main goals.
He also wants to create a family-friendly and safe environment for members of the public in Eriku and the city.
“We have stopped pick-pockets, harassment of members of the public, littering and consuming alcohol in public,” he said.
“As the Ward One candidate, I am pushing to make the area safer, better and a model community to the other five Lae wards.
He was yesterday at the Eriku Highlands bus stop educating members of the public not to litter.
“I started off in January last year where we got 60 youth volunteers to beautify Eriku and enforce law and order,” he said.
“(We tried to) deter petty crimes in Ward One. We were recognised by the Lae city council. And that was the start of my plan to make the community a better place.”