Ahi locals told not to sell land cheaply

Lae News, Normal

The National, Thursday, June 9th 2011

THE Ahi people of Lae have been warned not to sell land cheaply to outsiders or business houses from now on as the ownership of the Lae city land is being determined by the Supreme Court in Port Moresby.
The chairman of Bosolum and Sankwep Kawa clans of Nabak in the Nawaeb district Pongi Karok issued the warning last week after learning from the media that Ahi land had been sold cheaply while others were illegally settled on by outsiders.
Karok said businesses and outsiders should stop any more customary land deals with the Ahi people. 
“This is necessary to avoid repercussions in the future because we the Nabak and Kabwum communities who are legally disputing the legitimacy of this land will not tolerate and compromise our position in regard to the land when the ownership issue is determined by the Supreme Court,” he said.
 He also called on PNG Ports Ltd and the Independent Public Business Commission to deal directly with the genuine landowners of the Lae Tidal Basin project.
Karok made the call after the so-called historical breakthrough which the three villages of Labu Butu, Labu Miti and Labu Tali, signing a memorandum of understanding with the Busulum clan of Butibam last month to unite the parties as important players in the project.
These parties, Karok said, had failed their case on the issue of customary land ownership of Lae and the surrounding areas in a provincial land court in 2002.
“They are misleading the government and everybody,” he said.