The National, Wednesday 22nd August 2012
By ZACHERY PER
GOROKA parliamentarian Bire Kimisopa has failed to acknowledge Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for giving priority to the district, Henganofi’s Robert Atiyafa claims.
“O’Neill grew up in Goroka where his father was one of the pioneer residents and considers Goroka as his home,” Atiyafa said.
“He has given millions of kina to the district in the past 10 months and since becoming Prime Minister in the eighth Parliament.”
He said while other politicians and organisations congratulated O’Neill, Kimisopa saw fit to criticise him, raising the National Provident Fund Saga that occurred in 1988.
Atiyafa said in the nine months of the former O’Neill-Namah Government, O’Neill made four visits to Goroka and gave K5 million to the National Sports Institute, K5million to Goroka Secondary School, K10million for the upgrade of Goroka town roads, K5million for the mobile clinic and K700,000 to the Goroka Show Society.
“Any reasonable thinking leader would have the courtesy to appreciate and thank the prime minister, but Kimisopa has chosen to do otherwise.
“As a leader and former premier I sincerely apologise and disassociate ourselves from the comments.
“For him to give a scathing attack on O’Neill is unbecoming of a Gorokan who pride themselves as peace-loving people.
“I ask, did the people of Goroka give you the approval to attack the prime minister?”
Atiyafa urged Kimisopa to apologise to O’Neill.
“I forgive Kimisopa for his personal attacks in the media over my proposal to move a Private Members Bill.
“I was a premier and chairman of the Highlands Premiers Council from 1991-1995 when Kimisopa was a student and I know more on corruption prevalence issues than him,” he said.