The National, Thursday July 4th, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
NON-Ahi candidates and voters should not be deterred by local candidates, Kay Takising, from Finschhafen, a candidate in the Ahi local level government election, says.
Takising spoke out in Lae against what he saw as increasing political intimidation from some candidates of Ahi origin who were against the election of non-Ahi candidates in this year’s local level government election.
The Ahi LLG is one of two LLGs in Lae district and covers the Ahi villages of Kamkumung, Hengali, Butibam, Yanga, Wagang and caters for roughly two-thirds of all settlements in Lae.
Takising said despite the arguments by certain Ahi candidates that they, as locals, had the blood right to bring developments onto their traditional land, Ahi leaders were responsible in the first place for bringing in settlers onto their land and for their livelihood.
He said settlers on Ahi land were from all over Papua New Guinea and who had lived there for generations, were working class people, had contributed to the development of Lae and Morobe but had been denied basic government services over the years.
“Let the voter, whether he is a settler or a local, vote for the right leader of his choice, as the Ahis allowed settlers to live on their land but have failed over the years to bring government services such as proper water supply, sanitation and electricity to these settlers,” he said.
“Ahi LLG is one of the smallest LLGs in the country but most of its settlements lack basic services and the majority of the working class who live there were being deprived of their rights, if an Ahi cannot do that, let an outsider prove himself,” he said.
Takising said he had been involved in mediation in the 2011 ethnic uprising and other clashes in Lae and promised to be fair to all people of Ahi LLG, sack underperforming public servants, impose organised community work and work towards adjusting the Ahi LLG boundary to cover the Bumayong area.