The National, Wednesday 15th May 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
A 30-YEAR-old man from Londol village in the Ambum-Kompiam district of Enga has surrendered a handgun to police in Mt Hagen.
Mathew Poko, a father of four children who admitted being involved in armed robberies and other illegal activities, surrendered the weapon yesterday after keeping it for six years.
He said many people would come to borrow the gun from him to use in robberies or tribal fights.
“Being in possession of such a weapon, it forced me to rob people,” Poko admitted.
“Now I am a changed man and do not need it anymore.”
Poko said living in a city with a family to look after had forced him into illegal activities but he found out that there were other ways of honestly earning a living.
“In the past, I was creating many enemies and my life was under threat but today I am making many new friends,” he said.
He said his life was changed by a pastor of the Christian Apostolic Fellowship and today all his family took part in church activities.
Station commander Insp John Maguna said Poko had become a free man and no longer a threat to the community.
He told Poko: “You have set a very good example today but you have more to do. As a changed person, you have to encourage other partners to change their lives.”
Maguna said many unemployed youths in the city turned to illegal activities to earn a living but there were many other good things they could do.
Christian Apostolic Fellowship pastor John Minape said pastors must play their part to change people’s lives.
“We cannot sit back and preach good news alone. We need to understand youths’ problems and slowly lure them to the church,” he said.