Give priority to Manam issue

Letters

WE write to support the letter from Henry Kauke of UPNG on May 27 in The National and other concerned writers calling for the authorities to act quickly to address the concern of Manam islanders.
We also respond to Governor Yama’s statement on May 24 on how the K6 million for the Manam resettlement exercise was used.
The Madang provincial government seems to feed us with different stories each time and here are the lists of their responses so far.
First they said the funds were intact, later they said there’s no specific funding for the Manam Restoration Authority (MRA), than they said RDF used the fund for the resettlement work and now they are saying that the K6 million was used to settle all outstanding bills without showing any proof reports for public consumption and only time will reveal the truth.
Yama was correct to state in Monday’s The National that Bogia MP Robert Naguri was supposed to take the lead in the Manam resettlement exercise but that doesn’t seem the case.
Nubia Plantation is state land and the process of acquiring the land wouldn’t be that complicated but again the local/ district and provincial government needs to prioritise this with Naguri taking the lead.
Thumbs up to Naguri for some district development progress so far but your priority must be the resettlement of your people who have suffered for over 15 years.
NID and other government services are vital but settle your people first.
The Manam issue has been long overdue compare to any other issues within Madang and the entire PNG is fully aware of this issue, hence when talking about Manam issue, no one bother to ague the ongoing issue.
We already have the MRA in place and they simply need funding to operate.
At no time, since the appointment of the MRA board, have either the provincial government, the governor or the member for Bogia specified how they will step-in to assist the MRA and whether or not they have a budget for MRA.
The controversial K6 million was for last year budget and it’s gone with the wind.
What about this year’s budget?
Do we have anything for MRA?
Concerning Ramu Development Foundation, the fund manager for Manam funds for the past nine years has not produced any financial report over the years on the total funding received or being used or actual work that has being done.
Should there be any leftover funds, it must be transferred immediate to the MRA to get the resettlement exercise underway quickly?
Should the provincial government or the governor or the member for Bogia wish to make another media conference regarding the Manam issue, please clearly outline your plans and budget for the MRA and state when you’ll be releasing your next funding for the authority to get the resettlement process started.
To sum up, again we call upon on all the elites of Bogia, regardless of your standing and location, to speak up for your people and do what you can to get our leaders and authorities to task so that our people must be resettled the sooner.
Our islanders have waited and suffered long enough for over 15 years.

Jerry Ambali
Bogia People Network

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