WHEN the URP “heavies” were in New York, many interesting things happened at home.
These included Enga Governor Peter Ipatas’ visit to Mendi and presenting funds to the Mendi General Hospital, the announcement of James Marape as chairman of Hela Transition Authority and Tugubas welcoming back SHP Governor Anderson Agiru and his entourage with paid editorial which claim that the UBSA and LBBSA was not signed.
All that and “Pro-URP Hela Igini’s” view that “Hela is URP turf, not NA playground” (The National, April 12) need to be put into perspective as things happened according to plan and we only realise something is wrong when there is a fall-out.
Firstly, I must state the obvious: Hela people are not stupid, we are educated.
Hela issues have been divided into politics and economics by URP and NA. URP has been given the task of managing the LNG project (economics) and NA, the proposed province (politics).
It is the reason why Mr Marape was appointed to lead the transition body and why the URP team was in New York.
Mr Marape’s appointment is not news to many Hela elites but I understand why “Pro-URP Hela Igini” is furious; Australia is too far away to know what is happening at home.
Mr Marape has done well in his political career with support from NA while Mr Agiru is flying all over the world to raise K600 million, resulting in him handing the daily running of SHP to his deputy Pr Joseph Isaac.
Mr Agiru simply forgot that the people mandated him to lead.
It seemed during campaigning in the 2007 elections, a pro-Hela province group signed a resolution calling for the creation of a province in Tari but Mr Agiru did not sign it as he was campaigning in Pangia.
With Mr Agiru’s failure to support Hela, should URP claim it as its turf?
Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape is a good candidate as chairman, but his alignment with URP disqualifies him. Although Mr Marape has been give the post, he has done very little to push for it from outside.
As such, I believe Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP John Kekeno should rightly be given the post as he has spent his resources as true Hela while Mr Agiru and Mr Marape took a back seat.
Better still, Chief Damien Arabagali should be appointed chairman to give every political party that supported Hela province equal footing in 2012.
To sum it up, URP (Mr Agiru) failed to land the best LNG deal for Hela and NA (Mr Marape) failed to deliver the province before the UBSA and LBBSA was signed, causing Hela to miss out.
Therefore, Hela does not belong to Mr Agiru or Mr Marape and unless the URP and NA can revisit the UBSA and LBBSA to allow Hela to be a party, the region does not belong to URP or NA as the Tugubas, the custodians of the Gigira Laitebo, and Hela people are left high and dry.