Hela is URP turf, not NA playground

Letters, Normal

I REFER to the report “Marape heads Hela Interim Authority” (The National, April 6).
I would like to caution the National Alliance-led Government that Hela is United Resources Party (URP) turf.
Since 2002, we have seen the NA-led Government appointing political cronies to various departments and statutory authorities for its own benefit at the expense of the people.
Any Hela man or woman would view the appointment of James Marape with suspicion for obvious reasons.
The NA is trying to make its presence felt in Hela for 2012.
With this appointment, a battle-line has been drawn, which may be to the NA candidate’s own demise in Hela.
I am baffled by Mr Marape’s explanation that SHP Governor Anderson Agiru has so much on his plate in running Southern Highlands.
On the contrary, while Mr Marape is grandstanding in the media, Mr Agiru is providing much needed services to the people of Hela.
Mr Marape has not demonstrated his ability to lead the people of Tari-Pori, let alone having the ability to run Hela as chairman of the transition authority.
Despite his constant media rhetoric, there is hardly any development in Tari-Pori.
The good Education Minister has yet to use the funds he obtained for Tari town market development and Hela Technical College.
Both projects are in his backyard.
The people are aware that all Hela MPs, including Mr Marape have been “piggyback riding” on Mr Agiru in terms of service delivery.
The NA-led NEC has overlooked Mr Agiru and I wonder whether due process was observed.
In the absence of proper provincial government for Hela before 2012, SHPG led by Mr Agiru should have been allowed to coordinate and administer the transitional authority to save costs and spare stretched manpower.
The Government is supposed to work with SHPG, not appointing its puppets.
Hela will not become a cash-cow to be milked by Mr Marape and his NA-led Government like they did in SHP during the state of emergency where millions of kina was milked from SHPG coffers.
I also fail to understand why Mr Agiru was not accorded courtesy, as he is the SHP governor by law and until such time when Hela has its own government, Mr Agiru is the de facto governor of Hela.
As such, he ought to have been the chairman of the transition authority.
I am aware that Mr Agiru is away with the Prime Minister and PNG delegation in New York to witness the financial close ceremony between the developers and financiers of the LNG project.
I feel the NA-dominated NEC did not give due respect to Mr Agiru whose URP has helped NA formed two consecutive governments following the Ela Beach Accord in 2002.
I am not impressed with the attitude of Mr Marape and the statement he made about Mr Agiru being busy with securing funds for developments in the province.
If that is the reason why NEC appointed him as the chairman, then he should retract his statement.


Pro-URP Hela Igini