By YVONNE HAIP
SOUTHERN Highlands police are calling on landowners not to take the law into their own hands when dealing with oil and gas royalty payments.
Moro police station assistant commander Snr Const John Ruma said their actions were only affecting the general well-being of their communities.
“You are actually impeding the progress of development and depriving yourselves of benefits from economic growth and spin-off business opportunities.”
Mr Ruma told the The National from Moro that landowners resorted to taking the law into their own hands to achieve their demands.
He said landowners had a responsibility to promote development and should not interfere with development progress.
Mr Ruma said 10 leaders from Tamatiki in the Gobe area were brought to the Moro police station and instructed to warn their people not to take the law into their own hands.
Police called on the leaders after Tamatiki landowners threatened to block the oil pipeline from Kutubu to Mubi Valve Station and Kumul Terminal.
The frustrated landowners had issued the threat after alleging that the Government had not settled their royalty payment from 1992 to 2008.
The landowners claimed they were owed about K6 million and threatened to block the pipeline if a favourable response was not forthcoming.
Mr Ruma said the landowners were into their second week of protest when police intervened.
He said the 10 leaders were instructed to advise the landowners to adhere to procedures and refrain from interfering with the development process.
“The pipelines are gardens which belong to everybody and should be looked after,” Mr Ruma said.