BONUA-Magarida Timber Rights Purchase project area landowners in Central province’s Abau district are petitioning Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to remove his deputy and Abau MP Sir Puka Temu.
The petition is expected to be delivered to Sir Michael before he chairs the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kimbe, West New Britain province, tomorrow. A copy will also be given to Sir Puka.
The move comes just a week after Sir Michael announced that a major cabinet reshuffle was imminent and speculations are that certain senior members of the Government may be affected.
The representatives are also executives of the Magarida Timbers Limited (MTL) company, a landowner entity that holds the timber permit number TP3-28 for the project area.
The landowners alleged in the petition that Sir Puka may be the main reason why the MTL’s approved developer has not been able to develop the project.
“All the leaders talk about transparency and accountability but Sir Puka is the stumbling block,” the MTL executive board said.
“We have been very patient in the last two years trying to get a timber developer of our choice while it has been alleged that Sir Puka has instead used his office to support another developer who has been illegally logging in the area
“All the documents are now in place for them to refer Sir Puka to the Ombudsman Commission for investigation and it is most possible that from the outcome of the investigation, the leader may be referred to the Leadership Tribunal.”
The stand is also in line with the Prime Minister’s comments at the opening of the L&A Group of Companies in Port Moresby recently when Sir Michael implied that the people should be mindful of the country’s rules and regulations in what ever they do.
“There must comply with the rules and standards,” Sir Michael said.