Member for Rai Coast Sapia dies

National, Normal


MEMBER for Rai Coast Niuro Toko Sapia has died after a long illness.
Mr Sapia died yesterday while being taken to his village in Madang.
He was elected to represent the electorate in the 2007 general election.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year, and had been fighting the illness since.
According to family members, Mr Sapia spent almost a year seeking medical assistance overseas but had to come back home.
He was admitted at the intermediate ward at Madang’s Modilon Teaching Hospital for a week and on Wednesday,  he asked the hospital authorities to discharge him to go home and sort out a few things.
While travelling to his home, he passed away near the Sausi sub-health centre.
The nurses at the centre could not assist him, so he was later taken to Walium health centre in the Usino-Bundi electorate but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Those who accompanied him brought his body back to Madang.
The body was flown to Port Moresby yesterday and taken to the funeral home to await funeral arrangements.
Mr Sapia was from Saranga village in the Rai Coast district and was married to Noami. They have eight children.
He was a kiap and served almost half of his life in Salt-Nomane, Kamtai, Chuave and Gembogl districts in the Simbu province prior to resigning to enter politics in  2007.
He was unsuccessful then but won the by-election in November of that year.
The by-election was ordered by the Supreme Court after it quashed the election of former Madang governor James Yali, who was jailed for 12 years for rape.
Mr Sapia contested the by-election as an independent after contesting the general election under the banner of the PNG Country Party.
After his win, he joined the National Alliance party.