The National , Wednesday, June 1, 2011
THE People’s Progress Party in New Ireland has consolidated its provincial home base and political muscle, especially in Kavieng district, with the return of former party stalwart and former Kavieng MP Ben Micah.
Last Thursday saw a traditional and solemn ceremony affirming reunion and consolidation hosted by Micah at Lugagun village, 40km out of Kavieng, where he publicly declared his alliance with PPP and its founder and parliamentary leader Sir Julius Chan.
Led by his traditional chiefs and elders from Murat LLG, Micah captivated the crowd of the Kara-Nalik area and PPP delegates from across New Ireland and visiting guests with a display of traditional gifts, shell money and pigs to mark the reunion and consolidation of relationship between a son returning to his father.
The reunion and consolidation of the political leaders is seen by supporters and outsiders as a major shift forward within the PPP to rally support for a clean sweep by the PPP in the province in the 2012 general election.
It is hoped the move will restore the province to its former glory years as the political base and stronghold of the party.
Micah publicly declared his detachment from the People’s National Congress Party led by Treasury Minister Peter O’Neill, saying his decision to align with PPP was based on patriotic principles and to bolster support for Sir Julius.
Sir Julius said the reunion signified the dawn of a new New Ireland, riding on the wave of the Malagan Declaration to chart a new future for the people.
Micah was Kavieng MP from 1992-97 under PPP but left and formed his own part, the Pan Melanesian Party that later joined the People’s National Congress.