The National- Wednesday, January 12, 2011
By BENBERT WASA
MOST people from Morobe interviewed in a recent vox-pop are supporting the move by the Morobe government to break away from Papua New Guinea.
In the interviews, those who agreed said they were happy for the move because the province had been contributing a lot to the country’s revenue but had been receiving very little for its development.
Most asked why Morobe should be part of Papua New Guinea while it had valuable resources to run its own economy and affairs.
“Lae is the industrial centre of the country and the main industrial wharf will also be valuable for the economic revenue generation of our autonomous region if the province breaks away,” one said.
They said Morobe was a big province that was highly-populated, enabling it to run its own affairs towards autonomy.
Those who did not agree with the idea of autonomy said Morobe was not an island on its own like the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and it was not good for it to become autonomous because it was situated in the heart of the country’s land mass.
They said Morobe was not fit to stand on its own because it was just a Papua New Guinean “baby still breast feeding”.
Another said if the Morobe government had been developing the city in terms of roads and buildings, then it would be ready for that move but the province still could not prove it could be independent.
They believed that in future, the same thing would happen, making them disagree with the move by the provincial government.
A police officer said it was good but Morobe was the business gateway to Madang and the Highlands provinces and the need for border security would be a major concern.
He said although it had increasing law and order problems, police were attending less cases.
“Thus, Morobe would need a police force that would meet the demands of an autonomous state,” he said.