By JEFFERY ELAPA
A POLICE officer injured in an ambush in Hela was yesterday evacuated to Port Moresby, as the Opposition urged Prime Minister James Marape to quickly address the violence in his Hela province.
Oil Search Limited assisted in the medical evacuation of Constable James Kobol from Tari yesterday.
Kobol was injured in an ambush last week at the Tokoyo Bridge in Hela.
He was airlifted from Tari Hospital on an Oil Search helicopter to Moro where he was transferred to an Oil Search-chartered Link PNG flight to Port Moresby.
At Jackson airport, Kobol was met by Oil Search staff who transported him in St John Ambulance vehicle to the Port Moresby General Hospital.
Rick Loveridge, Oil Search senior vice-president medical and health services said: “We were happy to assist Constable Kobol and take immediate action upon receiving a request from Hela Governor Philip Undialu.”
Marape, the Tari-Pori MP, was in his province last week to attend the funeral of police officer Sergeant David Hale who was shot the week before.
He urged his people to stop the violence and learn to peacefully co-exist.
Yesterday, Opposition Leader Belden Namah accused Marape of failing to address law and order issues in Hela.
He said the recent attacks on police officers should prompt Marape to “take back Tari and Hela from lawlessness”.
Namah called on Marape to resign because the crime rate in Hela and the country had “spiralled out of control”.
“He does not know how to address the law and order situation in the country.
He can’t (even) control it in his district and province,” Namah said.
“He cannot defend his lack of leadership following the mass murder of innocent people, the gunning down of Sergeant David Hale last week and the chopping up of another policeman in Tari on Tuesday this week.
“The prime minister has all the resources at his disposal but cannot control law and order in his own district and province.
“What hope is there for the rest of the country?”
Efforts to get a comment from Marape yesterday were unsuccessful. Namah said Marape should arrange for a special security force operation “to flush out crime” in Hela and arrest the “senseless killers”.
“Enough of the empty rhetoric about talking back PNG and making PNG the richest black Christian nation in the world,” he said.
“He must show leadership and go back to his people and stop the senseless killings and frequent murders.
“He has failed his people of Tari-Pori and Hela,” Namah said.