The National – Thursday, December 23, 2010
By GABRIEL FITO
MICHAEL Somare Junior, the son of sidelined Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, is being sought by Wewak police over a shooting incident last weekend allegedly targeting East Sepik Governor Peter Wararu Waranaka.
Police said Wararu narrowly escaped death when a pump action shotgun was discharged, allegedly by Somare Jr, at close range at the governor’s home last Saturday evening.
The incident occurred in front of Wararu’s wife and children, senior public servant James Baloiloi and provincial administrator Samson Torovi.
East Sepik provincial police commander Chief Insp Charles Parinjo told Sir Michael, Wararu, National Alliance party branch executives and community leaders from the Yangoru-Saussia electorate (where Wararu is from) outside the Wewak police station yesterday that the alleged offender would be arrested and charged with the incident.
He said a police investigating officer had been assigned the task.
Parinjo said Somare Jr would be treated like any ordinary citizen and the law would take its course.
Speaking at the gathering, Sir Michael urged all Yangoru-Saussia people to remain calm and maintain a unified Sepik instead of creating a mountain from a molehill.
He said the incident stemmed from a joke between his son and Wararu and he had no grudges against the governor and his family.
“I am not here to defend my son; he has admitted to committing the offence and will go to court like any other citizen,” Sir Michael said.
Earlier this week, the sidelined prime minister offered K30,000 and four pigs to Wararu as a customary obligation and the first step towards achieving peace.
However, Wararu’s maternal uncles had also demanded K5 million from the Somare family while NA supporters in Yangoru and Saussia were understood to be working on a petition demanding K30 million in compensation.
Sir Michael said he would study the petition and discuss with the petitioners on how best to resolve the matter towards achieving peace.
Meanwhile, Wararu maintained that he was still a National Alliance man, dismissing rumours that the incident had prompted him to jump ship.
He said the attack on him was an internal matter and police were investigating.