By JASON GIMA WURI
POREBADA villagers of Central province yesterday demanded K700,000 and 50 pigs from Boera villagers and LNG project developer ExxonMobil for the deaths of four Porebada men in a clash arising from a land dispute two weeks ago.
They also called for a land investigation report to be made public so that the confusion over ownership of Portion 152 may be put to rest for good.
These were some of the demands in the first part of a six-section petition which was presented to Central province MPs yesterday.
The petition is a result of recent conflicts between the Porebada and Boera villagers which led to the death of four people on Jan 24.
In the petition, which was presented to Central Governor Alphonse Moroi and Kairuku-Hiri MP Paru Aihi, they demanded, among others, that the Government intervene on the corridor road (Portion 152).
The villagers demanded that the involvement of Konebada Petroleum Park Authority on land issues relating to LNG project area should be clarified and halted immediately, Boera villagers and former minister Sir Moi Avei’s associates never again be involved in Porebada’s traditional land and that the smashed windscreen of a vehicle owned by Simon Heni of Porebada be replaced.
They also demanded that the bereaved families be compensated for the loss of their family members and that Boera villagers cooperate with police to surrender firearms to authorities.
They demanded Sir Moi’s arrest as well as those allegedly involved in the killing.
The villagers demanded that Boera villagers and the developer of the LNG project, ExxonMobil, provide 50 pigs to be distributed across the village as a sign of peacemaking and pay K700,000 to the seven sections of the village.
They also demanded that police stop harassing the people on their traditional land and refrain from discharging fire-arms in public places.
They also asked for equal distribution of royalty from the LNG project.
“We demand fair treatment, equitable participation and distribution of project benefits across the board, among the four impacted villages,” they said in the petition.
“We demand an MoU to be established spelling out all major issues relating to the project. We demand that the church be involved in all negotiations to safeguard the interest of the voiceless at the grassroots level.”
They also called on the media to be mindful in its reporting so as not to mislead the public.
The villages warned that if their demands were not addressed in two weeks, they would prolong the “crisis”.
Mr Moroi said he was saddened by the tragedy and that he needed the support of the working committee to help him submit reports to the Prime Minister.
“The petition has reached a much wider scope but I need the support of your working committee to prepare the detailed reports so that this issue can be dealt with accordingly and normalcy returned to the villages,” Mr Moroi said.