By GABRIEL LAHOC
BULOLO MP Sam Basil has happily responded to Morobe Governor Luther Wenge’s rebuttal of his initial comments.
He had criticised Mr Wenge on the lack of help from the provincial government to promote Morobeans in business.
Mr Basil, who is on Easter holidays at his Buang village of Segayo, photographed a Buang-owned PMV bus and sent it to the press, saying it as “a sad example of Morobean-owned business” which are now being forced out by outsiders mainly because they lack the capital.
Mr Wenge responded that national leaders should promote national interests instead of siding with their ethnic groups.
He said Mr Basil “lacked the wisdom and national interest” and called for him to “go back to Buang and plant (staple food) yam”.
“I welcome his comments for me to plant yam back in Buang, otherwise labelling me as a shallow minded Buang villager for making such statements.
“In fact I am in my home at Segayo village in Buang and I can see yam gardens out my window this very moment typing this statement from the internet,” Mr Basil said.
He called for respect from Mr Wenge on the Buang people’s main crop.
“I will bring some yam from Buang for him when heading back into Lae and I urge him not to use our very important and well respected crop to degrade us (Buangs) as he may indirectly degrade all Buangs in Buang and around the country as well.
“I ask him to take back his words in reference to the yam as I have never referred to anything as such from the Nabak and the Wain area from which he hails from to grade him as such,” he said.
Mr Basil has pledged to raise the issue of assistance to locals “as the first matter in the next provincial assembly sitting”.
He added that he never intended to isolate other ethnic groups.
Mr Basil maintained his stance for the government agencies to prioritise Morobeans in every business opportunities in the province.
“We all know that Lae will benefit from the LNG project but who in particular?
“We understand the MPG will benefit in some ways including other industries but there are less than one or two percent Morobeans involved in those businesses aside from the MPG’s involvement in container storage and taxes,” he said.
“The nine districts and local level governments’ business arms should be encouraged to invest into properties and land investments in Lae city.
“The provincial and the national lands board should now prioritise their allocations of lands in their board meetings to the small Morobean people with business interests.”