WHEN I drove into town early yesterday morning, a state funeral programme preparation was in progress for the late Sir Akepa Miyakuve.
He was the last man standing amongst the prominent leaders from the pre-colonial era.
The ones who have passed on before amongst others are Atau Waukave from Iufiufa, Sir Sinake Girere from Asaro and Soso Subi from Asaroufa in Eastern Highlands.
Sir Akepa is among others that we may relatively call today, men with very limited knowledge and experience.
But what these men possessed were the values of the highest order.
They possessed characters of discipline, values, principle, wisdom, and pride for their province and heart for their people.
They were men who had their moral compass as straight as a needle to the pole.
They did not leave behind an empire of personal wealth but the legacy of their social and political leadership character is outstanding.
A man is not remembered for what he gets but is remembered for what he gives.
I take my hats off for these leaders, lest we forget, their names will live on.
I thank the provincial administrators for naming the new Goroka market after one of them, Sir Soso Subi.
Eastern Highlands people are generally known as peace-loving people.
But in terms of socioeconomic and political leadership and peoples’ voting behaviour and election results, I am forced to conclude that they no longer possess the legacy of their forefathers.
As a people, we have lost our path and identify.
Therefore on the eve of this funeral programme of Sir Akepa, I call upon all the people and leaders of Eastern Highlands to rethink and strategise to revive and restore the pride of Eastern Highlands.
We should reconcile to forgive our past misgivings and restore moral values and principles into our people and leaders.
We should start fresh and move forward by uprooting all manners of corrupt practice.
Let’s put our differences aside and move forward together.