By ISAAC NICHOLAS
NATIONAL Planning Minister Paul Tiensten has urged three governors from the Islands region to close ranks and work with him in the interest of political stability and solidarity in the region.
Mr Tiensten, who is Pomio MP and National Alliance party (NA) deputy leader for the New Guinea Islands, called on the three Governors – Leo Dion (East New Britain), Peter Jumphreys (West New Britain) and Fidelis Semoso (Bougainville) – to join him, during a roundtable in a reconciliation ceremony with Manus Governor Michael Sapau in Vulupindi House yesterday.
The reconciliation was witnessed by Manus NA branch chairman Francis Posanau, secretary Hilary Malai, Bougainville NA branch leader Michael Laimo and NGI regional coordinator for NA Peter Manuka.
“The New Guinea Islands started the issue and I thank Governor Sapau for providing his loyalty to me. I just wanted to report that NGI region which started destabilising the party with my removal, Governor Sapau has now come to pledge his loyalty and support for me,” Mr Tiensten said.
“NA is a strong party and in the interest of the party, we are starting the reconciliation process to maintain stability and solidarity within the party.
“Governor Sapau sitting here today signals to the people of Manus and New Guinea Islands that the turbulence is over and we will be sailing in calm weather,” said Mr Tiensten.
Mr Tiensten said in the interest of Manus, NGI and PNG, much would be at stake in terms of major projects that the Government had lined up.
“To destabilise the party is not in the interest of the nation and I hope the rest can come forward to reconcile and ensure services reach our rural majority.
“Issues raised by the three governors resulting in my purported sacking can be resolved internally. The last thing I want to do is to undermine the solidarity that NA has enjoyed over the last seven years,” he said.
Governor Sapau said the leadership tussle had the potential to create differences between the political and executive wings.
“I am doing this for the interest of the party although mistakes have been made. I appeal to the three governors, for the sake of solidarity and stability, we have to come together and reconcile.
“For the interest of the country and the region, Minister Tiensten must retain the National Planning Ministry as much is at stake. I want to state that the Manus team of NA is together for the sake of stability and growth,” said Governor Sapau.