Splitting province rests with boundaries commission: Atiyafa

Highlands

SPLITTING Eastern Highlands’ most eastern districts to form a separate province rests with the National Boundaries Commission and the people of the districts concerned, chairman of Constitutional Law Reform Commission and Henganofi MP Robert Atiyafa says.
“The writing was already on the wall for the split, whether it happens in this term of Parliament or the next term, it is splitting and it all lies in the boundaries commission’s survey and recommendations to the National Executive Council and Parliament,” Atiyafa said.
He said if the province is split the four districts will receive special attention and that would mean more funding to deliver services to the people.
Atiyafa said Okapa has 180,000 people with huge land mass, Kainantu has over 150,000 people and Obura-Wonenara has vast land mass with Henganofi getting nothing from the provincial government revenue.
He said if it is the wish of the people and the boundaries commission can prove that they are qualified to become separate provinces, it can happen.
“I have no intention to see the province split into two but the writing was already on the wall for the split as it was for Western Highlands and Southern Highlands that were split into Jiwaka and Hela in the recent past,” Atiyafa said.
“If the people want it and the boundaries commission sees fit then go for it.”
Meanwhile, Atiyafa called on Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu to convene an urgent provincial assembly meeting to appoint a provincial boundaries commission to collect data in the districts to help the National Boundaries Commission on the status of each district.
He said whether there will be a split or not, it will depend on the raw data collected and the recommendations.
“I also urge Numu to table the report of the weeding corruption programme during his first 100 days in office at the provincial assembly meeting,” Atiyafa said.

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