By REBECCA KUKU
THE state funeral of Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil will be held at the Sir John Guise indoor complex in Port Moresby tomorrow.
Housing and National Events Minister Justin Tkatchenko made the announcement yesterday while receiving the body of Basil and his close protection officer (CPO) First Constable Neil Maino.
Hundreds, including Prime Minister James Marape, Speaker Job Pomat, governors, state ministers and MPs, had gathered at Jackson International Airport.
Many wept openly while chanting “Ari” (brother) and placards everywhere displayed with “Bikpela Kumul” written as the casket was move into the ceremonial car park by the PNG Defence Force.
Marape said that no words were enough to describe the loss of a great man like Basil.
“We honour in his passing as we honoured him when he was alive.
“Most of us are still in shock.
“To his wife, children, people of Buang, Bulolo, Morobe, and his United Labour Party, our heartfelt sympathies and condolences, and to the rest of Papua New Guinea, we stand with you.
“Sometimes, life isn’t that easy and does not have all the answers, the late deputy prime minister was a great man, and will be remembered for a long time, ” he said.
ULP acting leader Lekwa Gure said Basil always spoke about the party, saying that it (party) would be an inspiration.
According to the programme released by Tkatchenko, Basil’s body will lay in state at the Parliament Grand Hall tomorrow at 11am for fellow MPs to pay their respects.
At 2pm Basil’s casket will be taken to the Sir John Guise indoor complex for the state funeral which will be led by head of the Lutheran Church Bishop Jack Urame.
Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae and Marape are expected to pay their tributes during the state funeral.
The casket is expected to depart Port Moresby for Lae at 10am on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the public is welcomed to pay their respects today at the Sir John Guise Stadium from 5pm to midnight.
By REBECCA KUKU