Udia calls on landowners to resist land-grabbers


By Moya Iowa=
HIRI Moale Festival committee chairman and deputy Central Governor Opao Udia has urged Motukoitabu landowners not to sell their land and to resist land grabbing.
Udia was speaking during the closing ceremony of the Hiri Moale Festival held on Friday and Saturday at the Paga Ring Road in Port Moresby.
Udia said people of Motu–koitabu were becoming spectators and beggars on their own land which was unacceptable.
He said their ancestors were strong and brave people who participated on Hiri trade expeditions with people from Gulf to make sure their families survived.
Udia said the Hiri trade was not easy as the men who took part in the expeditions had to leave their families for long periods of time. Sometimes, some of them never returned home.
Udia told the people of MotuKoitabu not to forget what their ancestors did and went through.
He also warned them not to forget their identity and to continue to hold fast to their customs and traditions.
He advised them to work hard and not rely on others.
Udia, the acting chairman of the Motu–koitabu Assembly, challenged the council members to be active in dealing with the affairs of the people and to engage actively with the government on how to help the people.