By JUNIOR UKAHA
THOUSANDS of people living in the Moresby Northeast electorate, National Capital District, flocked to the Unagi oval on Saturday to reconcile with Port Moresby businessman and former governor Wari Vele.
The “wanbel 2012” ceremony was staged by the people and their leaders, using their own resources, to say sorry to Vele for letting him down in 2007.
Coordinator of the reconciliation ceremony Pex Kuman told the gathering that the event was special because it was a time for the people of Moresby Northeast to say sorry and make peace with their leader.
Kuman said Moresby Northeast was a Wari Vele stronghold but, in 2007, the people deserted him and voted for other candidates.
He said last Saturday’s ceremony was to ask for Vele’s forgiveness and to work closely with him in 2012.
Women leader Maria Andrews said there was no point decorating and beautifying the streets, roads, parks and buildings if the needs of the people who used these facilities were not properly addressed.
She said contracts from NCDC must not be taken away from mothers, children and the grassroots and given to big business people.
She compared the late Sir William Skate to Vele and said they were the “champions” of the grassroots.
Vele, while accepting the people’s invitation, apology and gifts, said he had attended the event not for politics but purposely for the reconciliation.
While he was sorry that the people had suffered, Vele said they had inflicted the suffering upon themselves.
However, he said he was willing to work with them and right these failures.
The ceremony ended with the breaking of sugarcane to symbolise peace and the presentation of 20 pigs and food items to Vele and his delegates.