The National, Thursday 20th September, 2012
By ELIAS NANAU
WEST SEPIK did not celebrate the country’s independence anniversary and the people are now blaming their politicians for not allocating money to host the event.
“There were a lot of complaints and criticisms,” Gabriel Deckwalen, media and protocol officer from the governor’s office, said.
“We only went to the media (NBC Sandaun) to defend the governor but we can’t speak for the other open members,” he said.
Deckwalen said all the open members of the province were not in Vanimo during the independence weekend.
In a statement late last week, Governor Amkat Mai apologised, saying his election challenge by two losing candidates and former governors Simon Solo and John Talu Tekwie would not allow him to be with his West Sepik people and service delivery could be affected.
“It is sad I will not be among the very people who elected me as your leader,” Mai said.
He said his lawyers had advised him to be in Port Moresby on Independence Day to prepare documents for his election dispute.
“I understand five years is a limited time, my focus will be swayed away from serving the interest of the people … that is to say service delivery will be affected.
“However, it is the legitimate right of losing candidates to institute legal proceedings,” Mai said.
“While court is in progress, I wish to call for calm,” and common sense to prevail over anarchy or uncertainty throughout the province. Let justice triumph,” he said.