By MALUM NALU
THREE former prime ministers were last night thanked for their services to Papua New Guinea by the Opposition.
East Sepik Governor Sir Michael Somare, New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan and PNG Sustainable Development Programme chairman Sir Mekere Morauta were presented traditional New Ireland shell money as well as food and pigs for their contribution to the development of the country.
Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti did not attend the ceremony which was witnessed by Opposition MPs and supporters at the Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby.
People’s Progress Party leader Ben Micah, who hosted the ceremony, thanked Sir Michael, Sir Julius and Sir Mekere on behalf of the people of PNG.
“We are sorry, we are ashamed that for the last six to seven years the country has not heard your voices,” Micah said.
“The voices of wisdom, experience and knowledge of good governance have not been heard.
“Papua New Guinea has now gone down the drain.
“On behalf of all the young leaders in this (Opposition) team, we need your advice, we need your counsel, we need your wisdom and experience to help us raise that country that is now lying in the drain.”
Founding prime minister Sir Michael said: “We believe that the direction that the country is taking is wrong because the common people on the streets are not happy with our situation.
“The unions, doctors, engineers and teachers are not happy.
“Our government is led by our Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. This government has led us astray and our people are finding it very difficult.”
Sir Mekere, who has been fighting a prolonged battle with O’Neill over the PNGSDP and Ok Tedi mine, called on O’Neill to “stand down immediately”.
By MALUM NALU