The National – Wednesday, June 29, 2011
By YVONNE HAIP
JIKA Anda Punt youths in Western Highlands have praised the efforts of ousted petroleum and energy minister William Duma as the United Resources Party (URP) leader.
They want URP founder and Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru and Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape to apologise to Duma.
The youths said this in light of the recent sacking of the Mt Hagen MP from cabinet and the alleged role Agiru and Potape had played in it.
The pair was sacked from the party by Duma and other parliamentary members of the second biggest coalition partner in government.
Alfred Mosion Maua, who claimed to speak on behalf of other youths, said Duma had been the lone party representative in parliament in 2002 after contesting as an independent candidate and had done much for the party.
He said Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare had recognised Duma’s qualities by awarding him the Environment and Conservation Ministry in his first term in parliament, and then rewarded him with the Petroleum and Energy portfolio.
He said the URP had not been a popular party, “but through the hard work of Duma, the party has risen to be a coalition partner” in the government.
He said they were unhappy with Agiru because he had no respect for Duma and backstabbed him.
He said the deed occurred during a critical time when elections were around the corner and the early works of the LNG project were under way.
Maua also called on acting Prime Minister Sam Abal to make good and informed decisions which would benefit the country.
He said Duma’s voters recognised his leadership qualities and were proud of his achievements.
He said URP had sorted out its house so the party maintained its credibility as one of the major coalition partners.