Leader of PNG Party Belden Namah has expressed grave concern over a directive from Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare for his arrest for being critical of the government’s handling of high-profile scandals and controversies involving some very senior parliamentarians.
Namah, who was informed at the weekend of the highly-confidential directive for his arrest, said Sir Michael should not use State institutions, including the police force to silence leaders and citizens who openly criticised him and his government over important national issues and events affecting Papua New Guinea and its citizens.
“It is becoming evidently clear why the Prime Minister has decided to tribalise the three disciplined forces by appointing three men from his own East Sepik province to head the PNG Corrective Institution, PNG Defence Force and the Royal PNG Constabulary,” Namah said.
“The Somare plot is now being executed to silence leaders and citizens who are critical of Sir Michael and his cohorts using state law enforcing agencies.
“It is a very dangerous and frightening new strategy devised by the Prime Minister, never done by any Prime Minister since independence, to silence people thereby denying the democratic and constitutional rights of PNG leaders and citizens who speak out against the Government on issues affecting the nation.
“Leader of the Opposition Sir Mekere Morauta was not wrong when he described the tribalising of the three disciplined forces, a clearly dictatorial and desperate act heading towards ‘Mugabe land’.
“I’m aware of the Prime Minister’s plot to have me arrested.
It is not because I have broken any laws or the Constitution of PNG.
And also, it is not because I am indifferent with the law. It is merely because I have been most vocal and critical on corruption and some very controversial decisions that are rampant in the current Government.
“It is common knowledge that corruption in PNG has reached an unprecedented level, but this Prime Minister has failed to address it head on, starting from his own backyard.
“I’ve never tried to seek relief from the courts to prevent the Ombudsman Commission and the Public Prosecutor from performing their constitutional mandated duties like Sir Michael over his referral for allegedly not declaring his annual returns.
“There is also a very serious allegation before police of from NGO activist Noel Anjo of his alleged kidnapping ordered by Sir Michael.
“Anjo also alleged that Sir Michael punched him three times and even wringed him neck.
“Mr Anjo was lucky to have been rescued by two named duty policemen.
“Mr Anjo also alleged that he was subject to both verbal and physical harassment from Lady Veronica Somare and other relatives at Mirigini State House.
“Why have the police not acted on this very serious allegation of kinapping of Mr Anjo and taken Sir Michael and Lady Veronica for questioning?”
Namah called for an independent commission of inquiry into this allegation.
Namah was also critical of Sir Michael’s perceived personal interest to have him arrested.
“What offence have I committed that warrants a directive from the Prime Minister or the National Executive Council for my arrest?” he said.
Namah said he was reliably informed by highly placed sources within the cabinet and police force of such a directive.
As well, the former PNG Defence Force officer said he would not be silenced by the executive directive for his arrest and would continue to criticise the government and its leadership for its actions and suggest alternative policies in addressing national issues and problems affecting the country.