Thursday, August 18, 2011

PM urged to make wise decisions


LEADERS in Mendi, Southern Highlands,  want Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and Public Service Minister Bart Philemon to make some wise and sensible decisions on the administration of the province, The National reports.
It comes as the National Executive Council reinstated William Powi as acting administrator for Southern Highlands.
Lawrence Olkoben was acting in the position.
It led to a clash last Monday between their supporters in Mendi town.
Olkoben was appointed by the Somare go­vernment while Powi was appointed last week by the O'Neill government.
Powi's move to occupy office on Monday was resisted by Olkoben's supporters and
resulted in the clash which left some people injured and properties damaged.
Both men are understood to be from Nipa, a section of the highway that leads to the LNG project hub, Tari.
The leaders in Mendi said if politicians continued to promote their own cronies to be  adminis­trators in Southern Highlands, there was a potential for chaos, anarchy and bloodshed in Mendi and elsewhere in the province.
Community leaders from Hunjahumap, Wogia, Longo, Kiburu, Lai Valley, Upper Mendi, Lower Mendi and the surrounding communities and LLGs want the government to appoint someone neutral to administer the pro­vince.
They wanted the government to appoint someone from Mendi or Lai Valley.
 Meanwhile, Governor Anderson Agiru claimed  the earlier appointment of Olkoben was done through proper procedures.
Agiru said that Powi's appointment was a "rushed move" by the prime minister.
The court registry in Mendi has denied a report that a court case had been filed by Olkoben against Powi.
Powi had earlier this year challenged the Southern Highlands provincial executive council in its decision to have Olkoben appointed.
The matter is still pending in court.
Meanwhile, police in Mendi said the situation in town was still tense following Monday's fight.
Sources from Mendi said people were openly carrying bush knives around the town's streets

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