By MALUM NALU
Pioneer East Sepik politician and Frieda River discoverer John Pasquarelli has expressed shock at the rundown state of Angoram, along the Sepik River.
|John Pasquarelli as a cadet kiap (patrol officer) at Angoram along the Sepik River in 1960|
Pasquarelli, 74, a kiap (patrol officer) who first came to PNG in 1960, crocodile hunter and Member of the first House of Assembly for Angoram from 1964-1968, said this in light of development of the Frieda River project.
He beat Sir Michael Somare’s father, Ludwig Somare Sana, to become Angoram MHA in 1964.
Sir Michael’s son, Arthur, is now Angoram MP but is under suspension.
“I flew into Angoram as a cadet patrol officer in 1960 and four years later I was the MHA for Angoram Open, elected by the Sepiks over several other candidates including Michael Somare’s father, Sana, who was a friend of mine,” Pasquarelli said.
“Angoram was once a thriving outstation with the Sepiks making plenty of money from crocodile skins, carvings, tourism, logs for the sawmills at Angoram and Marienberg and sending lots of saksak (sago) into Wewak and Madang as well as providing labour for plantations and the mining and forestry at Bulolo.
“That most of the aid posts no longer exist and the Angoram police station was burnt down is beyond belief.
“Who visits Sepik villages these days to check what is going on in respect of health, the economy and law and order?
“It was government policy to get rid of the kiaps and their ‘nasty’ colonial history but who replaced them?
“Who is speaking out for the Sepiks to make sure they get the best possible deal if the Frieda River project goes ahead?
“Where is the current MP for Angoram when he’s needed?”