Viewing of late Agiru’s body this afternoon

The body of Hela Governor late Anderson Agiru will be viewed by the public this afternoon at 3pm at the Sir John Guise stadium in Port Moresby.

Committee responsible for his funeral arrangement told Loop PNG that the viewing of the body will only take a few hours  before the body is taken back to the Erima Funeral Home.

Late Agiru died on the morning of Thursday, April 28, 2016.

He was 54 and died peacefully at about 8 am.

He had been receiving treatment for kidney malfunction since June 2015.

Agiru was leader of the People’s United Assembly and first Governor of the new Hela Province.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1997 and became leader of the United Resources Party.

He became Governor of the Southern Highlands Province which at the time included Hela.

He later left the URP to form PUA.

He was re-elected as Southern Highlands Governor in the 2002 and 2007 National elections and following the separation of Hela from Southern Highlands in 2012, successfully contested elections the same year to become the inaugural Governor of Hela.

Late Agiru was instrumental in the Gulf-Southern Highlands road link; the move to create Hela Province and the development of the PNG LNG project among other projects.

As host Governor, Agiru will be remembered for his long hard fight to develop an LNG gas project onshore.

In 2002 when the PNG Government proposed piping PNG’s gas to Queensland, Australia, Agiru fought bitterly against government to establish an LNG project onshore. He witnessed the Gas Agreement in 2008 and led the provincial governments and landowners team to the Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement in Kokopo in May 2009 and fought hard for equity, high impact infrastructure projects and other benefits accruing to landowners and provincial governments today.

He championed the drive for agro-industrial centres throughout Hela at a time when the attention of the rest of PNG was focused on the benefits deriving from the LNG Project. He helped drive infrastructure projects throughout the new province and was building the Hela Provincial Government headquarters building at the time of his death.

His death is a great loss to the people of Hela, Southern Highlands and PNG. We have lost a great inspirational leader. Hela is in mourning today.

Meanwhile, Koroba-Kopiago MP Philip Undialu in a statement called on all Hela to remain calm and united in the face of this loss.

“We must forget all our differences at this time.

“I further thank the Prime Minister and his Government for the assistance extended to Agiru during his period of illness and for seeing through major impact projects that our Governor championed such as the sealing of the Highlands Highway from Mendi to Lake Kopiago and the Gulf-Southern Highlands Highway.”

Agiru held a Masters in Business Administration and has served in various capacities for several ministers before entering Parliament.

He hails from Dauli outside Tari town.

His body is currently at rest at the Erima Funeral Home.

Further information on the funeral will be forwarded as the program is finalised.

Freddy Mou