Bird applauded Eastern Highlands Governor, Peter Numu, for showing exceptional maturity.
“For the last 18 months, I usually talk about the struggles that we face in the provinces,” stated Bird.
“We have three levels of government that are constitutionally anchored and within those structures, we are supposed to run our country.”
However, Governor Bird and other members of the Opposition, including Numu, said these structures are not respected.
He highlighted the unfair treatment of governors, especially when it comes to the disbursement of funds or project priorities.
“If you recall during the budget debate last year, our shadow treasurer pointed out, quite poignantly, that the structure of the 2019 budget is heavily favoured towards the ministers,” said Bird.
“Ministers have now got large buckets of money under their control with no actual guidelines and no specifically identified provinces, locations or projects as to where these funds are supposed to be expended.
“These funds will be expended at the discretion of the minister. And this is dangerous.”
Bird said all governors have these same issues at home, therefore he appealed to other governors, as well as Open members who experience the struggles of running the country, to follow in Numu’s steps.
“Yumi ba pasim maus na larim wanpla liklik grup, ol yet bai pasim tok na disaid lo husat kisim disla kontrak, husat kisim disla dinau kam we, skelim olsem. Na yumi ol narapla ya, yumi stap olsem spekteitas? (Will we silently let a small group decide on who will get the contract, who will get a loan, distribute it using their discretion? What about some of us, we’ll remain as spectators?)
“Or do we take the bold decision as this young man (Numu) has done?”
Numu earlier today crossed the floor of Parliament to the Opposition, saying as a leader he believes in putting the country in order before thinking about his province.
(East Sepik Governor Allan Bird)