Call for SOE is unnecessary, says Potape

Member for Komo-Margarima, Francis Potape, says calls for a State of Emergency to be declared in Hela Province is unnecessary and immature.

Instead, he is calling on his colleague members of parliament to return to the province and take a lead in restoring normalcy to the province.

Potape was responding to media reports today where Member for Koroba Lake Kopiago, Philip Undialu called for a state of emergency to be declared in Hela Province. His call was supported by the Member for Tari Pori and Finance Minister James Marape.

Potape says past experience has shown  that state of emergencies have achieved little to no success in improving law and order and there is no guarantee the proposed SOE will assist Hela’s law and order issues.

Potape countered calls by his colleague members of parliament from the province to institute a state of emergency because of ongoing tribal fights across the province.

He claimed that his electorate is peaceful, apart from the recent action by the landowners to close the gates to various sites of LNG operations. He says the same is with other parts of the province except for a few clans within the Tari Pori electorate.

“They can’t use one isolated issue to call for a State of Emergency,” said Potape.

Potape is of the opinion that this call is again politically motivated.

He is calling on the prime minister not to entertain calls for SOE but to ensure leaders get back to the province, fund the work of police there and take lead in negotiating peace in the province.

Ruth Rungula