However, the Governor General, Sir Bob Dadae has warned of Papua New Guinea's disintegration should the National Government allow Bougainville to secede from the rest of the nation.
He made this statement during the Remembrance Day celebrations in Port Moresby today.
Sir Bob in his remarks strongly appealed to the Government not to entertain any idea of breaking away by any provinces as that will only lead to other provinces following suit.
“Nevertheless, the Government should only grant autonomy for provinces to manage their administrative and financial affairs to sustain their respective economy in close consultation and cooperation with the National Government,” the G-G stated.
ABG President Ishmael Toroama said the Vice Regal was entitled to his opinion but this would not dissuade Bougainville from pursuing its independence aspirations.
“The people of Bougainville have earned the right to choose to be independent after sacrificing our blood, sweat and tears in a conflict that was motivated by greed. And it undermined the rights of the people by a government that had sworn to protect it,” President Toroama said.
He said the Bougainville Peace Agreement guarantees Bougainville this right to be masters of their political destiny.
The Governor General’s statement comes at a critical time when the ABG and National Government are consulting over the outcome of the 2019 Referendum where 97.7 per cent of Bougainvilleans opted for independence from PNG.
President Toroama said that Bougainville will continue its Independence-Ready preparations while consulting with the National Government.
President Toroama urged Bougainvilleans to be resilient and maintain its resolve to be politically independence.
“Continue to work hard to support the government as we create a new Bougainville that is stable in terms of good governance, fiscal self-reliance and political independence,” President Toroama said.
He added that Prime Minister, James Marape has said time and time again that the 97.7 per cent of Bougainvilleans who voted for independence cannot be silenced.
In a recent meeting in Enga Province, PM Marape and President Toroama had met to prepare the ground for more formal independence talks.
The talks are to shape the implementation of the outcome of a 2019 non-binding referendum in which 97.7 percent of Bougainvilleans voted for independence from PNG.
Marape said establishing a consultation framework was critical to the success of the future consultations.
“We've proven in the past that we could never be silent so let us never be silent until our voice is heard,” President Toroama said.