Arore apologises

Member for Ijivitari, David Arore, has apologized to the government and people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) over an incident that occurred during his travel at Buka airport recently.

The incident was recorded and shared on social media.

Arore said his sentiments uttered during the episode were not meant to destroy or tarnish the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG); rather a general observation of the Buka airport facility.

Mr Arore, in a media conference in Port Moresby, clarified that what transpired at Buka airport, was misconstrued.

“I was intimidated by the security personnel at the airport for checking my luggage after already being checked and uttered those sentiments.

“My intention was not to intimidate the people of Bougainville but for leaders from both PNG and Bougainville to fix the Buka airport facilities and to ensure that the people deserve the best service,” he explained.

The MP for Ijivitari also said he will be available should relevant authorities investigating the matter, need him to verify information.

Meantime, AROB President, Ishmael Toroama, in a statement said it is customary across PNG that you do not stand on the threshold of a person’s home and insult them.

He added that the comments by MP Arore were condescending and insulting to the government and people of Bougainville.

“It is unfair for Mr Arore to even compare infrastructure development on Bougainville to those of the rest of the country.

“I make no excuses for our lacking infrastructure but unlike the rest of the nation we are a post conflict region that was reduced to basic humanity; we are only steadily gaining traction on development and peace,” said President Toroama.

Mr Arore was part of the delegation visiting the autonomous region. The delegation was led by Minister for Minister for Bougainville Affairs Mannaseh Makiba.

The visit was to have national MP’s better understand the autonomous arrangements on Bougainville and meet with AROB leaders and their people.

Minister Makiba expressed disappointment over Arore’s comments.

“The Prime Minister and the National Government have given top priority to the Bougainville peace process where much progress has been made to complete the process under the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the Constitution through which the national government and the ABG leaderships have a very good and cordial working relationship.

“It is not helpful when leaders make such reckless and insensitive statements about Bougainville and its development concerns publicly without regard to the importance of the issue at hand.

Arore is a member of the PNG National Party. Its party leader, and Minister for Petroleum, Kerenga Kua thanked Arore for apologizing to the people of Bougainville. He also urged both the PNG government and the ABG to not lose focus of important issues at hand and focus of delivering to the people.

Press Release