That was the final message from retiring East Sepik Governor and Papua New Guinea’s first Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in Parliament today.
Today was Sir Michael’s final day as a politician after 49 years representing the people of East Sepik Province.
“I practise national unity and I am proud to be called the father of the nation.
“When we swore to the Bible at the Government House, we are promising that we are the servant to the people, it is important to be fit and healthy in this house, to know the importance of parliamentary systems,” Sir Michael said.
He also challenged politicians to give prominence to issues of national interest then personal greed.
Sir Michael gave an example of our how there were bipartisan by Opposition and Government after the country’s independence when discussing issues of national importance.
“I pray that Members of Parliament are present when parliament is in session so our people’s challengers are discussed, (and Parliament) Standing Orders must be followed.
“West Minister system of governance is designed to achieve our aim.
“Learn the separation of powers and respect the courts.
“Uphold customs and traditions and also the Christian faith.”
Sir Michael said his life was a reflection of those.
“I am a man of principle, rules determine my conduct throughout my life, and I am blessed with a woman who has being my friend and guide since we were both young.
“To this generation of Papua New Guinea, I thank you all for your love and protection, I gave my best years to this country by serving as a politician, I hope each one of you will also contribute to our country.”
The retiring East Sepik Governor has six children and will turn 81 this Sunday.
(Picture by Cedric Patjole)