Gabsongkeg women protest

Gabsongkeg women of Morobe Province staged a protest today and petitioned their leaders following the alleged rape and killing of a local woman at Nadzab.

The women are calling for a safe and secure society for them and their daughters.

Lavin Epof was allegedly raped and killed on August 16th at the Gabsongkeg village of Wampar LLG.

Women teachers at the Erap Primary School, as educated members of the community, organised a peaceful protest to the Wampar LLG ground to hand over their petition to their leaders.

Starting from the Nadzab market, the group slowly made their way to the council chamber with their placards and petition.

Wampar women’s representative, Mary Sual, called the leaders to action, saying they do not want a repetition of the heinous act that the late Lavin Epof suffered.

“Olsem bihain tumoro blo em, taim mipla haitim pes na ol liklik yuts blo mipla ol kirap lo fiutsa blo ol, bagarap bai wes olgeta na bagarapim ol,” she stated. “Lo disla kain na mipla bringim protest seriously kam lo lusim long teibol blo yupla ol gavman lain ba yupla ken konsidarim, na bai yupla ken enfosim lo antap lo ol displa kain kraims sapos ol hepen olsem.”

She further called on landowners to stop selling their land.

“Ol papa graun, I think yupla mas putim stop lo salim graun blo yupla. The moment yu salim graun, extended femili kam extendim namba, narapla i kamapim hevi na ronowe, whom do we blame?”

On behalf of the women, Sual presented the petition to the Morobe Rural Commander, Chief Inspector John Daviaga.

After Sual, representing the professional women within the LLG was Erap Primary School female staff representative, Roselyn Turadavai, who presented the points in their petition, calling for justice for the late Epof, and requesting for the relocation of the Nadzab police station to the Nadzab market.

“This is to stop drugs, homebrew, fights, prostitution, disturbance in the market and back at home,” she said.

“We demand an upgrade of Wampar Health Centre that must have a labour ward and necessity to meet the level of health centre. We also appeal to the landowners to have control mechanism over the coming of settlers. If they do not have laws and policies to protect their land and its people, then they must face the law.”

Gabsongkeg Ward 17 councillor and deputy president, Bill Justin, received the petition from Turadavai.

The respective leaders acknowledged receipt of the petition, and voiced their support of the women’s stance.

Carmella Gware