Still waiting for Governor to respond…

Almost 2 weeks have passed and the people of Madang Province are yet to get an official response from their governor.

Following the recent unrest where 4 youth were shot dead by police whilst protesting the continuous harassment suffered by locals, a petition was presented to Governor Peter Yama on April 17.

Among their demands is the call for the eviction of settlers who are living on state and customary lands, the provincial government to meet the cost and compensation of lives of those who died during the stand-off between the locals and police, a memorial to remember the fallen locals and the resignation of the Provincial Police Commander.

Spokesperson of the locals, Kamal Naus, told this newsroom that the only demand that was met was the cost of funeral and proper burial for the youths.

“The petition was presented on the 17th of this month, where a 48-hour ultimatum was given to the Governor and his team to respond,” Naus stated.

“The Governor gladly accepted the petition and said 48 hours was sufficient for him to respond.

“We expected a response on May 19th. We waited and waited but did not get any call.

“We had to go and congregate around the provincial government office but we never heard from anyone.

“At around 4.06pm we went back home, frustrated and angry.”

Naus pointed out that only the 4 youths were buried on Friday (April 27), but not the issue of petty crimes, harassment and squatting.

The April 9th protest was not a first-of-its-kind for Madang, but it was the first time for lives to be lost.

Frustrations will keep bubbling over until the government actually listens to its people.

(Villagers from the South side of Madang staging a protest at the Four-Mile market on April 9)

Carmella Gware