Wong described late Member as a true leader, and a man of peace, a friend to the people of Gazelle and East New Britain people, a dear colleague who will be remembered for his achievements.
Wong said, late Sam Akoitai was instrumental in building bridges between the opposing sides in Bougainville. He said, late Akoitai demonstrated that, it takes a man of great courage, to extend the olive branch to the foes, and to strive for peace.
“As Minister for Bougainville Affairs, he continued this work and was instrumental in ensuring there was communication and understanding through the range of peace talks, leading to the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
“Serving in the three of our 10 National Parliaments, Sam Akoitai demonstrated his leadership through a range of policy issues, particularly in the resource sector.
“Late Sam Akoitai was a highly respected leader who will be missed by his people on Bougainville and throughout the rest of the islands.
“I am proud to have known and worked with the late Sam Akoitai, and I extend my deepest condolences to his family following his untimely passing,” Minister Wong said.