Everyday People PNG: Ishmael Toroama

One of the comics I read was about British Special Forces who said of a commander who had rescued high-ranking officials: “If only we have such people like him, we will win the war”.

This stirred me up and became a driving force in me.
I was working when the Crisis erupted, so I went and joined Francis Ona. In the early days, after two years, I was the main man behind Ona. I was one of his bodyguards; that was when we were fighting with the security forces. When they move in one direction, we move Ona the other way.

Toroama new ABG President

In a statement, Marape said he is looking forward to working with President-elect Toroama in progressing consultations on the outcome of the recent referendum and securing long-term economic development and a lasting peace for the people of Bougainville.  

He will be meeting with President-elect Toroama in the coming weeks to discuss next steps with a view to convening a meeting of the Joint Supervisory Body to affirm our mutual commitment to peace and the way forward. 

B’ville electoral roll being updated

The Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, George Manu, said the roll display and registration of eligible voters has already been completed in most of the 33 constituencies in the region.  

“As of today, most of the assistant returning officers have already returned their field work data to either our head office in Buka or through our regional offices in Arawa and Buin towns.”  

The roll display and registration of new eligible voters was done by the ward recorders of respective ward assemblies in Bougainville.   

PM Marape in Bougainville

Marape was welcomed by the ABG Leaders and was received by a guard of Honour by the Bougainville Police Services and Correctional Service.

The Prime Minister and his delegation was accorded the Bougainville Traditional welcome Tsutsu(washing of the feet).

He will chair the NEC at 1pm and later address the ABG House of Representatives or the Bougainville Parliament at 2pm.

Another constituency referendum-ready

As Bougainville approaches the targeted year to conduct its Referendum, constituencies in Bougainville were delayed against time to fulfil resolution number 5 of 2016 that was passed in the Bougainville House of Representative. This was for all constituencies to be declared referendum-ready by 31st of December, 2018.

Terra was one of the two Constituencies in Wakunai District of Central Bougainville that witnessed the official declaration on the 26th of December, 2018.

ABG officers dismissed over alleged fraud

Chief Secretary to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Joseph Nobetau, announced that a further two officers employed by the Department of Community Government have been dismissed due to their alleged involvement in gross misconduct, theft and fraud.

The officers were found to have allegedly misused funds that had been allocated by the Autonomous Bougainville Government to assist with the funeral expenses of the late Premier, Leo Hannet, last year.

Peace, unity campaign for B’villeans

The first part of the campaign commenced on Tuesday, 9th July, in the Diocese with a peace educator media training that ran for two days.

“The purpose of the program is to educate the general public of Bougainville to know about their voting rights and to accept responsibility for the outcome of the Referendum peacefully,” said Marie Mondu, Development Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference and facilitator of the program.

B’villean voters in POM to register this Saturday

The Electoral Commission, in collaboration with the Port Moresby Bougainville Association, will be conducting registration and enrolment of eligible voters on Saturday.

All eligible Bougainvilleans living outside Bougainville are urged to come forward and register between 8am to 4pm.

NCD election manager Terrence Hetinu will be in charge and registration may be extended to ensure all eligible Bougainville voters are given the opportunity to register.

2019 Bougainville audience study

An online survey was launched on February 24th and publicized through social media to get a wider reach of Bougainvilleans living outside the region.

The online survey is focused on understanding how people living outside the region are getting information about ABG and the upcoming referendum.

ABG Director of Media and Communications, Adriana Schmidt, said good awareness is key to keeping people informed and confident about what is happening to decide Bougainville’s future political status.

Public servants dismissed over alleged fraud

The last three months has seen the dismissal of several members of the Bougainville Public Service after an audit of the payroll system found members of the ABG’s Department of Personnel Management had been allegedly defrauding the public purse in excess of K360,000.

Furthermore, other officials from the ABG Department of Community Government were implicated in another scandal where K2 million of the Disaster Trust Fund account was allegedly misappropriated, resulted in the sacking of the Secretary of the department.