Petition to MARA govt demanding removal of Sogavare’s secret agent
BY SAMIE WAIKORI
A GROUP of Malaitans yesterday staged a peaceful protest in provincial capital Auki to demand the removal of deputy premier Randol Sifoni.
They accuse Mr Sifoni of “secretly” working with PM Sogavare’s government to change the leadership of the MARA provincial government, headed by Daniel Suidani, who is currently in Brisbane awaiting his flight home.
The protest to remove Sifoni comes days after he was accused of issuing a letter to the media last week, without the provincial executive’s knowledge, stating the Malaita Provincial Government did not support the petition a Honiara-based Malaita group submitted to the Prime Minister’s office.
The protesting group has demanded Sifoni to step down within 24 hours for his alleged working against the MARA government.
The group presented a petition to the MARA government to back their call, which provincial finance minister Nelson Lenty received on behalf of Premier Suidani and his executive.
Knoxly Atu, spokesman for the group, delivered the petition, which states:
1, The decision reached demanded that we no longer have confidence in his (Sifoni’s) leadership and must tender his resignation immediately.
2, He must not stand against the constitutional rights of Malaita Honiara community and their petition to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
3, He has been working in secret with the DCGA with the aim of changing the leadership of MARA government by allegedly giving 11 executive members $10,000 each.
4, He has been working behind the fence with the aim to amend the Auki Communiqué.
5, We demand that the MPG (MARA executive) to remove the deputy premier from his position within 24 hours.
Receiving the petition, Mr Lenty thanked the group of their peaceful protest.
He said the office of the premier will always listen, be obliged and respect people’s democratic right and will never oppress the people.
Lenty said the MARA government started its executive meeting yesterday and they will do their best to look into the matter within the next 24 hours.
“On behalf of the office of premier, I call on you to hold on to the respect you had shown during the protest because this is Malaita, our place and all people and properties around are ours,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the police in Auki, Michael Ramosaea appealed to the public of Auki to maintain peace and refrain from instigating any unlawful activities.
He said since the petition is now with the executive, people must allow them to look through and address the issue.
Ramosaea thanked the crowd for their peaceful behaviour.