BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
FORMER Prime Minister Mr Gordon Darcy Lilo and people of East Kwaio Constituency strongly condemn the article ‘Voter registration brings out dirt of the past’, published yesterday.
The article being written by local veteran Journalist Mr Alfred Sasako was focusing on the voter’s registration for the upcoming 2019 National General Election (NGE) having spewing our dirty practises of the past, particularly in Honiara.
He stated in the article as an example that the former PM who is recontesting the Gizo-Kolombangara seat urged East Kwaio voters in Honiara to register in his Constituency.
“Mr Lilo met members of the East Kwaio Constituency at the Children’s Park at Rove on Wednesday, urging them to register in his Western Province Constituency so they could vote for him in.”
The article also stated that more than 200 East Kwaio men and women had attended the gathering.
However according to a very disturbed Mr Lilo and local representatives of East Kwaio constituents who had met with Mr Lilo this week Mr Simon Palmer and Nigel Dennie, they clarify first wanting the public to know that it was not Mr Lilo who had called for the gathering.
Second, the people of East Kwaio Constituency who had gathered with Mr Lilo are connected with the former PM though blood system and having connection through Kwaio contractors working at the Kolombangara Forest Products Limited (KFPL) in Western Province, most Kwaio people working there at the KFPL have a reason, it is because of the respect they have in connection.
Mr Simon Palmer and Nigel Dennie, the leaders of the gathering then by East Kwaio Constituents were the ones who called for the gathering purposely to hear from Mr Lilo some of his awareness plans and about how he deals with the current election, his views, what to be aware of as these were the areas of discussion.
“We saw an article in today’s (yesterday) issue which we do not feel good about it because it is not true,” said Mr Palmer.
“It has no grounds. People have been feeding the writer with the wrong information. There is no proof to justify that these information’s are a hundred percent correct.
“Now if these information’s are correct, we would not have bothered to come and respond because what the article has stated would be true.
“Such news only abuses our rights or the rights of the people. Solomon Islands is a democratic country meaning all of us have our freedom of choice.
“Our gathering on Sunday as stated that was postponed being held on Wednesday was not on Gordon Darcy Lilo’s call.
“Mr Dennie and I are the ones who arranged for that gathering.
Mr Palmer elaborated explaining that as East Kwaio Constituents, there was a time when the writer of the article was in power as a Parliamentarian for their Constituency at the National Government for two terms before losing his position.
“The question here is why did he drop? We the people of East Kwaio Constituency have our own stories. The people have their own reasons why they did not vote for him again now seeing having the current MP for our Constituency,” said Palmer.
“To this day, there are no such things as proper developments on infrastructures for the people who had put them in power to use as means of development in the Constituency.
“Maybe from seeing and curiously working out that the people of his Constituency might be moving away from his Constituency where he intends to be contesting in the upcoming 2019 NGE is why he thought of writing this way but then, we all have our right to move wherever we want to as long as our move is constitutional.
“So we need to clarify what was published so that people would not be misled.
“Such article abuses our rights. Despite that, we will not believe such. No one will be listening to such crap because each individual has their own right.”
A Cow does not always stay where the grass dries up, it turns and go looking for somewhere else that has greener pastures and fresher water so that though when no help is around them, they can still sustain in such environment said Simon setting it as an example.
“For the past twelve solid years there has been no proper effect of development in our Constituency by our MP’s whom we voted into power. They did not apply for that power, it is the peoples power that set them up.
“What the writer stated is very discouraging, he must provide proof and provide the truth behind his story too so that we would understand his motive. This is so that peopled would not be misled.
“So we will not listen to such, where we go we will be going,” slammed Mr Palmer.
Mr Lilo when responding to the article yesterday as well clarified that he never convened any meeting at Children’s Park.
“That is false,” said Mr Lilo.
“I met family members of contractors at KFPL inquiring about their prospect to vote. They have their right to do so and requested to meet me,” said the former PM.
He urges to understand that it is citizens’ fundamental rights to choose to vote in any Constituency in the country. As long as they are citizens nothing is wrong.
“What’s wrong about it? You can’t stop people to exercise their fundamental rights under the Constitution to choose whether to register and vote and their choice of leader to vote for. That is important in our Democracy to respect,” reminded Lilo.
It is understood that Mr Alfred Sasako stand by his article.