ISABELâS recently elected female premier Rhonda Sikilabu with six of her ministers paid a historic visit to Guadalcanal Premier Francis Sade and his executive yesterday.
A statement from Guadalcanal Province said at the meeting, Premier Sade took time to welcome and acknowledge Premier Sikilabu for her historic win as the first woman premier of Isabel and the country.
âColleague premier, I have already congratulated you two weeks ago in one of my public statements,â Sade said.
âHowever, it is indeed great to congratulate you in person,â he added.
âAs I have stated, your leadership is not only a positive step in the Isabel Provincial Government, but a symbolic gesture for all the young girls and women in the country who want to create and impact positive changes through the provincial political process.
âCongratulations for your remarkable victory and welcome on board.â
Premier Sade also acknowledged the new Isabel Executive for their visionary approach in electing the first woman premier in the country.
âI also would like to thank your Executive Government for the historic decision to elect you as the Premier of Isabel Province.â
In response, Premier Rhonda states that the Executive Government visit’s is a way of respecting the Guadalcanal Provincial Government and its people, especially the women of Guadalcanal.
âThis visit is significant for my Executive Government as a way of respecting and honoring your government and your people, especially all the women and girls of Guadalcanal,â Premier Rhonda says.
âWe hope to learn from your experiences and challenges in terms of provincial governance because our struggles are in fact common,â she added.
âBuilding relationships is not about talking on the phone or sending emails, but through mutual interactions.â
She also took time to acknowledge her Executive for electing her as the first female premier of Isabel and in the country.
She states that leadership is about working together regardless of existing gender issues.
“I hope to break the cultural norm at the provincial level and aspire other women and young girls to be part of the political process,” Premier Rhonda says.
The two executive governments then have a short Q&As session where each of the Executive members also shared their experiences, challenges, and aspirations.
The main topics are centered around the common issues of the Revenue Sharing Scheme Bill, PCDF, financial audits, local revenues, ordinances, conservation of forests and coral reefs, CITREC, and also extractive industries (mining and logging) in the two provinces.
Interestingly, an Executive Member of the Isabel Provincial Government also uses the opportunity to convey his apologies on behalf of the people of Isabel concerning the November riots last year.
” Premier and your Executive, I also want to take this time to convey our sincere apologies to the people of Guadalcanal, if any of our people took part in the November riot.
âWe too condemned such violence for desecrating the cultural land and space of the Guadalcanal people. Please accept our sincere apology,” he says.
He also urges the good people of Isabel Province who are within GPG’s jurisdictions to respect the provincial government, be good citizens, and respect the cultural practices of the Guadalcanal people and their land.
Premier Sade kindly accepts the apology and notes that the two provinces will look on building their relationships further in the future.
He states that the proposed GP Township development considers having a building space for Isabel Province and the other seven provinces as part of its plan.
The courtesy visit ends with Premier Sade presenting a traditional shell money on behalf of the GP Executive and the people of Guadalcanal to Premier Rhonda.
Premier Rhonda states that the traditional gift will be treasured as a reminder of her first courtesy visit.
Also witnessing the historic visit are the GP Speaker of the Assembly, Peter Aoraunisaka, GP Provincial Secretary Timothy Ngele and GP Deputy Provincial Secretary. Maesac Suia.