BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
TEMOTU Premier David Maina has been hailed a champion by Tikopia’s Chief John Arikitafua for his visit to the island on May 8, 2018 which also marks the Temotu provincial government’s 35th anniversary.
This is according to provincial secretary, Mr Alan Sepe Agassi who accompanied the premier as part of his 28-member delegation.
He expressed that Maina was congratulated by Tikopia’s second chief, Chief John Arikitafua who expressed that the visit is a first for them.
“We have never experienced a premier of the province visited us and your coming brings joy in our hearts as one people in the province and we fully appreciate your presence,” he said.
Agassi said that before they gathered to meet with the people of the island, Maina and his executive held a small discussion with the chiefs on the possibility of an outright purchase of a piece of land on the island for health services.
He noted that the chiefs expressed preference for a lease arrangement rather than an outright purchase.
All the more, Agassi said that the island chief’s council will make further deliberation on it before informing the province of its determination on the matter which the executive will make a final decision on.
Moreover, he mentioned that the chiefs’ secretary on their behalf and of the people of Tikopia spoke of how grateful they were for the visit, referring to it as a demonstration of how concerned and willing the Premier and his team are in recognising the people of Tikopia which makes them feel part of the province.
Agassi furthered that the secretary also voiced some of the issues facing the community which are the priority of having their provincial clinic rebuilt, water supply support for parts of the community and for an establishment of an economic growth centre nearer to them so that they could easily sell their marine products.