By Delly Waigeno – National EMTV News, Port Moresby
Central Governor, Kila Haoda, and local member Peter Isoaimo made a two hour drive up the Hiritano Highway to Manumanu village to receive a petition from the Manumanu/Gabadi Landowners Association Committee.
The 5,000+ population is fighting to keep its land areas: portion 423, portion 422, and portion 406, a total land mass of 680 hectares. The acquisition also encroaches on the fishing area that extends further out to sea.
Chairman of the Committee, John Daroa, said a lot of work was done, culminating in the petition. In the petition, the people are asking the government to revoke the compulsory acquisition of their land. They want treaties to be made, and in consultation with their leaders and the government, they want to mobilise and work out agricultural projects for all the villages concerned.
The village leaders found that the land was meant to set up as a military base.
Member for Kairuku-Hiri, Peter Isoaimo, condemned officers from within the Lands Department who go about grabbing land from people without consultation.
Governor Haoda assured the people that the Prime Minister would give this issue priority.