By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby
A simple Bougainvillean from Siwai, raised in the village but determined to be successful in life.
And that’s what attracted hundreds who flocked in to Sioni Kami Memorial Church in Port Moresby to pay their final respects and bid farewell to this man of calibre, the late Steven Pirika Kama.
Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, was among those that paid their last respects to the late parliamentarian at the state funeral today.
The Prime Minister, firstly, thanked Kama’s family and the people of Bougainville for giving Papua New Guinea a good leader.
“I thank you for giving Kama’s life to the nation and we offer our sympathies,” he said.
O’Neill has described the late Kama as a man of peace, integrity and honesty. He served Papua New Guinea with pride as a Minister and Member of Parliament.
“A role, he served with loyalty and commitment,” said the PM.
The Prime Minister said the late Kama was proactive with his ministerial duties, as Bougainville Affairs Minister.
He built bridges that strengthened dialogue between the national and the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s, considering its sensitivity.
“The Bougainville Affairs Ministry is one of the most sensitive portfolios and the late Steven Kama managed his ministerial responsibilities in a most careful way,” the Prime Minister said.
“He listened to the views of communities and shared opinions, he was a genuine and trusted man and people believed in him.”
Pamela, his only daughter, thanked God for his father’s life.
“You were a loving, caring, generous but above all; you were an honest and hardworking man. That’s what we admired in you. And you always challenged us to have a goal and vision in life,” she said.
The late Kama was a character of his own, who shared time with people from all walks of life.
Leader of the United Resource Party, whom the late Kama was a member to, is William Duma.
Paying his respects, he said that the late Kama was a role model.
“We all come to know, Steven Pirika Kama and we admire, respect him as a known businessman, who was honest and hardworking. Being loyal and committed to his work,” Duma said.
Former Director of the National Coordination Office of the Bougainville Affairs, Ellison Towallom, said that the late Kama was a good listener.
“His character was that he was a keen listener, at different levels,” Towallom said.
The late Kama passed away in the Philippines at age 54, while seeking medical treatment after suffering from chronic kidney failure and diabetes.
The body of the late parliamentarian will be flown home to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville tomorrow, and laid to rest in his home village.