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Believe me, my nomination day was challenging...


Candidate for the Lufa Open Electorate, 2012 Papua New Guinea National Elections

Nomination Day for Lufa OpenSOMETHING HEAVY HAD SETTLED on my head. I thought I felt my brain inflate and deflate rapidly. I didn’t know I wasn’t thinking. Then I heard a sweet voice cut through this wall of dense confusion.

“Mane!” I turned and saw my concerned mother. The wrinkles around her eyes have grown, her hair is more grey. And, clutched firmly in her palm at the end of a frail extended arm, a kaukau. “You must eat,” her voice sounding the more alarming because of its concern.

The scene was more of a successful gathering than one of failure but I, with less than zero experience in crowd control and management, was more worried than every other person who approached to greet me.

After I nominated to officially become a candidate for the Lufa Open Electorate in the Eastern Highlands, I met the crowd. They didn’t come in hundreds; there were over a thousand people.

Men, women, boys, girls, children and babies; some had walked hundreds of miles, taking days to arrive at Lufa government station to witness this event.

Others have flown to Goroka then caught rides on PMVs (public motor vehicles) to Lufa. They are the people of remote rural Lufa; those who sing: ‘They call use camels; they call us white horses; they call us semi-trailers…’

The ensuing excitement and confusion (as I saw it) was over a thousand voices to listen to and innumerable hands to shake and many more bodies to hug. It was overwhelming.

I thought there was no order, and something was brewing. Any moment from now it would burst and someone would be hurt. A child, a man, a woman, anyone…

Just to feed such a crowd was no easy task. A group of men and women in their mid-30s made it seem less arduous. They, young and untested, worked on  - and on.

Jeff HS frontThere were peaks and troughs, some of which almost derailed their efforts. But at the day’s end, not a single hungry soul was to be found.

I, on the other hand, with less village experience and knowledge, couldn’t envision a successful ending.

This, coupled with the day’s heat and smell of the crowd, almost laid the foundations for a brain explosion.

As the election days unravel along with their latent challenges, I am hoping and praying I’ll be able to cope.

Jeff Febi is an award-winning writer and poet, a regular contributor to PNG Attitude and an aspiring politician


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Good try, bro Jeff. If our Unavi people wanted a local there to represent them in Parliament, we would have settled for either you or David Tovoi.

With due respect, what we have now is like jumping from the pan into the fire. Election results changed but the overall situation at political leadership level hasn't changed and will go from bad to worse judging from the early actions of Kuave.

He was sold like a commodity to Hon Belden Nama at Bird of Paradise hotel by some half baked self serving Lufians and then brought to POM and dragged into nightclubs. The guy is lost. Bad start for Lufa.

His official is a street consultant who lives in one of POM's settlements. Bleak future for Lufa.

Joe Boine

Best Wishes Jeff, I am with you

Philemon Kipefa

From where I am, I see a light in the darkened path. Keep the fire burning all the way.

Gapsy Han Guhyem

Good luck, Jeff.It is your heart that the Lord will judge and anoint accordingly.

Jeff Febi

Thanks! PNG politics is bad to the bone, particularly in the Highlands.

One has to have hundreds or thousands of kina to be able to sail smoothly.

It it is any wonder MPs really don't care if they deliver services to the people or not.

Mrs Barbara Short

Best wishes Jeffrey. I know you have a heart for your people.

If you do get elected to parliament I pray you will be able to find other like-minded souls, and help steer PNG to appropriate development.

Katayo Sagata

You have written poems and stories (camels of Lufa etc)from your heart, so I believe you are contesting the Lufa open to represent your people from your heart.

If so, that is the difference between you and rest of the candidates. Go, Jeff, go!

David Kitchnoge

Jeffrey - I wish you the best in your quest to enter politics.

PNG needs clear thinking people to lead us into the future and I see you as one of those.


Leonard Roka

Thanks... Believe in yourself, for where there is willpower, there is always a way.

Be a guide and voice to the powerful herd of Lufa camels.

Keep the faith and move.

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