TODAY we are besieged. The so called elites in power who do the bidding of the pirates who control our resources are fast selling off Papua New Guinea, neither protecting nor promoting our interests.
Just walk into any business and ask yourself how is PNG protected here? A few genuine businesses and investors struggle while many are here as vultures to take what they can while they can.
Just reflect on decisions made regarding resource development and ask yourself, how has PNG been protected or promoted here?
Not a single decision has been made with the people of PNG’s interests at heart. Zero, zilch, none.
Go to the nearest Police and Army barracks. These are our badges of sovereignty; they are a shambles; rotting, dilapidated and sad. They tell the story of national security.
The public service is no longer a machine that delivers goods and services for PNG. Many a good public servant has been shut out, removed and even attacked. The civil service is now an evil service and public servants are fast being replaced by public serpents.
Justice is now affordable only to those who can afford it. Law is for those who take it into their own hands.
This is our reality.
From next year, our efforts to fight for a PNG worth saving must not be confined to social media chats, discussions at buai markets or conversations at coffee and tea sessions; they must actually culminate in physical action.
I am prepared for this and I hope other Papua New Guineans who care about their country and its future will do the same.
I am hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Time and time again, I have found in PNG that when we need to rise up and fight, courage is lacking and overshadowed by apathy.
By our inaction, we are allowing ourselves as a people to be led to the slaughter. It is a terrible and sad situation we find ourselves in today as we stare into a bleak future where we are marginalised.
We no longer own our land; we are no longer in control of our resources; we are spectators of a future designed for others by others.
This is not the PNG I want for my children. I am sure it is not the PNG you want for your children.
Today, it is a PNG where elected leaders and the public service machinery work against their people. Iinstead of protecting our interests they are busy selling our resources to hostile forces for 30 pieces of silver.
How did we arrive here?
How is it that just about every State organ created and designed to protect and promote PNG interests has turned against the people?
Brutalising our people and selling our land and doing so with careless abandon and arrogant impunity.
How is it that a PNG with so much hope and promise has become a land of lawlessness and lost opportunities?
How is it that our systems of education and health have deteriorated so much that we have come to accept we are a population of weak, unhealthy, unintelligent and pacified zombies allowing ourselves to be herded and moved here and there by ruthless pirates and their puppet MPs?
Today, our resources, our jobs and our opportunities are not guaranteed. Our voices of concern, dissent and protest are brushed aside and we are instead told to be happy.
We are encouraged to sing praises as infrastructure, often of low quality and purchased at inflated prices, is built with money borrowed at outrageous interest rates that we and future generations are expected to repay.
Many of our people have fallen for the lure, mesmerised by the bright lights of false promises, and raised their voices and sung praises without realising the bitter price our future generations will be paying.
We have come to accept even what is wrong, unethical and immoral and tell ourselves “as long as something is being done”.
What is being done is our country and our people being sold lock, stock and barrel to powerful forces that do not care about us and our children and want only our resources and the profits to be made at our expense.
Whenever we raise concerns about the state of PNG, we are labelled doom and gloom prophets. But these are not prophesies; they are realities.
Meanwhile, those in power move to shut down voices of dissent, manipulate the media, churn out propaganda, divert the attention of the masses, rule and divide using the people’s money and weaken systems of good governance, rendering them useless.
It is now or never in 2017. We will rise or we will fail.
Indeed, it is a war that you and I must fight to save PNG. No one else will do it for us. Our so called friends and neighbours are busy with their own problems and, anyway, their vision of what we must be is not what we should accept because it is a mere fraction of what we can be.
I see all the usual political gimmicks in play again. It’s the time for politics. “It’s just a game,” say the usual conmen, middlemen, puppets and muppets.
Yes, a game. A game where people die. Our people.
So scan all those political parties you admire, subscribe to, enthusiastically embrace, promote and sing and drink beer for and talk about proudly to your in-laws and, in a quiet moment, in the still of a PNG night, listen for truth by asking yourself, are these people fighting for PNG? Or for themselves.
I may fight this battle alone. I don’t have the riches and backing of powerful financial pirates that they do. But I believe in a PNG owned by Papua New Guineans. And I have loyal friends and family who love this country too.
Choose your leaders carefully. Ask yourself, since we are at war, are they the people you want alongside fighting with you and for you? Or are they likely to be whisked away by the pirates that control our resources and are sucking the life out of our nation while we sit and watch silently?
So rise up and fight for PNG if you believe that it is a PNG worth saving. Just saying that this is true and liking this article is not enough. Live every moment as if it is your last and remember the faces of your children and ask yourself, where will they be tomorrow if i fail them today?
We must fight!
If we don’t, we have helped place the boot of the oppressor on the neck of our children and we have folded our arms and shut our mouths and blindfolded our eyes and crossed our legs and sold out….
I am preparing for war. I will fight to save my people, their land and their future. I may go on alone and I may be defeated but I will go down knowing I did not give up or watch like a coward. I will know that I fought.
Gary Juffa is Governor of Oro Province and a national Member of Parliament