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Whatever Bougainville’s future, we need good govt

Momis & Marape sign joint resolution on Bougainville
John Momis and James Marape after their top level meeting in Bougainville last week

| Speaker, Bougainville House of Representatives

BUKA - I want to reflect on the upcoming referendum and the future political path of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

As a Bougainvillean and a Papua New Guinean, I am less concerned about greater autonomy, independence (or the ‘third choice’ whatever it might be).

The simple fact is that two options are already guaranteed, and it is now for the people to make their choice.

My real concern is more about our insouciance and disregard for good governance that we must sternly guard against whatever the political outcome of referendum will be.

For, good governance is one of the major considerations that must be ticked off or crossed when it comes to ratification of the vote.

Whatever the choice is, and we know that Independence is the greater expectation of most Bougainvilleans, we have to make it work.

This is the essence of my message. Let us not tire of talking about good governance, honest and transparent leadership, common sense, and not being above or beyond reproach.

Let us not forget the foundation stones and the building blocks of good government, regardless of what form that government takes.

Adherence to good governance must be the message delivered in unison by the people to their representatives in the House of Representatives and to leaders in government. All leaders, whether at the national, provincial or community government level, must be held to account.

Without regard for good governance the writing is on the wall. We know this from the countless examples of developing countries that have been turned into pariah states by their own leaders in power.

Let us avoid the pitfalls of bad governance by making a conscious and conscientious choice for good governance without making compromises, taking short cuts or looking for quick fixes at the leadership level.

Nothing is more certain than the dire consequences that befall a people whose leaders turn a blind eye, a deaf ear and who play mute to the evils of corruption.

Conversely, nothing is more certain than the successes and gross national happiness and contentment that follows when elected leaders live up to the oaths and loyalties they swear by and the responsibilities they promise to live up to in office, leading the people from the front.

We can grab and take the opportunities to heart or we can squat and squander them. It is my sincere hope that our leaders take the former rather than the latter path.


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Patrick Kaiku

Simple message to Bougainville: Do not repeat what PNG is doing. Bougainville is in a position to learn and avoid the problems that PNG is mired in.

Criminalise corruption, institute severe penalties for corruption, use meritocracy as the basis for appointments to public office, and institutionalise the independence of law-enforcement agencies.

You have seen what PNG has failed to do with its anti-corruption agenda, now Bougainville does not have any excuses creating a culture of good governance.

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