| Academia Nomad
The nomination speech of East Sepik Governor Alan Bird is a model for Papua New Guinea's politicians
WAIGANI – Papua New Guinea’s incumbent politicians are seeking re-election. Generally their campaigns feature one of two narratives.
The first narrative tells voters why the incumbent did not deliver services (for non-PNG readers, our politicians are enabled by law to provide services apart from their law-making duties).
This group blames the former prime minister, Peter O’Neill, or current prime minister, James Marape, for this failure.
The storyline for their failure to deliver services depends on whether they were in opposition when O’Neill was in government or in opposition when Marape was in government.
(Or, if they were very poor judges, they couldn’t deliver services because they were in opposition under both.)
O’Neill was prime minister from August 2017 to May 2019, and was replaced by James Marape in May 2019.
This first group blame just about everything on someone else except their own failures, mismanagement, misuse and corruption.
The storyline for the second group after they pay their nomination fee is to turn to their supporters and say: ‘If you liked the job I did, give me the mandate to serve you another term’.
The people you find in this second group include Allan Bird, Richard Maru, Rainbow Paita, Dr Tom Lino and the late Sam Basil. No excuses. No blame game. Just records to prove their claims.
Here is the speech given by Governor Allan Bird after his nomination for another term as governor of East Sepik.
lLarim mi pinisim wok mi statim
WEWAK - I nominated yesterday quietly in Wewak because I didn’t want our supporters clogging up the traffic like we did in 2017.
Today morning we launch our campaign in Maprik. Simply because there are only 24 candidates nominating for Maprik Open seat. Friday is also a quiet day in Maprik so we can clog up the streets.
We are planning for 40,00 or 50,000 supporters to come and support National Alliance and PANGU. This will be the largest gathering in Sepik history.
I wish all intending candidates the best and let’s support a free and fair election.
Let’s do this without violence.
I shook hands and wished several regional candidates good luck in the elections this afternoon.
It’s been a great honour representing and speaking on behalf of the Sepik people.
I know I won’t please everyone [but] I have never required police escorts to travel the highways.
When I stop and people greet me, I know that I am doing the right thing by ordinary Sepik folks. I thank you all for your support.
I have a simple message for our people: you can trust me to look after your future.
Let me finish what I started in 2018.
I have not stolen any money and none of my family or relatives have received a single government contract since my election.
I have also brought record amounts of money to our province.
The future of the Sepik people is safe in my hands. I have always made decisions in the interest of ordinary citizens.
My only interest is in moving the Sepik region forward by supporting the hard working rural people so that every citizen has an equal opportunity.
Sepik should be for all of us, not just the privileged few. This is how we can contribute to our country.
Making Sepik strong and self-sufficient. That is our vision.
We are strong people, we like to work for ourselves and this is what we have been trying to achieve.
I ask you all to trust me once more and let me finish what I started in 2018.
Transparency, honesty and public service to empower our people and local government. That’s what I stand for.
Yupla save pinis lo mi, yupla lukim mi pinis. Mi pait hat lo yupla pipol blo Sepik na Papua New Guinea wantaim. Givim mi spia wanpla more taim na larim mi pinisim wok mi statim.
You know me, you’ve seen already me. I’ve fought hard for both the people of Sepik and PNG. Give me the spear one more time to stay and finish the work I began.
Thank you na maulu tumas.
Footnote: As I have said before, National Alliance’s chances of forming the next government will rise if party leadership is given to Allan Bird - MK