Marape is as power hungry as O’Neill. They're just two Highlands egos preying on the emotions of uncritical voters
| Academia Nomad
WAIGANI - When addressing a crowd of Pangu Pati supporters in Morobe Province a week ago, prime minister James Marape issued a challenge to his predecessor, People’s National Congress (PNC) leader Peter O’Neill, and his supporters.
He invited O’Neill to a debate and dared him to explain to the country what he had done for Lae and Papua New Guinea during his eight years in office (2011-19). Marape.
O’Neill responded by saying Marape had landed at Nadzab Airport which had been upgraded, an initiative of the O’Neill government.
The road Marape rode on into Lae town was upgraded under the O’Neill government. Angau Memorial Hospital, just down the road from where Marape had been speaking, had been upgraded, an initiative under of O’Neill and development partners.
Across the country, supporters of PANGU and PNC are divided. Photos circulate on social media showing youths burning PANGU banners in the Highlands. Four vehicles belonging to an incumbent PANGU MP and government minister were torched at Okapa in the Highlands.
In all the arguing, claims and counterclaims by Marape and O’Neill, a fact was lost: that O’Neill and Marape are brothers at heart.
Both men were in the same government and members of the (PNC) for all of the eight years until Marape deposed O’Neill.
Every mess that Marape blames O’Neill for, Marape was an integral part of. Every credit O’Neill gives PNC and himself, Marape was part of.
When O’Neill talks about the developments under PNC, he is talking about developments that Marape was part of. When Marape criticises O’Neill for bad loans and corruption, Marape was part of that.
There is a YouTube video showing Marape at the University of PNG aggressively defending the UBS loan approved by the O’Neill government that has now been found to be unconstitutional.
The only people who are not seeing through this posturing are the followers of both men who blindly think they are different.
Both men were key to PNG borrowing close to US$50 billion in loans.
Both were responsible for 14 amendments to the Constitution, including extending the life of the Manus Detention Centre, most of which the Supreme Court subsequently ruled unconstitutional.
What we’re witnessing is the ego of two Highlands men preying on the emotions of uncritical voters.
Marape is as power hungry as O’Neill.
In 2019, he ‘bribed’ Patrick Pruaitch to drop a court case challenging his election as prime minister by offering him the position of Foreign Affairs Minister.
And how about Marape accepting back the late Sam Basil back as deputy PM after Basil’s failed attempt to remove Marape as prime minister in November 2020.
How could you appoint someone who wanted to replace you as your deputy unless you were overflowing with the desire to stay in power?
The position of prime minister has to move away from these two men. You can use the facts I’ve mentioned to convince your friends and families not to vote for PNC and PANGU endorsed candidates.
You have power to make a change. You won’t get that power back for five years. Make your vote count.