MEMBER of Parliament for Central Honiara is calling on all constituents to participate in the process of good governance, transparency and to uphold principles that govern our constitution to achieve social transformation and genuine change.
The Honourable MP for Central Honiara Alfred Efona made this call when speaking on Sunday 13th June 2021 at the Anglican’s Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral during the celebration of the feast day of Saint Barnabas.
Mr Efona said for change to happen, there must also be a shift in “our mindsets”.
“…from the mentality of hand-outs to that of working together for the greater good of our people and to spur on a culture of innovation and creativity, sacrifice and positive development,” Mr Efona said.
He said Central Honiara can be a role model for other constituencies if everyone work together and become self-reliant.
“We can be role model for others if we willingly accept that together we can shift things in the right direction.
“If we all put our heads together and hold hands together to build each other up and stand for the truth, for God, for innovation, for curbing corruption and for partnering on development, nothing is impossible,” Mr Efona said.
Mr Efona and his wife were among hundreds of parishioners, guests and dignitaries who attended Sunday’s celebration. Among the guests to the event were the Governor General Sir David Vunagi and his wife Madam Mary, Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga and his partner, other Members of Parliament, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia and his wife, the Anglican Church Council of Bishops and their families, church elders and also students of Selwyn College.
The theme of the celebration was “Like Barnabas, Excel in Encouraging Others”.
Mr Efona said the principles of the life of Saint Barnabas are a reminder of why leadership requires responsibility in shouldering together the burdens of our church, nation and constituency as a whole.
“With this servant leadership attitude paraded through the life of Saint Barnabas, we must also willingly and aggressively reflect, in our choices and decisions, Christ likeness as well as to inspire each other a strong attitude towards servant-hood leadership that does not glorify positions of status, money, clothing, housing or cars, but encourage one another to take responsibility and together by prayer and action, achieve the impossible,” the MP for Central Honiara said.
Speaking on governance, Mr Efona said it is important that “our governance must reflect who we are as representatives of the body of Christ”.
“We must not talk too much, but also reflect our talk with actions and we must see our roles in our different works of life, as opportunities to do good and to do our jobs well.
“Each and every one of us represents a candle stick.
“We must acknowledge that each and everyone have a role to play and just like one candle stick, as each candle stick lights up, the darkness around us fades away amongst the shadows as the dark is replaced by the light.
“This is who we should be in our governance,” Mr Efona said.
He said the governing systems in our country will never be good if people themselves are not showing the light and good governance.
“A system without integrity will only result in more fear of uncertainty and control, but a system that rules in transparency and accountability will usher in a level of sufficiency that will allow Central Honiara Constituency together with the Anglican Church to thrive and survive and become an effective light on a hill that shines brighter as the day goes by and the years passes,” the MP said.
He strongly emphasised that Central Honiara Constituency is a constituency for change, for goodness, for self-reliance and to become a light for all to see.
“…as a team, what we are capable of doing must also be balanced with how we bear with one another in weakness.
“The good book says in Romans 15:1, ‘We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak and not to please ourselves’.
“As strong as we are together physically, the true measurement of our strength as a team, must also be reflected in the way we treat the weak, the disabled, the unhealthy, the sick, the poor and the unfortunate amongst us.
“Our strength is not dependent upon the many numbers we have as one people, but it largely depends on how we encourage one another and make considerations, to take action and help the weak amongst us,” Mr Efona said.
He said the constituency has recorded cases of abortion, there were also few people with disabilities, poor and homeless people on our streets whom constituents must support.
“… what we should do is not write them off entirely but encourage them, support them and ensure that in our efforts to build others up, we also capture all mindsets of weaknesses, in exchange for mindsets that encourages and build others up,” he said.
The MP for Central Honiara also used the opportunity to encourage youths of the constituency.
“I’d like to say this to our youths, you are the salt of our society.
“Your positive influence is just as important as my role as MP for Central Honiara Constituency.
“Together we must continue to address the forces of corruption and cleanse our society with our influence, our prayers and our positive actions just like what salt does to food in its function as a preservative, a purifier anti-septic and also in its functions of making food acceptable and tasteful.
“As a beacon of light for others to look on, from all over the provinces, you and I must work together to stop the advances of corruption in all our social, political, moral and educational walks of life.
“We are not only stewards of our resources and our people, but we are also here to serve and to please our God and make ourselves, our society and our lives, pleasing before Him.
“In our capacity as Youths, we must also be reminded that our strength is not through our numbers, but through our encouragement of one another and by lifting each other up in our walks of life, our actions and our speech.
“We are examples of what many political systems and military powers fail to do.
“We do not direct our strength and motives out from a self-fish desire to enact our will.
“We do so, in order that the son of God, Jesus himself can be glorified through our actions. Actions that seek to preserve the integrity of our nation, the values of our constitution and carry the burden of one another together while we encourage each other and continue to build each other up.
“That is what we must continue to do,” Mr Efona said.
The celebration on Sunday concluded with feasting and entertainment from the different ministry groups with the Cathedral.