24 August 2020
Peter Shanel Agovaka (L) and Walton Naezon (R).

TWO political rivals and leaders of Central Guadalcanal came face to face with each other to iron out their long standing differences during a historical reconciliation last Monday.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Guadalcanal Peter Shanel Agovaka and Paramount Chief Walton Naezon decided put their past behind and work together to develop the constituency.

The initiative was initiated by prominent community leader and senior tribal member Dick Douglas. 

Chief Naezon is the former MP for Central Guadalcanal and current Chairman of Goldridge Community Investment Limited [GCIL], a shareholder in the new Gold Ridge Mine arrangement on Central Guadalcanal. He is also a Director of the Gold Ridge Mine Limited. 

Mr Douglas told this paper that the aim is to bring unity, love, peace and harmony in the tribe, the constituency and communities within Central Guadalcanal. 

The task first started with a pre-leaders meeting and discussion within the Chacaha tribe, including other tribal leaders.

The second step was informing the leaders about the planned reconciliation programme. 

Both leaders are two strong political rivalries although closely related as uncle and nephew. 

Chief Naezon was the former MP for Central Guadalcanal. 

He first entered parliament on 6th August 1997. His nephew Peter S Agovaka dethroned him on 5th April 2006. Thereafter there have been unsuccessful attempts by Naezon to retain the seat, the last being the 2019 National General Elections. 

The rivalry between these two powerful leaders has created differences and a rift between their own tribe and this according to the initiator of the reconciliation program has affected developments on Central Guadalcanal, therefore the reconciliation is long overdue said Mr Douglas. 

“A meaningful reconciliation through the blood of Jesus Christ is therefore needed. As one tribe, one people, uncle and nephew, this reconciliation is a must,” Douglas explained. 

“The message I presented was lets rediscover and reconnect our originality. Now that we have discovered our originality as one people from Suta, let us reconnect as uncle, nephew and tribe. 

“I believe the process taken to reconcile the leaders was done at the right timing and I thank God for paving a way forward for this meaningful reconciliation,” Mr Douglas said. 

The Vice Bishop of SSEC, Pastor Cephas Kuba was the celebrant of the reconciliation. 

He shared a powerful message of reconciliation based on 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed; behold, all things are become new”. 

In his remarks the Central Guadalcanal MP acknowledged Mr Douglas for the initiative and for making the important program possible. 

“I see this as important for me and uncle Walton Naezon. Reconciliation is a total commitment of individuals in one’s life. Reconciliation means a change of life and character. Reconciliation is to reconcile our differences. 

“I thank the Vice Bishop for the message. That was very enlightening through the scripture,” he said.

Mr Agovaka promised those present that he and his uncle Paramount Chief Walton will work together from now and onwards. 

“From today, I and Walton will work together on all developments in the constituency for the people of Central Guadalcanal. 

“We will work together in the private sector, the government, projects and with our people of Central Guadalcanal,” Agovaka said during the reconciliation. 

In his response Paramount Chief Walton Naezon also acknowledged the initiator of the event. 

“I thank the initiator of the program and Vice Bishop for your presence today to facilitate this important reconciliation process. 

“I and myself nephew Peter consider this as a significant achievement in our own lives because reconciliation is only meaningful through the blood of Jesus Christ. God gave us His son and died for us in order for us to know and have salvation. 

“This reconciliation will bring peace, love, unity and harmony, so I urge my nephew for us to work together. I appeal to you nephew to lead us in all major projects in Central Guadalcanal such as the Gold Ridge project, Tina Hydro project and the Tenaru/Lungga land,” he said. 

Chacha tribal chiefs and members applauded the initiative and said this overdue reconciliation is everyone’s wish because the differences that exists between their two leaders have affected their tribe in many ways. 

“Now that the two leaders have reconciled and promised to work together we hope Chacha tribe will achieve many of their development plans on Central Guadalcanal,” a tribal youth said. 

Source: YTTF Press