THE Malaita Provincial Premier’s office on Wednesday received a petition from the Provincial Assembly Member (MPA) for Ward 3 Martin Fini and his group.
During the protest, Mr Fini and his group submitted a petition to the Premier’s office in relation to the Malaita Provincial Executive’s stand on the Fiu Bridge upgrade project.
On Friday 21 May 2021, the Malaita Provincial Executive passed a resolution not to allow any Chinese company to upgrade Fiu Bridge.
The resolution reached by the Malaita Provincial Executive did not go down well with the Ward 3 MPA and his group which triggered them to hold a meeting at Gwounaru’u on Saturday 29 May purposely to counter the Malaita Provincial Executive’s resolution.
Nine resolutions reached during the meeting held at Gwounaru’u on Saturday 29 May was finally handed over to the Malaita Acting Premier Nelson Lenty yesterday after six weeks.
MPA Fini and his group drove from Areo to Auki in a peaceful protest to deliver their petition.
As stated in the overview of the petition, those protesters did not like the Auki Communique and its position on China in Malaita.
The petition has nine resolutions and the resolutions are as follows;
- We the elders of Ward 2, 3, and 4 of Central and West Kwara’ae constituencies duly demand that the Fiu Bridge project funded by the World Bank must be implemented forthwith.
- We agreed that our elected Provincial Assembly Members shall consult with relevant authorities either Provincial, National, or any other stakeholders to ensure that the project is implemented without unnecessary delay.
- We do not agree with the position the Malaita Provincial Executive takes in dealing with the project.
- We will only support the provincial position when they assure us that whatever step they intend to take will not affect the timing and the funding of this project.
- We further demand that the so-called “Political Advisor ” to the Premier not be directly involved in the current Fiu Bridge project as his contract had been terminated and any such advice is deemed as illegal.
- Fiu bridge construction must be implemented as it connects the Northern and Eastern region to Auki and the Southern Region to Gwounaru’u airport.
- We note that halting the project affects the transport owners of Wards; 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the provision of essential services to the aforementioned wards and to other regions of Malaita.
- We firmly believe that better infrastructure is essential for movement of goods and services to markets at cheaper cost, which will encourage farming and other economic activities in our respective wards.
- We further believe that the halting of Fiu Bridge will affect the tar shielding component of the Auki Road network from Auki Township to Dala in West Kwara’ae and Auki to Bina in West Kwaio constituency.
Speaking during the handing over of the petition to the Premier’s office yesterday, Mr Fini said they are there purposely to hand in the petition to the Premier’s office.
He said they are doing a peaceful protest under legal procedures, and he thanked the presence of Police and Law Enforcement officers throughout the process.
Mr Fini was accompanied by less than 100 supporters.
Some of them appeared to be intoxicated when they turned up at the Malaita Provincial Administration Office to hand in the petition.
By WILSON SAENI
Auki News Bureau