PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has deplored what he describes as blatant lies by the Leader of the Independent Group, Derek Sikua.
Dr Sikua in a press conference on Thursday alleged that the $3 million the government paid to ex-MEF members was made to keep a promise the Prime Minister made to the group for keeping the Democratic Coalition for Change Government stable during the recent political instability.
But Mr Sogavare said the allegations tendered by Dr Sikua are “nothing but blatant lies” which he and his cohorts concocted after a failed attempt to bring down the Democratic Coalition for Change Government.
“I have never made any promise of payment to the ex-MEF combatants or any former combatant,” Mr Sogavare said.
“The $3 million payment made to the ex-MEF combatants was part of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Package for ex-combatants,” he added.
“The implication by Dr Sikua that I used ex-MEF members to strengthen the Democratic Coalition for Change Government is absolutely nonsense.
“As a matter of fact the Democratic Coalition for Change Government never needed the support of anyone outside of Parliament to strengthen itself.
“It is public knowledge that when the Independent Leader and his group left, they were replaced soon after by the seven MPs in the former Independent Group who felt they cannot work well together with the government deserters.
“For the Independent Leader to go about claiming that I used former combatants to threaten Government MPs maintain their allegiance to my leadership is totally nonsense.
“No government MPs, apart from Dr Sikua’s group, wanted to leave the government knowing that all the allegations that were made against me were baseless and did not warrant my removal.
“The implication by Dr Sikua that the DCC Government was weakened by his group’s desertion was also absolutely nonsense.
“The desertion in fact was a blessing because it saw the removal of MPs whom the government regarded as causers of political instability and their replacement with MPs who desire to see political stability in the country and want to see the country move forward in terms of development.”
Mr Sogavare added that the only person he sought help from during the tense political situation was God and He safely led the government through.
“I give him all the glory and honour for that.”
The Prime Minister challenged the Independent Leader to submit his “so-called truth behind the $3 million payment” to the police for investigation.
“The allegations which the Independent Leader claims to be the truth behind the $3 million payment are very serious and the Independent Leader must take swift action to report them to the police for immediate investigation.”
He said the claims are malicious and he wants to see police investigate them so the fabricators can be identified and dealt with under the laws of the country.