MALAITA Province Premier Daniel Suidani says his mission to Bethel community in East Fataleka is for a reconciliation ceremony and prayer and not to incite violence.
Mr Suidani was responding to an article yesterday in the Solomon Star in which a villager Israel Siau accused Mr Suidani of making inflammatory remarks which angered many and prompting calls for Mr Suidani to resign immediately.
According to Mr Siau, Mr Suidani told Bethel Village that if guns were as plentiful as bags of rice in our local shops “we should all buy a gun each”.
“”We are at war. We will march to Auki and destroy the police station there. We will destroy the prison in Auki and we will chase Chinese businesses from Auki.”
However, Mr Suidani yesterday said during his visit to Bethel he did an awareness talk regarding his MARA led-government’s policies and good governance as the way forward for Malaita Province.
“Those quotes attributed to my name are totally false.
“A person in his right mind would not dare to mislead the public,” the Premier said.
He said his visit is a genuine visit to the good people of East Fataleka.
He said he found it “thought-provoking that certain authors and news sources always find ways to publish negative stories about my visits around the province”.
“I know this is a tactic used to try to discredit my genuine intention to visit and spend time and provide information to my people.
“If people want to write something about me, well tell the public that I am the first Malaita Premier to have toured the whole of Malaita Province in my term in office,” Mr Suidani said.
He said the Malaita public deserved factual news about their leaders and not “made up news with made up quotes to drive someone else’s personal agenda”.
Mr Suidani went to Bethel Village – the scene of a recent shoot-out between police and supporters of Malaita for Democracy and Development (M4DD) president Knoxly Atu on Saturday for prayer and reconciliation.
Meanwhile, Mr Atu yesterday told Solomon Star that he was surprised by the level of misinformation disseminated regarding Mr Suidani’s visit to Bethel Community.
“We the people of Bethel community thanked the Premier and his delegation for visiting us in this time of uncertainty.
“After our community was attacked by Police early this year, we were left in the dark as women and children continue to live in fear after the horrific experience at the hands of PRT.”
“We waited for any government representative to visit us at least to restore our hope in our police force, but that did not happen.”
“The Malaita Premier is the only leader who cares and listens to us which is evident in his visit to our community recently.”
“He was here to attend a reconciliation ceremony and to see for himself the community which was attacked by police,” Mr Atu said.
He said comments like; buying guns, burning of Auki, chasing Chinese, and destroying prison was surprisingly taken out of context to suit the narration of Mr Siau.
He said the Premier has not mentioned anything of that nature.
“The reality on the ground is that the people of Bethel and surrounding communities were happy to host the Premier and his delegation,” Mr Atu said.
By WILSON SAENI in Auki