Malaita provincial premier of Edwin Suibaea has rubbished claims that his provincial executive has sold the Auki primary school (APS) sports ground to a Chinese businessman in Auki.
In an interview with the Solomon Star on Wednesday premier Suibaea said that he was shocked to hear about the news.
“That’s news to me and I as the premier is not aware of any such move about my provincial assembly executive trying to sell the field.
“Such rumors should not be tolerated and people should stop misleading the public.
“This sports field is very important for the province and especially for the school and t ohost some of the big events in the town.”
He said Auki has no space and the APS field is the only space that the province can hold its programs such as the second appointed day, school programs and other sports activities.
He said that to sell the field would not be a right decision.
“I’m not aware of any moves to sell the sports ground because if that is to happen it must first be discussed by my executive for any approval,” he said.
Several phone calls to get comments from the provincial secretary (PS) proved futile yesterday as his mobile went unanswered.
A visit to his office also revealed he was not in the office.
A senior lands officer Michael Sikwa’ae in Auki said the news is all rumors.
“We haven’t receive any documents of the transfer of title of the land.
“The original sub-division remains still and anything regarding that we should have been informed first. To do with that we have to forward it to our head office in Honiara for further consideration.
“I think all that is rumors and people should stop misleading the public,” Mr Sikwa’ae said.
When this paper spoke to one insider he said that he is aware of the issue but decline to comment further.
APS head teacher primary division Raphael Angii said if the decision to sell the sports ground is true then it would be a total slap on the face of Malaita education and the APS students.
He said that the sports ground is everybody’s property.
“Because in any school there have to be a recreational centre for children or students to learn because it is part of education with regards to any activities that happens outside of class rooms.
“So it’s the concern of every parents and teachers that the provincial government should priorities education in this province.
“Selling of this area to any businessman should not be tolerated because if any businessman takes the land it will do its business and that would cause disturbance and noise pollution to the students,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the out spoken and longtime residents of Auki Jonah Myles said that if the premier and his executive wants to see the province prosper they must work hard.
“They must have plans and visions with a mission to do it inorderfor the province to move forward from where we are now.
“If you (provincial government) starting selling all the provincial assets and land it means you have failed in governing the well being of the province,” he said.
Mr Myles added that if that is the case, they fail the people of Malaita and therefore they should quit from leadership and make a fresh election.
The issue has sparked major public debate and concerns amongst the public in Auki.
By STEPHEN DI’ISANGO