THE Leader of the Independent Group Dr Derek Sikua says the Prime Minister should stop deviating from the real issue of contention regarding the payment made to ex-militants.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s outburst in the media on Tuesday this week, Dr Sikua said the crux of the matter is the ‘Cash Payment’ of $3 million to ex-militants on Christmas Eve (2015) which is outside the parameters of the TPA – a partial payment of the $300 million promised to the ex-militants of the long gone ethnic tension.
“Worse still, this payment was not specifically catered for in the 2015 budget, nor in the 2016, making the payment look fishy and more political in nature,” he said.
He said the Prime Minister need not to be reminded on the guiding principles of good governance as stipulated in the DCCG policy.
“In fact those principles were extracted directly from the previous CNURA government, and he was the one who has a major input in it.
“So what principles are we talking about here; has the government moved away from what is already specified in the DCCG policy document, or has there been a new one lately?”
The Independent Leader said the issue at hand is a serious one, so much so that the matter has become one of national importance.
“It has nothing to do with me wanting to be the Prime Minister. This is yet another childish and lame attempt by the PM to deviate from the issue.
“The reasons leading to my group’s moving away had been spelled out clearly on the floor of parliament in my sine die motion speech.
“Frankly, we do not have trust in the Prime Minister any longer because of his arrogant and dictatorial leadership style.
“Therefore, the Prime Minister must not defend his bad and unpopular decisions because it will be detrimental to the development of our country.”
Dr Sikua said the ‘cash handout’ is not a legitimate payment as it is outside the bounds of the Townsville Peace Agreement.
“How can you rehabilitate the ex-militants with $1,200 per person? It would never turn the lights on or make any difference to the lives of the recipients. “Consequently, the unpopular decision has ignited a new quest for money and if not fulfilled, it has the potential to brew antisocial behaviors in our communities.
“Besides that, it only reinvigorated and reignited the sting and bad memories of the bloody ethic crises.”
Dr Sikua said in relation to the question of what is morally wrong and legally wrong about assisting these Solomon Islanders to settle back into their community and become useful citizens; “the fact is; it is the total opposite of what he assumed to be the way forward for this country”.
“There have been negative reactions, let alone mixed feelings pertaining to the cash payment.
“There is still excess baggage out there, and hence the tax payers of this country have to be ready to foot the bill.
“Also in his statement, the Prime Minister is throwing blanket statements on all governments having failed to address the fundamental weaknesses of the country.
“The truth is CNURA government I led never had any intention to make cash payments to the ex-militants.”
The Independent Leader said the Prime Minister is the one who should be ashamed of his unpopular decision, “having put the nation in limbo, by committing the government into a potential ‘Cash Trap’ situation”.
“Unless the PM is living in a dream world, the most honorable thing to do is to give a second thought to his controversial decisions.
“Strictly the ultimate need now is for the Prime Minister to govern this country properly, or else this nation will hit the rocks because of poor judgement and unsound decision makings.
“On the TRC report; I would reiterate my call for the government to speedily bring the report to the parliament, and I am happy that we have received the assurance from the Prime Minister.
“Finally, I want to forewarn the government to remain within its organic policy objectives.
“What the PM stated in relation to the government’s policy initiative is far from the truth especially in dishing out cash payment to the ex-militants. “This has to be made clear that according to DCCG Policy Strategy and Translation (PST) document under the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation; Policy 220.127.116.11 (d); “embark on post conflict rehabilitation and Peace, and the strategic action stated is by way of facilitating and developing livelihood projects”.
“The budgetary provision is $25million for 4 years, and it is to be supported by International Aid.
“Now the question is this; on which policy objective does the $3 million, or the promised $300 million ‘cash payment’ falls under?
“Therefore, the Prime Minister must be reminded that rehabilitation in the context of the DCCG PST 18.104.22.168 (d) has nothing to do with any cash payout but non cash benefits only in the form of livelihood programs.
“So who is the Prime Minister trying to fool here; he has to be really objective in the way he runs this nation and stop making unwise decisions that will jeopardise the development of the country.”