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AN OPEN LETTER TO SIR PETER IPATAS

Greetings PI, foremost, let me congratulate you for winning the Enga Regional Seat in the 2017 National Election through election-corruption.
In one of the days of February 2017 before the election, we met at the opening of Waiyep Lodge at Laiagam and I heartedly greeted you. You exchanged with a handshake with your trademark smile and called me ‘Son!’ I replied, ‘Yes Dad, I’m here to greet you!’ and you elaborated, ‘Almost Son!’ I responded, ‘Yes we are father-son,’ then we had little conversation about the event and I concluded by saying, ‘Ikinigim Takange pigelion sin namenakap’ (Son challenging father so don’t hold my sins). You responded, ‘You are exercising your democratic rights and I don’t mind but let us play a ‘FAIR GAME.’ I was thrilled by your response and agreed for a ‘FAIR GAME’ and we dismissed.
However, the outcome speaks otherwise that you had willfully LIED! I regret calling you dad. I don’t know what to call you; a Liar, a snake in the grass, a wolf in sheep’s cloth or a bullshit Master?! Your victory was fueled by bribery, threats, and intimidation, vote rigging during the polling and foul-play at the counting. Your plan was perfect, this is how you started. You dumped your own party (People’s Party) to join PNC to have total control over Electoral Commission and Security Forces and also to benefit from Peter O’Neil’s election rigging plans. That being done, the Enga PPC was your old puppet so you ensured the appointment of a Semi-educated Election Manager, your crony who can easily dance to your music. Having the heads under your belt, you were able to secure all positions; Election Manager, ROs, AROs, POs, Counting Officials down to Tea Boys and Cleaners. Having all PI men running the show, you were well-placed to execute your evil plans. Below are the instances you played it out.
Firstly, your campaign revolved around bribery. At the eve of the election, you withdrew K10 Million from Enga Children’s Fund and with other public funds; you conducted rallies all over Enga and bribed people in the name of Service-Delivery. You had 5 years to deliver services but waited all these years just to deliver during campaign time?! Engans are not stupid; you made a fool out of yourself. They received your monies as ‘Finish-Pay’ to dump you. Realizing such, you went to the extreme to pump over 100 thousand kina accompanied with 100s of beer cartons to each polling area. You did all these shamelessly in public without fear of lawsuits, everyone witnessed same.
Secondly, you used threats and intimidation to secure votes. As the Students’ Lawyer, my major strength was students or youth movement. All the Secondary and Primary Schools in Enga rallied behind me coupled with their families and friends, the victory was obvious. Knowing that it will cause your downfall, you instructed all the school administrations to shut the doors to all candidates except you to bring in bribes in the name of service delivery as aforementioned. So you physically went into each school, instructed the administrators to terminate students who supported me and saying words to the extent of, ‘I will station my men at each polling booth to collect tallies and if you vote against me, I will not pay your school fees or will be terminated.’ To solidify such threats, you went to the extreme to create a form and distribute it to students to state whether they will vote you or not. I received reports from students all over Enga that by having the form, they are being forced to vote you out of fear. I organized counseling for some students to eliminate such fears but was unable to do same to all. In other instances, you did pledges of money, vehicle or services all over Enga and demanded people to vote you so that they will receive their pledges if you are re-elected. I wonder you will honor these millions of kina pledges now that you are in power. No one Engan will deny same, you did it openly.
Thirdly, you deprived Engan people’s democratic right to vote free and fairly by rigging the polling. Since the election was run by your men as aforesaid, they had your words to hijack ballot boxes where possible and use all illegal means to cast your votes. Certain security vehicles were used to carry extra ballot papers or boxes with same tags. You completely hijacked ballot boxes meant for certain polling places. Some of such which I have pieces of evidence are 1. You hijacked 25 Ballot Boxes containing over 40 000 votes for Philikambi LLG. These were my base votes; you completely deprived me of same; 2. You hijacked 8 Ballot Boxes in collusion with a certain open candidate at Surinki LLG. 3. With the aid of your RO and POs, a certain candidate hijacked 8 Ballot Boxes at Laiagam Central LLG at Aiyaka; 4. Over 22 Ballot Boxes of Maip-Mulitaka LLG were hijacked. These boxes were allowed to go for polling on a Sunday and were not polled at their respective polling places but all at the station without prior notice to the voters; 5. You hijacked 5 ballot boxes in Porgera LLG; 6. You conspired with a certain open candidate and hijacked 8 Ballot Boxes for Paiyala-Hewa LLG; 7. You hijacked 10 ballot boxes in Kandep in collusion with certain open candidates there; 8. More than 8 Ballot Boxes at Wapenamanda were also hijacked in collusion with certain open candidates; 9. You hijacked 10 Ballot Boxes in Wabag; and 10. You hijacked 5 Ballot Boxes in Kombiam-Ambum. Total Ballot Boxes you hijacked as per my evidence stands at 107 and total votes of said boxes stand at more than 80 thousand. Apart from hijacking, a lot of your men did foul-play during the time of polling and transportation. One of such was chopped at Injoipak - Surinki because he was caught by the people illegally casting your votes. When the ballot boxes were transported, your men shipped in foreign ballot papers and removed other candidates’ votes, mostly mine or tampered with the votes. To mention a few, in a rest house called Kaelam (My mother’s place), 500 votes marked with my box number 20 were crossed and replaced by your box number 21 and your name inserted at the name section which was left blank. All in all, there is overwhelming evidence PI that you have rigged the polling.
Lastly, you did foul-play at the Counting. Aforesaid, the Counting Officials, Security Officers, Tea Boys or Cleaners whosoever that were responsible for ensuring a smooth counting were all your men. In the circumstances, what we other candidates had were our scrutineers who were outnumbered. After executing all your election corruption as aforesaid, you still feared I might defeat you at second count so you ordered the Counting Officials to remove my first votes in each ballot box that I scored most of the votes which they successfully did. Several Counting Officials have confessed lately that in the absence of scrutineers at such times like before counting, prolonged lunch breaks or after counting or through other means, they removed a substantial number of my first votes which I believe is more than 60 000 as per my tallies. I have a lot of evidence to prove same. The ballot boxes that I scored more than thousand votes were reduced down to 200 or 500. To mention a few, at a place called Tumdan, I scored more than 5000 votes in 5 ballot boxes which I was with them when cast, I received only 200 votes. At a place called Kenepulam, it was my base so I was given all the regional ballot papers. With my very hands, I cast 1484 votes but at the counting; only 600 votes were inside the box, 848 votes were removed. The Scrutineers pleas to dispute the aforesaid hijacked or tampered ballot boxes were disregarded by the election manager and ROs stating such should be brought to the court of disputed returns giving you a huge margin lead. At the end of the first count, you led with about 140 000 votes, Jeff Balakau and Sandy Talita at about 60 000 and 50 000 respectively and me at 38 000. The absolute majority was at 180 000 and you needed 40 000 second votes to win which absolutely you did not have such. As power-hungry, so corrupt and desperate you are, you chased our scrutineers away at gunpoint and had the Election Manager declare you at 04:00 pm in the morning without the second count. Sadly, I brought my Scrutineers to go for the second count at 07:00 pm morning but was advised that PI was declared at 04:00 pm, I left in despair. As to this date, as an Enga Regional Candidate, I still don’t know the results of the last counts of the first votes, which candidates were eliminated and your winning margin. It remains a mystery to us all Engans, only you and your men at the counting that time knows what happened.
Having read all the above, I believe you are relaxing with a glass of wine laughing at me saying, ‘a small boy crying over spilled milk, a nobody or whatever it may be,’ I’ m, not a Power-Hungry Desperado, Election-Corruptionist and a Leadership-Thief like you. If you had not rigged the election as such, you would have ended up being at 6th or 5th Place, you know that. I, as an educated citizen of this Land having reached age above 25, exercised my constitutional rights. I stood not based on wealth which I had none nor knowledge which everyone has neither for a luck. Having assessed my life through the journeys I have traveled, I believe that my Maker had placed in me a gift of Leadership. I was driven by that gift to stand. All the resources I used were commanded by that gift. Engans voted that gift and gave me their Leadership but you stole it. How do you feel when deep within you know that the leadership you have is not yours?! What do you feel when the people wished your death, people call you by all sorts of bad names; you fear your own people and live under maximum security. Do you realize educated people next to you see you as a Leadership-Thief?! If you feel nothing then you are not a human, a sick person who has no consciousness or an insane. Shame on you!
Let me put to you that your titles, Sir, GC or whatever it may be are not acquired through merits, all politically motivated. For the 25 years of your tenure, you had budged over 20 Billion Kina. Excluding the recent projects that the National Government initiated, what are your legacies? The Free Education Policy is Late Malipu Balakau’s policy taken care of by Enga Children’s Fund-A multi Million Business Entity; any Governor would have maintained the policy as you. Enga is rated the least developed province in PNG. Your administration is the worst in PNG run by a bunch of semi-educated or complete primitives like the Deputy Governor Tera Tandapu who has never been to a school. All the district offices had malfunctioned and the Ipatas-Centre is filled with condoms and rubbish. You pay media and put media personnel like John Iggins on the payroll to paint a good picture of you when in fact you are stinking inside. Luckily I or others didn’t win, you would battle numerous allegations. I’ m asking you again, ‘what are your legacies?’
See PI, lest you forget, the Engan people had already wished for your demise like a week ago; they pronounced you death when in fact you were well and alive. When you are gone either to prison or death, about 90% of Engans including the Public Servants you enslaved will rejoice than mourn. Unfortunately, PI, our Maker doesn’t make son identical to their fathers so your son is not you. Your sins may be one day will catch up with your siblings and you know what will happen to so much wealth you had accumulated so far? They will go to pigs and dogs and no one will remember you! If someone remembers you, that would be for the reason that you are the worst governor in Engan Politics!
Thanks PI for teaching me a lesson. I pray that may God keep you alive so that I will challenge you again in 2022. It would be unfair if I get it after your demise.
Yours faithfully
Laken Lepatu Aigilo, LLB