PETER O’NEILL MUST RESIGN

by JAMES MAKOP
Joseph Kobol and his supporters have done the unthinkable. They have committed an act which in any one’s book would be classified as an act of terrorism. This is not an isolated act as O’Neill has termed and downplayed.
The world is watching. They expect the full force of the law to come bearing down on the perpetrators. This is in view of the fact Papua New Guinea will be hosting APEC this year, attended by some of the world’s most powerful leaders. The credibility of the country hinges upon its ability to rein in radical elements and this has now been subject to the test.
Peter O’Neill’s reaction is predictable. He has to be seen to be acting. But his declaration of the SOE has far-reaching ominous implications.

1. Joseph Kobol and his supporters know they have crossed the Rubicon line. There is no turning back. Surrendering would mean the most severe penalty and a very long time in prison. They will not surrender.

2. In suspending the SHP Provincial government, the government has invoke the ire of the incumbent governor’s supporters. They have now declared war on the State. 

3. There are now two warring factions bristling with military issue weapons. They have been emboldened by the passive reaction of the police and military when they burnt the aircraft. That psychological barrier has now been breached. 

It is a stalemate which O’Neill is unable to extricate himself. He has no choice but to send in the military and police to be seen to be curbing acts of terrorism. The ramifications are too frightening to contemplate.

1. The soldiers and police will be sent like lambs to the slaughter. The military is ill-equipped and undermanned. They do not have the logistical capacity to sustain any prolonged operation. 

2. SHP and Hela are landlocked provinces. To insert and extract troops, maintain continuous resupply of rations and ammunition and other logistical support requires airports and roads. Those will be closed, rendering the troops isolated and vulnerable. It will be a killing field. 

3. Hela will be dragged into the conflict. That in turn will pose severe risk to the LNG project. It will also pose the danger of dragging Enga province in as many lives have also been lost already over election-related matters and outstanding cases of election petition are still pending.

There is only one solution that will alleviate this impending disaster. Peter O’Neill must resign as prime minister. In view of the fact that he will not, Members of Parliament in government must demand his resignation or resign en-masse and move to the opposition so as to bring about the collapse of the government. 

A new prime minister and government can then be able to address what transpired in Mendi on the merits of the events leading to it and resolve the issues in a rational and sensible manner than resorting to strong-arm tactics. 

Most importantly, we all have family members serving in the disciplinary forces. THIS IS THE TIME WE ALL MUST STAND UP AND SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. DEMAND FOR THE PRIME MINISTER TO STEP DOWN AND PRESSURE YOUR RESPECTIVE ELECTED LEADERS TO MOVE. WE MUST NOT ALLOW OUR FAMILY MEMBERS TO LOSE THEIR LIVES FIGHTING FOR THE POLITICAL LIFE OF ONE MAN RATHER THAN THE COUNTRY THEY HAVE SWORN TO DEFEND.
LET US NOT WAIT FOR THE BODY BAGS TO ARRIVE TO REALIZE HOW SERIOUS THE SITUATION IS.

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