THE Governor of the Eastern Highlands, Julie Soso, presides over the most linguistically diverse people in Papua New Guinea.
This is a people whose rich traditional history and culture forged a common identity in the mythical half-man, Nokondi.
Eastern Highlanders are coffee farmers; and this province is arguably the coffee capital of the South Pacific.
The seasonal coffee blossoms and cherries have given birth to a coffee culture that is now intricately interwoven into the traditions of old.
So it’s a surprise that these people haven't yet developed a coffee drinking culture?
In 2012, Eastern Highlanders created history in Papua New Guinea’s national elections by electing the first female governor in the country.
This was a landmark, an achievement, to be proud of.
But with the 2017 national elections approaching, ordinary Eastern Highlanders have taken to social media to air their grievances.
The streets too are inundated with voices of dissent.
It seems that a significant majority of people is calling for the departure of the incumbent governor.
One of the key reasons is Governor Soso’s perceived failure to manage successfully the great diversity and opportunity offered by the Eastern Highlands’ people.
On the streets and in the villages the people are condemning outright alleged fraudsters and beginning even to shun village leaders who lack professional qualifications.
This is a new trend.
The clergy are being encouraged to continue their noble profession of saving souls.
Retired public servants are being urged to enjoy their retirement in relative peace and comfort.
And neither has an interesting new group of ‘recent university graduates’ been spared the sword of criticism.
Educated they may be but their lack of maturity and professional work experience are seen as major drawbacks.
So, when they go to the polls in June, who should Eastern Highlanders elect to occupy the governor's seat?
The consensus is that preferred candidates should be people who live in the Eastern Highlands and are known to assist and contribute towards solving community problems.
Favoured candidates are also who are comparatively well educated, have a professional carrier, are well versed in political matters and already in a sound financial position.
But there is more.
Voters are beginning to understand that a good candidate is someone who is fluent in dealing with diversity, who can inspire through innovation and creativity and who can lead assertively to achieve important provincial and national developmental goals and aspirations.
People are learning that it is therefore important to seek the best and elect the best.
This is a milestone moment in the Eastern Highlands’ people’s political understanding.