THE declaration of Sir Mekere Morauta’s success in the seat of Moresby North West brought a big sigh of relieve to citizens across Papua New Guinea eager for the formation of a new government.
There are good reasons for the PNG people to have great hope in Sir Mek, given he has an impressive track record in instituting economic reform.
Many Papua New Guineans will recall the difficulty the nation faced when he became prim minister. It took great courage to introduce painstaking reforms to bring the health of the economy back to a stable condition.
As a result, his leadership had its fair share of controversy but we can leave that to history and God to judge. If there is anything to learn from that trying time, it is that now we need courageous leadership.
Courage is the sign of a leader for it demonstrates an ability to discharge duty with dignity and fairness and without fear or favour.
Sir Michael Somare continued to build the economy of this nation based on the foundation laid by Sir Mek and his government and what transpired over the next decade which saw tremendous gains economically was a result of their efforts.
This sort of leadership is what the nation needs again at this juncture.
It seemed for a time that a chapter in our nation's history was coming to a close with the exit of Sir Mek and Sir Michael from politics. It looked like a new breed of leader was ready to take this nation forward.
Yet disaster struck with economic decline until the present state was reached indicating an economy in dire need of urgent repair.
Funding cuts in key sectors such as health and education, a foreign currency crisis, domestic inflation, landowners not being paid royalties, unpaid diplomats in overseas posts and a rising debt level compounded with relatively lower GDP all illustrate the problem.
The situation now calls for a government led by an experienced person who has been tried and tested before and came out trumps.
Make no mistake, there is a lot of creativity and youthful exuberance in the current crop of leaders on both sides who could take this nation to greater heights, but at this point we need wisdom over ego, humility over pride. We need vision and discipline.
PNG desperately needs to be led by people who are conscious of their actions and who view themselves as role models mandated to play the role of stewardship and guardianship over this land and its citizens. This nation does not need individuals who take the people for granted who are hell bent on building their empire at the expense of the people.
This week it is likely we will know our next government. At this time in our history we need a Morauta led government to again rise to the challenge.
This will only happen if our leaders put aside their differences and focus on rebuilding this nation economically, socially and politically.
Many of our state institutions are weakened as have been our democracy and nationhood.
While one of our founding fathers brought us here from pre-independence, we now need another person of substance to take us forward.
From islands and mountains, history requires a moment of "cometh the hour cometh the man".
Step forward all you who are ready to turn the fortunes of this nation around and may the tide of history carry us towards becoming a great and decent country.