LIVINGSTONE TALEX FONTENU | Nokondi Talk | Edited
GOROKA – I’ve previously expressed my disgust at Sam Basil’s deliberate efforts to silence freedom of speech through banning Facebook.
Basil’s call was unmistakably a ‘good news trumpet’ for most politicians who are not only afraid of what Facebook can do to their corrupt rule but also afraid to take public criticism.
In this context, it is not surprising that Peter Numu, the governor of Eastern Highlands Province, couldn't hold his patience and publicly embarrassed himself in parliament when he jumped on Basil’s bandwagon.
Let me tell you why Peter Numu is one of the MPs who wish to ban Facebook.
Just few months after his ascension to power, Numu was given a real taste of what it takes to occupy public office as the spotlight was directed at him and many of his hidden moves that appeared inappropriate to certain people were revealed on Facebook.
Among the many posts, I remember a few that got on his nerves that caused the governor of the second largest province in the country stoop to harshly comment in a threatening tone.
Some of the Facebook posts concerned his entertainment of Western Highlands people in Port Moresby at the expense of his own Eastern Highlands people, his alleged involvement in the looting of the shop of Simon Sia (a petitioner on Numu’s election victory), his administrative decisions, my post about his defeat in a recent Supreme Court case and many others.
Numu couldn't take the public criticism and he threatened the administrators of Facebook forums in the Eastern Highlands with lawsuits. In fear, the administrators quit, leaving the forums to a few people who had pledged allegiance to Numu.
Further to his vigorous efforts to silence everyone constructively criticising his leadership style (not his name), he unleashed lawsuits, including his recent failed attempt to arrest me and have me locked up in a Boroko cell while refusing bail (just for a news reporting a Facebook post)
Numu may hate Facebook and want it banned but he must not forget that it was this same Facebook that put him in power. His campaign was highly boosted through Facebook in Eastern Highlands forums. He even created a Facebook forums - the Eastern Highlands Election 2017 Forum and multiple personal accounts on Facebook - to propagate publicity.
He is no different from Sam Basil. In 2017, they both vigorously campaigned against Peter O'Neill through physical and Facebook campaigns. Now, they both eat at the table of the same person they fought against in 2017 and they are now both calling for a ban on Facebook.
Here is a piece of advice for both of you: we are living in 21st century and Facebook is here to stay, there's no stopping it.
If you successfully ban Facebook in PNG, proxy servers will be our alternative to using Facebook. I will share VPNs (virtual private networks) and proxy addresses to everyone so they can still access Facebook in PNG.
This means there is no stopping of public criticism to be fired at crooked politicians so, to any politicians who think Facebook is making them uncomfortable, my free advice is grow thick skins because you have got a long way to go.
And this post definitely is another reason why Peter Numu will want Facebook banned all the more.