BUKA - President John Momis has challenged the Bougainville Police Service to curb the provincial crime rate that has escalated in recent months, including within the public service.
Dr Momis was speaking at the celebratory mass to open the legal year in the autonomous province.
He reminded police of their duty to serve the people of Bougainville and to ensure the rule of law exists within communities and the public service.
He said that as well as major crimes police must give serious attention to all crimes that impede good governance.
“In Bougainville we stand at the threshold of new socio-economic, political and moral order that will give freedom, development and social harmony to our people,” Dr Momis said.
“We now have the responsibility to prepare for the referendum in June 2019. As you look around and analyse the situation the environment is not conducive,” Momis added.
“It is not enough to say we want to be independent; this is not the same as saying we are ready to be independent.
“We are not prepared for independence because we are too lazy, too individualistic and not prepared to work in unity to create an environment conducive to fiscal self-reliance.
“We must be able to build a good society based on social justice,” he said.
Dr Momis warned that the people’s stubbornness is the greatest detriment to Bougainville realising its aspirations and this will have a profound impact on Bougainville meeting the expectations of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
He said a commitment to national unity will overcome the fragmentation of the people, law and order problems and rampant corruption in the public service.
Bougainville must learn from other countries that have gone through civil strife and managed to rebuild their society and successfully develop their economies, Dr Momis said.
“The law and justice sector is an instrument whereby executive government can promote good governance and create a conducive environment for the people of Bougainville,” he said.