WABAG – Over the next few days, the Enga Governor, Grand Chief Sir Peter Ipatas, must give serious thought to consider putting up his hand to become the next prime minister of Papua New Guinea.
This could be his time. He has been a politician all his adult life. His achievements for the Enga people speak for themselves.
The post of prime minister would be his final crowning accomplishment for Enga and Papua New Guinea.
A person lives only once and golden opportunities do not come very often.
The Opposition's impending vote of no confidence in prime minister Peter O’Neill is that golden chance.
If there is an opportunity, the governor should take it.
Ipatas has experience at all levels of the three-tier system of government in PNG - local, provincial and national.
He is one of the longest serving governors and one of the most experienced politicians in government ranks right now.
He must not miss this golden chance like Don Pomb Polye did. Instead Polye became instrumental in making Peter O’Neill the national leader.
He must now be regretting all those lost opportunities when he should have had a crack at the top job in the 15 years he was in parliament.
The other highlands provinces (pre Hela and Jiwaka) have had their share of governors-general and prime ministers.
Enga has patiently waited and hoped.
Politics can be brutal. Waiting and hoping don’t count.
The vote of no confidence is that golden chance.
Ipatas should consult with the experienced and wise Enga quartet of Rimbink Pato, Alfred Manase, John Pundari and Tomait Kapili, who are all in government.
When O'Neill formed his Peoples National Congress, Ipatas formed the Peoples Party, Pato resurrected the United Party and Pundari started the PNG Peoples Revival Party.
Meanwhile Polye built the Triumph, Heritage and Empowerment Party, that other ‘Enga hausman’.
Any one of them could have become prime minister if their political party had been more successful. But instead they spread their voices.
The five Enga MPs in government have supported O'Neill long enough.
They are all educated and understand what is happening to this country. PNG desperately needs a change of leadership to point this resource rich, sovereign nation in a different direction.
The five Engan MPs in government must move with Ipatas in one accord to prevent PNG sinking deeper into anarchy and total chaos.
They need to let the Enga people see them unite to install Ipatas as prime minister.
They should discuss among themselves who should replace him as governor of Enga and negotiate with the Opposition to retain the ministerial portfolios they already have.
Besides poor governance, law and order is the number one threat to peace and unity in Enga and PNG.
Because there is poor governance, there are unprecedented law and order problems, deep rooted corruption, cold blooded killings, illegal logging and so many other serious problems – including those in education and health - which worry the people of this country.
The use of high-powered guns in tribal warfare is increasing in Enga Province, resulting in hundreds of people being killed and property worth billions of kina destroyed every year.
Many impact projects have been initiated by Ipatas and Enga MPs past and present.
But many of these projects have been destroyed by tribal warfare and the government now finds it hard to replace them.
It is time for Enga’s elected leaders to unite and move to opposition and help Ipatas become the next prime minister.
A united stand will unite Enga and save Papua New Guinea.
It is time for Grand Chief Sir Peter Ipatas to make his move.