A poignant piece by Jackson Kiakari
It rained intermittently in Pom yesterday, 4th February 2021. No music played, no horns blared, no rowdy entourage. A very sombre day. On that day, I left the arena and entered the ring by nominating as a candidate for the Pom NW By-Elections.
A nation was in mourning for the passing of our beloved founding father. A torch that had led the way and united a thousand tribes for over 60 years had just gone out.
No ordinary journey but he was no ordinary man. This generation and those to come will always owe a debt of gratitude to Grand Chief Sir Michael and his band of visionary patriots who defied the odds and mastered the will to secure our political independence.
For the electorate in particular, Moresby Northwest had also lost a son. A champion whose contributions had transcended the District and left a lasting impact on the nation. Sir Mekere was a legislative craftsman of the tallest order. His legacy will be remembered for generations to come.
At such a juncture, alot of emotions weighed in as the hour approached. The burden of the monumental tasks ahead. The proverbial shoes – seemed to be growing even bigger as the hour drew nearer. I needed a reason to journey the road ahead. I needed an anchor. And I had one.
Amidst the noise and fanfare of Nomination jubilation. In the midday rain, followed by a handful of friends who shared my dreams and Hopes, dressed in black to capture the national mood, I crossed over the rainy Boroko street to the Electoral Office to nominate. I Had a reason.
And I found it and held on to it tightly in my hands as in my heart as we both crossed. He wasn’t walking on the rain. He was walking in my heart.
It was for him. He needed me to cross that street. He needed me to enter the arena. He didn’t know it yesterday. But he and his generation tomorrow needed it. Just as this generation needed the likes of GC Sir Michael T. Somare and Sir Mekere Morauta to cross the boundaries of private citizenship and offer their life in service to our young country.
Someone must have said something to him because he asked me innocently “Daddy, bai you kamap Lida now ah?” I quietly wished he knew the enormity if the moment we were walking into hand in hand.
Son, beyond my responsibility to feed, clothe, shelter, love and protect you, I have to spend myself in the effort and do all I possibly can to contribute towards a good PNG you and your generation can inherit. You were the reason and will always be. In triumph and in falling short.
To everyone who joins the cause, there is work to be done. There is a country to build. Following on from the dreams of our fathers. Tomorrow’s generation expects nothing less of us. As a wise man once said, there is no reward in doing what’s right. There will be no personal gain. No reward. No celebration. Just the quiet satisfaction that we journeyed together for a good cause.
To all fellow contestants who nominated since last week, I wish you well. That if your convictions and reasons are the same as mine, we are brothers and the same team. If you get the mandate, I will have been successful. For it matters not who the people choose.
It matters not who gets the mandate. If you get elected, my dreams, hopes and aspirations get the mandate through you. It is the Motive and Reason that matters. Not the individual.
To the citizens and electors of Moresby North West. It matters not who you follow. It matters not where your allegiance swings. It only matters WHY you follow. For an Election is a solemn and serious exercise.
It is the process through which citizens legally transfer their individual rights and responsibilities to the custody of an individual to use for and on behalf of us all. It should be a time of deep reflections and serious private considerations.
Let us all participate Responsibly, Respectfully and within the parameters prescribed by the laws of our land.
In concluding my personal thoughts and reflections from yesterday and tomorrow, I state this here as a reminder. That when the time comes. When you are able to understand this. I want you to know – I left the comforts of private life, crossed the arena of spectators and entered the ring – just for you. You are and will always be the reason.
- PNG Honors Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare’s Wish
- Tribute to Somare by Deputy Prime Minister
- Tribute to Somare by the Prime Minister of Australia
- Funeral Arrangements for Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare