By PNG Echo
In a press statement issued earlier this week, Belden Namah, leader of a rapidly diminishing parliamentary opposition, vehemently denied that the defection of his MPs had anything to do with defective leadership and everything to do with the lure of money. (A considerable irony, given his admission of using K50 million in the 2012 elections to buy votes and loyalty – yes Mr. O’Neill, I’m with you: where did that come from?)
Back in June of 2012 I wrote
It’s a sad spectacle to see Namah on the campaign trail, trying to buy admiration. Showing off his expensive toys – an aircraft here, a landcruiser there, everywhere bundles of cash – never realising that people are more interested in his money than in Belden Namah. He is attempting to buy with money something he never will be able to – admiration is not for sale.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister begged to differ with the denial saying that the defecting MPs had ‘lost confidence” in Namah’s leadership:
His abrupt and aggressive style of leadership is unheard of in Melanesian communities and [in] Melanesian style of leadership,
the Prime Minister stated.
Indeed, in the same aforementioned article, more than two years ago, I asked the question:
…[W]hen will pride become more important than money [to the Melanesian ‘Bikman’]? How many more times will veteran politicians…such as the Highlander and former Deputy Prime Minister, Don Polye, put up with being publicly told to “F**king shut up?” How much longer will Peter O’Neill, want to entertain a deputy or coalition partner that openly and publicly challenges superior authority, not understanding ‘chain of command’ in spite of all his military training.