By EDDIE MOSES
A HIDES Landowner leader fears that the use of G4S security company in the LNG Project will undermine our sovereignty.
Commenting on the recent announcement by the developers of the PNG LNG Project of G4S's engagement as the main security contractor for the project, firebrand Hides leader, Simon Ekanda stated that the move was ill-conceived and would lead to trouble.
"If we contract all our internal security requirements to them, where does that leave our sovereignty? When they take over the army and the police, we are finished. Are they trying to reap our resources through force?"
Ekanda said the move instead of utilizing landowners as partners in the project marginalizes and aggravates them further. What special skills does a guard need? Who can guard better than us locals who know our own customs and environment far better than any foreigner," he queried.
Referring to former Defence ForceCommander, Jerry Singirok's comments in the dailies this week on the issue, Ekanda said these views must be taken seriously. "This is a former top soldier talking and I support his views because that is exactly what I have been saying all along," he said.
Singirok is reported to have said amongst other things that the government allowing foreign owned security firms to participate in the PNG LNG Project when they have no appreciation of the local customs, cultures and the people might bring about a situation far worse than Bougainville.
"We have been demanding recognition as partners in this project on our lands but have been continuously pushed to the sidelines. The 26 chiefs of the Tuguba tribe did not sign the LBBSA and therefore are not obligated to the project. We are at liberty to do anything we want on our land," Ekanda said.
He said Governor Agiru's call for Exxon-Mobil to reveal how much of the US$ 15 billion would remain in the country is a complete turnaround.
"We wanted these answers at all the forums but never got any. Agiru signed the agreement and now he wants to know? It would have been better to know before he signed but we are right behind him in this view," he said.