Northern Province Governor ‘removed’

'Removed' Northern Governor
Northern Province’s Governor, Gary Juffa, who has been outspoken against illegal logging in the province, was forcefully removed from office by Ijivitari MP, David Arore, and his band of followers including 7 members of the provincial assembly, Post Courier reports.

In an unprecedented move yesterday, Arore and the members met in the provincial capital, Popondetta, and installed the MP as Governor. Juffa and the provincial assembly clerk were reported not present.

Juffa had boycotted the meet in light of an impending no confidence motion and was in Port Moresby during the hostile takeover.

He has also indicated that action by the local politicians was criminal and a formal complaint has been lodged with Police Commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki.

Juffa said, “This is a criminal act under section 398 (a) (1) of the Criminal Code which they have committed a statutory offense of willful damage to property.”

Meanwhile, anti-corruption blog PNG Exposed, has published damning allegations that the hostile takeover was funded by an Asian logging company. According to the blog:
The move comes after months of high level international publicity over Governor Juffa’s stand against illegal logging in the Musa-Pongani area by a logging company operated by the Malaysian company.
However, according to PNG Loop, Juffa’s public stance against illegal logging has not gone down well with the people who staged a protest during the weekend calling for his removal from office.

The protesters, reportedly numbering close to 4000, were backed by Arore and Sohe MP, Delilah Gore, demanding Juffa’s removal citing neglect of basic services. They argued that he should focus more on the province.

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