” The ABG Minister for Public Service, Raymond Masono has been appointed as the new Vice President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government following the resignation of Patrick Nisira.”
Pic 1 Above Caption: (L-R) Chief Secretary to ABG, Joseph Nobetau, new ABG Vice President Raymond Masono, ABG President Chief Dr John Momis, outgoing Vice President Patrick Nisira
Mr Masono was sworn in as Vice President by Chief Magistrate Bruce Tasikul after being appointed by ABG President Chief Dr John Momis.
Pic 2 Caption: New ABG Vice President Masono sworn in by Chief Magistrate Bruce Tasikul while Cheif Secretary to ABG Joseph Nobetau looks on.
The decision to appoint Masono came after the incumbent, Nisira had made his decision to resign the VP’s post and contest the 2017 National General Election.
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Mr Masono is from the Carteret’s Island and is a first term MP in the ABG and the Member for the Atolls Constituency and Minister for Public Service.
Prior to his entry into politics Masono had a distinguished career in the Bougainville Public Service and held several senior positions; including Acting Chief Administrator, Deputy Chief Administrator Policy and Director for Panguna Negotiations.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude on behalf of the Atolls people for the President’s confidence in appointing me as his new Vice President,” Masono said.
“I accept this appointment with great humility, for me personally it is a great honour to serve as the Vice President of one of the founding fathers of this nation and I want to assure the President and the people of Bougainville of my undivided loyalty and continued support to the President and ABG,” Masono said.
“I undertake to do my very best to support the President and the government to ensure that ABG’s key objectives on economic recovery, infrastructure development and law and order are realised with limited available resources,” he added.
Masono also paid tribute to his predecessor for his immense contribution to the ABG since he first became a member in 2005 and eventually Vice President in 2010.
Masono wished Nisira well on his aspirations in the National Elections and congratulated him on taking the Bougainville issue to the next level which is the National Parliament of PNG.
Apart from Masono assuming the responsibilities of the Vice President he also retained his ministry as Minister for Public Service.
President Momis also announced a reshuffle in his cabinet, the ABG Finance Minister Albert Punghau has now been appointed the Minister for Implementation of Bougainville Peace Agreement formerly Ministry of Referendum, Peace and Veterans Affairs that was held by the outgoing Vice President, Patrick Nisira.
For the time being President Momis has assumed the role of Minister for Finance and Treasury until such time as he announces a full cabinet reshuffle.
Momis on Nisira Resignation
Outgoing ABG Vice President Patrick Nisira has been described as a creative thinker and pragmatic leader who did a lot for his constituents and the people of Bougainville.
ABG President Chief Dr John Momis made these remarks during the swearing in ceremony of the new Vice President Raymond Masono.
Nisira was first appointed as Vice President in the first Momis administration in 2010 and then again in 2015 during the last ABG elections.
“For a young man he showed maturity and great concern for his people and he was a very good member of the Bougainville Executive Council,” President Momis said.
“He was not a populist leader but he led by example and made his decisions in government as a matter of principle,” Momis said.
“I must say forthwith that I did not make a mistake when I first appointed Mr Nisira as my Vice President, his contributions to the ABG especially his commitment to the executive government and to the formulation of new laws and policies such as the ABG Mining Act where he was a strong advocate for landowner rights and of recent as Minister for Referendum,” Momis said.
“The next journey that Mr Nisira embarks on is not one that will abandon us, no he is strategically repositioning himself to further the Bougainville agenda and ensure that the dreams of the people of Bougainville are realised,” he said.
“Our vision is to create a new nation whether an independent nation or a nation within a nation and create policies on economic development, infrastructure development and qualitative change for our people,” Momis reminded Mr Nisira.
Mr Nisira also thanked President Momis for having the confidence in him and appointing him as Vice President in both his administrations.
“It has been a privilege for me as a young man to have served under one of Bougainville’s and PNG’s greatest leaders and I consider President Momis to be my political mentor,” Nisira said.
Nisira also urged the ABG Ministers and Members not to lose focus on the journey that Bougainville is heading towards and that is achieving a definitive political solution to Bougainville’s future.
“Please continue to continue to concentrate to on the aim of the ABG which is to empower Bougainvilleans to manage their own affairs, solve their own problems and work hard to realise our people’s aspirations,” he said.
Nisira will remain as the Member of the Halia Constituency until he formally resigns from the Bougainville House of Representatives.