President Ishmael Toroama has urged Bougainvilleans to stand firm in the region’s aspirations for political independence as Bougainville begins the new year.
President Toroama made this statement to youths from the different Christian denominations throughout Bougainville who gathered at Roreinang United Church Mission last week.
“The question we have to ask ourselves today is, are we one of those patriotic Bougainvilleans willing to go the distance to achieve Bougainville’s aspirations for independence?” the President said.
“Are we steadfast in our resolve to contribute to being responsible citizens and to create a workaholic society that is committed to Bougainville’s development and the welfare of its citizens?” President Toroama stated.
“Our people must not waiver in our journey to independence, we must unite, we must stand firm so shall we realize Bougainville’s aspirations on political independence as a sovereign nation,” President Toroama said.
“Our new political roadmap is the ninety-eight percent (98%) referendum vote where we voted for Bougainville’s independence,” the President added.
“The will of our people to be independent through the referendum has clearly outlined what the Autonomous Bougainville Government must work towards achieving for the people of Bougainville,” he said.
However, President Toroama also outlined that there are challenges along the way which his government will have to settle in terms of creating a socioeconomic base for the Bougainville to build its political foundations.
The Toroama government has so far begun its plans on reforming the ABG infrastructure to will reflect its priorities on being independence ready.
In its first hundred days the government has already initiated several major economic projects in South and Central Bougainville.
It has also instituted reforms in the Bougainville Public Service through contractual engagements of Senior Management Staff and made an initial move in the Arawa Township with the opening of the Law and Justice Office Complex.
Most of these reforms and development initiatives are part of President Toroama’s drive to see a holistic approach to Bougainville being socially, economically and politically independent.