While he remains a member of the Government of the day, Special Envoy to Climate Change, Ambae MP Jay Ngwele, has resigned from his position yesterday in protest against the way in which the Government has allegedly spent Vt200 million approved by the Council of Ministers for use in the Manaro Volcanic Disaster.
He alleged Government Ministerial visits to his constituency used approximately 50% of the total amount in travel costs, accommodations and allowances.
“The Government did not have the courtesy to even invite us three MPs who are familiar with the situation on the ground to join the team,” he said.
He described the attitude as “both insulting and childish”.
He said as a new MP with new political outlook, he feels that his observations of the politics at play during the Ambae disaster have exhausted him when Minister of Climate Change, Ham Lini, visited the victims on the ground without him.
“This has frustrated me so much so that I had to take a drastic stand to confirm to the Port Vila Ambae Disaster Committee at Sarabulu that I was going to resign from my position in Climate Change this week,” he said.
His letter of resignation becomes effective as of today as he boards the plane to go to Ambae this morning.
Indigenous Lawyers will hand over his letter to the Ministry of Climate Change copied to the Office of the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
MP Ngwele is not happy for:
• Not including Ambae MPs on visits to Ambae
• Vt200 million approved by COM allegedly not spent wisely
• COM agreed to compulsorily acquire land on Santo did not happen
• No strong stand by Government on expenditure for the last two years next February
• Believes Government of the day is good but that leadership “has run out of ideas”
• Maintains position since Opposition days that he believes income tax won’t rescue Government from financial woes. What Government needs to do is pull up its sock and tighten spending
• With parliament on next week, most bill not ready and won’t give MPs time to consult voters over bills.
• Now without position in Government and as a young political leader, will speak freely on any issue
• Believed Government made an unfair decision to suspend Dr. Basil Leodoro who contributed big time in current volcanic disaster
In response to MP Ngwele’s resignation and allegations, Government Public Relations Officer, Hillaire Bule said on the first visit to the victims on the ground by the Prime Minister, an invitation was sent to all three MPs.
MP Alickson Vira excused himself while MP Jacob Mata was on the ground with the victims.
“All three MPs belong to Ambae and were expected to be with their people to meet the Prime Minister, Minister of Climate Change and Minister of Lands when they visited the people,” the PRO said.
“Whether they were invited or not was not an issue because they were expected to be with their people so they should not be expected to be invited each time to visit their own people.
“On the other hand Government would want to know why they were not on the ground to welcome them to either Luganville or Ambae.”