Governor Of PNG’s Hela Province Dies Suddenly

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Governor Of PNG’s Hela Province Dies Suddenly Anderson Agiru had been embroiled in leadership battle

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 29, 2016) – PNG’s Hela Province is mourning the death of its Governor Anderson Agiru.

Mr Agiru died about 9am yesterday at a hospital in Port Moresby, apparently of a heart attack, his doctor said.

As a province mourns, national leaders expressed shock at the passing. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said he was saddened by the death and extended his condolence and sympathy to Mr Agiru’s family.

Finance Minister James Marape appealed to his people to appreciate Mr Agiru’s leadership and stay calm during this time of mourning.

Official funeral arrangements have not been announced but according to Mr Marape, Prime Minister O’Neill has indicated his plan to pay respect to Agiru by accompanying the body back home too, "hence the next few weeks is going to be sad but busy in Tari and I request our public servants, our people and police to support this public mourning period."

Mr Agiru, who started his political career as Southern Highlands Governor before the province as split to include Hela Province, was in China for medical treatment last year and had returned home to face a leadership challenge in the province.

He has been embroiled in a tug-of-war for the governorship when challenged by Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape. The matter have been dragging in the court.

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