State funeral for late PNG deputy PM, Party vows to continue legacy

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said the tragic death of his deputy Sam Basil is a big loss to his family, people of Bulolo, Morobe, United Labor Party and the country.

In a statement Marape said he was a strong member of the present generation of leaders in government who had the country at heart.

He said what makes his untimely passing even sadder is the fact that it happened hours before the issue of writs.

The Prime Minister said the late Deputy Prime Minister single-handedly resurrected the ruling Pangu Pati, which the Prime Minister now leads, in 2014.

Marape says the Government will accord the late Basil a state funeral.

Meanwhile, the late Sam Basil’s United Labour Party has vowed to continue his legacy and to deliver on his plans and dreams for the country.

Acting party leader Lekwa Gure said party members and officials had been in conference overnight and affirmed their determination to step up efforts and take Basil’s vision to the people and to form Government in his honour.

“It is with a heavy heart that I offer my condolences following the tragic passing of the Deputy Prime Minister of our country, the Bulolo MP and leader of the United Labour Party, the late Sam Basil, MP,” Gure said.

“This is a heartbreaking loss for all Papua New Guineans who were inspired by Sam Basil, who could see their place in his vision for our nation and the brighter future that lays ahead.

“As a party in this year’s National General Election, I can reassure the people of our nation that these plans will continue in honour of our late ULP leader.

“Right up to the very last hours of his life, Sam Basil had been finalising election planning and was on the eve of campaigning.

“He lost his life while driving with party members to another co-ordination meeting when the crash occurred.

“Sam Basil died for his party, he died working day and night for his passion for our people, and for this his party colleagues will ensure that his legacy is the delivery of his vision.”

Gure said the only change for ULP members and candidates and the workers around the country is that everyone would further increase their efforts to deliver the election outcomes the late Basil had worked tirelessly to achieve.

He said policies that Basil had championed were at the heart of national development and would touch the lives of Papua New Guineans when implemented.

“Sam Basil had a passion for improving the lives of our grassroots people, to get much safer conditions and better pay for workers, particularly in rural areas.

“We must never lose hope and we must never lose sight of the core principles upon which ULP was founded, and the policy platform that we will take to our people.

“As a political party, the sad passing of our outstanding leader, has only served to galvanise our solidarity and our pledge to Papua New Guinea that we will form Government with our likeminded coalition partners,” Gure said.

“All of our plans for the 2022 election campaign and governing, as designed by Sam Basil and our colleagues, are ready to go and will be implemented.

“I thank people from around our country for their thoughts and prayers for our beloved Sam Basil.

“I further thank our parliamentary colleagues from other parties for pledging their support to work with ULP to help us deliver on the vision of the late Sam Basil,” he said.

SOURCE: NBC PNG NEWS/POST COURIER/PACNEWS