A stand off outside the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby culminated into a violent attack in which supporters of rival candidates clashed with bush knives and other offensive weapons.
Police , PNGDF and Correctional Services personnel responded immediately.
A cluster of makeshift tents set up outside the Stadium and along the fence line of Vision City mall were removed by the security forces. In the process of doing so, knives, clubs, and other non lethal offensive weapons were found and confiscated.
“This altercation and violence has put the lives of the innocent public in danger. We must understand that while the election process is taking place , people must be free to move about their normal activities without the fear of violence,” said Anthony Wagambie Junior- ACP and Commander NCD/Central
Detectives at the helm of the investigations have confirmed that two men were wounded in these attacks.
A footage of the marauding mob armed with bush knives was taken on video from a shopper inside a Shopping Mall.
The footage showing the mob slashing their victims near the mall is now being investigated by CID.
The victims were taken to the hospital for treatment.
The Police investigation team is now in contact with the two men and statements will be collected.
After Police dispersed the fighting a suspicious vehicle was stopped and searched in which a bundle of bushknives was found.
The vehicle was taken to Waigani Police Station and 9 male adult occupants were detained and they will be formerly arrested and charged.
Police have also dispersed people camping outside PILAG and the Rita Flyn courts as a security measure against any form of violence.
Scrutineers of candidates are the only ones who will enter the counting venues on behalf of their candidates upon producing their IDs.
“I have instructed the Metropolitan Superintendent to work with candidates to ensure that while we ensure that public safety is maintained, candidates and their scrutineers must also be catered for so that transparency in the process of counting is maintained.
“I also call on candidates to exercise their leadership in controlling their supporters for the benefit of the public in NCD,” ACP Wagambie Junior said.
Port Moresby City Manager, Ravu Frank described the filmed fight that was circulated on social media as disturbing and inhuman.
He called for continued peace and order during the counting period. Frank calls on all parties to resort to lawful means to address their grievances other than resorting to violence.
Frank commended the swift intervention of the security personnel, under the leadership of Metropolitan Superintendent Gideon Ikumu, prevented the fight from further escalation.
He called on the police to identify machete-wielding youths who were slashing fellow residents without any second thought, and have them held accountable.
An irate Frank said there was no room for such residents with attitude problems to live in the city.
He assured city residents and business houses that situation is under control and normalcy has been restored.
“The situation is being monitored to ensure safety and security of everyone is maintained.
“All the makeshift shelters outside the stadium, Rita Flynn and PILAG have been demolished because the priviledge given was misused,” Frank said.
He said loitering and makeshift shelters would not be permitted again around the vicinity of the counting centres.
For the Central Seats’ counting centres, he said, it has been peaceful and orderly so the status quo will be maintained.
On behalf of the Municipal Government, he apologised to business houses, other candidates and residents for any inconvenience caused.
SOURCE: PNG TODAY/LOOP PNG/PACNEWS