Final plea: Soil, not oil
Papua New Guinea’s late Hela Governor Anderson Agiru had stressed the importance of “soil and not oil” before he died, urging the people to turn back to the land, says his brother Vincent Agiru. He mentioned this at the State funeral for his brother in Port Moresby yesterday which was attended by hundreds of people including Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Cabinet ministers and public servants at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
“He said soil, not oil, will be our future,” he said. “Soil, not oil, is his legacy. While lying on his sick bed in Beijing (China, last year), he recorded a message to the people of Hela. “He asked Helas not to be beggars or drunkards, drug addicts or gabblers. He begged them to stop tribal fights and guns.
“He called for every family to grow 1000 coffee trees and raise 10 pigs every year. “He reckoned in 10 years, a family could earn K100,000 (F$67,011) from this enterprise. “He asked that his people turn away from the glitter of oil and gas, and till the land.” Vincent said he was overwhelmed by the number of people who offered their support during Agiru’s death. “I had always known that Anderson had many friends. But to see so many of you here, at the haus krai over the past few weeks, and many condolence messages that continue to pour in, just floors me,” he said. “He grew far bigger than the elder brother I knew. I want to say that although he knew so many people, he remained a very private person.” The National