PNG has lost a ‘vibrant and visionary’ leader, says grand chief Sir Bob

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Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil's funeral cortege
Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil's funeral cortege travelling to Lae. Image: Post-Courier screenshot APR

PNG Post-Courier

Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae has described Papua New Guinea’s late Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil as a vibrant and visionary leader who was passionate about his people and the electorate.

He said Basil loved and dedicated his life to the people of Bulolo until his unexpected death in a tragic vehicle accident which had left the nation in shock, disbelief and agony.

“Throughout his entire political career, he committed himself to serving his people, residing and dining with them throughout the length and breadth of the huge and difficult electorate he represented,” Sir Bob said.

“I recall when the late Basil first entered politics in 2007, he was empowered with excitement, enthusiasm and unrelenting self-belief, hope and purpose to lead his people.

“It was not the kind of excitement that comes from inconceivable expectation, the kind that fades into despair and hopelessness before too long.

“Rather, his vision and passion for his people were relentless. From the very beginning, he lived among his people and was dedicated to their service to bring about much needed development and often provided personal assistance when faced with public funding issues.

“He was well loved, no doubt. We only have to look back at the last couple of days at the outpouring of grief and despair for a man, a leader who was well liked and admired, not just by his people, but throughout our country.

‘Lost a great son’
“Indeed, our nation has lost a great son.”

His style of leadership had demonstrated that development and service delivery was possible and could happen, even in the most remote of locations if leaders went down to the level of their people, listened and produced tangible results.

Sir Bob said the late Basil spoke his mind on matters, was practical and walked the talk.

“Basil was not one to shy away or back down when challenged and was not afraid to speak his mind on issues he felt strongly about and that is the kind of leadership we need in this country,” he said.

“At this juncture, I take this time to also pay tribute to the late First Constable Neil Maino who also lost his life in the tragic accident.”

First Constable Maino died on the job that he had vowed to do as a close protection officer of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, and to our Deputy Prime Minister. First Constable Maino served faithfully until he died.

“We mourn the loss of two distinct men — one an outstanding leader and servant for the people, the other a faithful CPO right to the end.”

Republished with permission.

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