Prime Minister James Marape has expressed great sadness at the passing of Founding Prime Minister, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, in the early hours of this morning. “it is with great sorrow and grief that I announce the passing of the Father of our Nation, Grand Chief Sir Micheal Thomas Somare,” he said.
“His Doctor texted me that at 12:10 am today that the great man was rested. “God gives and God rested him from the pain and toils of life.
“There is a season for every thing, a time to born and a time to die, ” as the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:2. PM Marape said Papua New Guinea honored Sir Michael.
“Our nation honors this great leader, the founding and longest-serving Prime Minister of our country, ” he said.
“I appeal to our citizens and residents for a week of silence, peace and calm as we in pay respect to this one person whom our country owes much. “He is unmatched by anyone of us who comes after him.
“He deserves our unified respect now too, at passing, and for ever into our future as a nation.” PM Marape passed his sincere condolences to the Somare family.
“To Lady Veronica, Bertha , Sana, Arthur, Dulcie and Junior, all grandchildren and the tribal family and the people of East Sepik, we thankyou for allowing this giant of a man to be our national father,” he said.
“I thank the family too for allowing me to spend some quite moments with him a few days ago, which I now see as a privilege of the highest order. ” His words linger.
“He is universally loved in our country, may his memory bind our nation still.
“Long live his memory.”
PM Marape said his Cabinet would meet today to announce a formal State funeral programme.
“Our flags all over our country and overseas missions are to be flown lowered until we formally come out of mourning,” he said.
“Our Nation enters our mourning period, where ever you are, until further announcements. “I will personally precede over this period of national mourning.
“With tears I say, ‘Rest In Peace, Papa’