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Analysis: Niko Nawaikula – A Runaway Train

Analysis: Niko Nawaikula –  A Runaway Train
SODELPA Opposition MP's Salote Radrodro and Niko Nawaikula at Parliament on September 13, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.
August 08
11:48 2018

Niko Nawaikula is like a runaway train.

The Suva lawyer and SODELPA provisional candidate continues to make outrageous statements that are hypocritical and gutter level politics.

In the wake of his attack on the media, especially the Fiji Sun, he now has a go at some Ra chiefs.

He describes them as “fools” and “liumuri” (traitor) for pledging their support for Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst Government.

Mr Nawaikula contradicts his position on chiefs when he criticises the Ra chiefs who are exercising their democratic rights to express their views.

These are the chiefs whose interests he purports to champion.

He is no better or even worse than people whom he attacks for belittling the chiefly institution.

His  latest attack  reflects his arrogance and insensitivity about the respect and dignity of individual chiefs.

Mr Nawaikula is advocating the restoration of the Great Council of Chiefs (Bose Levu Vakaturaga) on one hand.

On the other hand he doubts the statements attributed to the Tui Nalawa Ratu Epeli Niudamu and the Tui Nasau Ratu Isei Iliasikaisau given to Fiji Sun journalist Maika Bolatiki in an interview during the opening of the Ra Provincial Council meeting last week.

Mr Nawaikula says: “Either Maika Bolatiki is totally wrong and inaccurate or these chiefs are total fools and ‘liumuri’ to be supporting the PM after he and his government have thrown to jail nearly 60 of their colleagues and chiefs for the archaic crime of sedition.”

As a lawyer, Mr Nawaikula should know that the judiciary and the Government are separate independent organs of the State. It is ridiculous for him to link the Government to the Ra sedition case.

Ratu Epeli is right when he responds to Mr Nawaikula saying people should not be judged because of who they want to vote for.

“It is their constitutional right,” he says.

As a lawyer and one who frequently talks about human rights, Mr Nawaikula should know better.

His comments are insulting to the intelligence of these chiefs and condescending.

He cannot think for the chiefs or dictate what they should say, support and believe in.

Ratu Epeli, Ratu Isei and others are capable of forming their own opinions. Mr Nawaikula needs to know, if he doesn’t, that Ratu Epeli, Ratu Isei and others are highly respected chiefs in their own rights.

They speak with power and authority in the traditional sense.

If politicians like Mr Nawaikula choose to disrespect them then they do it at their own political peril.

The sanctity, respect and dignity for the chiefly institution depend on how we treat individual chiefs, not on an organisation like the GCC.

If we cannot respect our chiefs, the GCC is meaningless.

In fact the GCC was used by some politicians to promote their own political agenda. Many chiefs sat on the GCC for good intentions, but were dominated by some politicians who were in there just for their own political gain.

If the GCC was influential as some claimed, it would have stopped the events that led to the 1987 and 2000 coups.

It was ineffective because it was politically tainted. Since its scrapping things have carried on as normal. It proves that the GCC is no longer relevant.

Mr Nawaikula is one of those politicians who seems to want to bring back the old style politics of race and religion that is divisive and has no place in modern-day Fiji.

He seems to be attacking anyone who disagrees with his narrow political agenda – like a runaway train, uncontrollable and destined to crash.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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