Bainimarama – A Leader Who Makes Things Happen

Villagers of Dawasamu in Tailevu and Vutia in Rewa had firsthand experience of how Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama operates. They saw and felt his passion and commitment to improving the
02 Sep 2017 11:00
Bainimarama – A Leader Who Makes Things Happen
Muanaira warriors stand guard as PM Voreqe Bainimarama meets village elders after performing the traditional welcoming ceremony of I Qaloqalovi at the village jetty on August 29th,2017. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

Villagers of Dawasamu in Tailevu and Vutia in Rewa had firsthand experience of how Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama operates.

They saw and felt his passion and commitment to improving the lives of people in rural Fiji. He has made it public that he does not want to see the rural people miss out on the basic necessities of life and other amenities that urban people enjoy.

In Vutia, for example, engineers from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces arrived at the district one day after Mr Bainimarama was there to visit the local school.

The engineers went there to do a scoping exercise on the villagers’ request for a seawall, street lights, footpath and better communication through a Vodafone tower.

A man on a wheelchair, who had waited for more than seven years, got his wish for welfare assistance granted, after he raised his grievances with Mr Bainimarama.

The villagers were also assured that the Rewa-Vutia Road would be built as budgeted by the Government and the work would start soon.

In a 45-minute talanoa session, he got their issues resolved. As far as the welfare benefit issue was concerned, I am sure, he will find out what caused the seven-year-delay and act accordingly. But the disabled man will now receive his benefit.

This is the reason people look forward to the Talanoa session because he gets things done and problems sorted out.

Civil servants who know they have not been performing dread the Talanoa session because they could suddenly be put on the spot.

Mr Bainimarama is exactly the kind of leader that American astronaut Jim Lovell talked about. Mr Lovell said: “There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, we have to be people who make things happen.”

Despite what his critics call him, Mr Bainimarama makes things happen for the general public good.

The people of Vutia have been overwhelmed by Mr Bainimarama’s generosity and goodwill. In the last election, many of them did not vote for him and FijiFirst. Some are regretting it now.  In 45 minutes, what he agreed to do, is unprecedented. He is the first Prime Minister to visit Vutia. His FijiFirst Government has done more to the Vutia District School and now the district than any previous government had done.

In Vutia, he opened a new dining hall and sanitary facilities.

In Dawasamu, Mr Bainimarama opened the new staff nurse quarters at Driti.

An elder at Dawasamu said gone were the days when politicians made false promises. They were still waiting for those promises to be fulfilled.

But not Mr Bainimarama.

For example in 2014, staff nurse Lavenia Merekula heard that Mr Bainimarama would be passing the Health Centre.

She waited at the roadside, stopped the Prime Minister and requested for a new nurse’s quarters. He agreed.

RFMF engineers moved in this year and built the quarters to withstand a Category 5 cyclone like Winston. This week, Mr Bainimarama was back in Dawasamu and opened the quarters.

In Vutia, Mr Bainimarama was accorded a full traditional welcome, escorted and guarded by traditional warriors. Special permission had to be sought from the Vunivalu (Warlord) of Rewa Ro Epeli Mataitini for the warriors to guard Mr Bainimarama.

The traditional guard of honour is reserved for the Roko Tui Dreketi (Paramount chief of Rewa). Ro Teimumu Kepa, the Opposition leader, is the current Roko Tui Dreketi.

It was also the first time that a red carpet has been laid out for a visiting dignitary.

It shows how much the villagers appreciated the Government assistance to their local school and for Mr Bainimarama taking the time from his busy schedule to visit a remote rural school.

From Dawasamu to Vutia, he has left behind a lasting impression – this is a leader that makes things happen.

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