By MAIKA BOLATIKI
A team from the Prime Minister’s Office, led by the Permanent Secretary, Lieutenant-Colonel Pio Tikoduadua is visiting villages to counter the lies being spread by Government critics.
Speaking to the Fiji Sun at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay conference room yesterday, Lieutenant-Colonel Tikoduadua said these critics were targeting Tailevu-North and Wainibuka.
“They have been spreading lies to the iTaukei people about their security under the new constitution,” Lieutenant-Colonel Tikoduadua said.
He said pamphlets and false information about the iTaukei people had been distributed by critics with the sole objective of winning the peoples’ support in the 2014 General Elections.
Lieutenant-Colonel Tikoduadua said these critics had totally given a different interpretation on the iTaukei landownership enshrined in the new constitution.
“They’re saying that the landownership of the iTaukei people would be under threat when the new constitution comes into effect.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Tikoduadua said they were talking of the entrenched legislations in the 1970 and 1997 constitutions however the political upheavals in 1997 and 2000 were all about the iTaukei people.
He said critics had been telling the people that under the Land Use Decree, government had the power to take native land on whatever terms it liked.
The Permanent Secretary said under the new constitution, the ownership of iTaukei land would be protected and he stressed that no one could take away the land ownership rights from the iTaukei people.
Lieutenant-Colonel Tikoduadua said some chiefs were with the critics but the people are with Government.
He has urged members of the public to be cautious on the information they received from groups going around.
“They’re just trying to get support for the upcoming elections.”
iTaukei scholarship to remain
The Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office has confirmed that the ITaukei Affairs Board scholarship would remain.
He said the Prime Minister’s Office had received queries about the scholarship which the Government had decided would continue.