The letter by your writer under the identity of L. Leilua as entitled “Mind your own business” in your issue of 31 January 2017 was full of trash and absurdity. Leilua has launched an attack against the “tofaloloto” by Afioga Anae Misa Pita and the Matautu Village who have reacted immediately to bring the problem with Rev. Opapo Soana’i and the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. under control. Unfortunately, Leilua was only armed in his attack with imprudent thoughts and immature views and that has made his attack look like a comic activity.
Therefore, I have been urged to write to set the record straight so that the public would not be misled by the stupidity of Leilua.
In clarification, when the E.F.K.S. Elders Committee gave its final decision on Rev. Soana’i, the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. wrote to the E.F.K.S. Elders Committee a strong-tasting and vindictive letter on 17 January 2017,about nothing else, but criticising Rev. Elder Tauti’agaSenara, our Pastor,in his role as played in the entire issue. The Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. has even gone to the extent of fabricating unfounded accusations against Rev. Senara, our Pastor, in regard to some criminal activities he was involved with in MatautuFalelatai a few years ago.
In the same letter, Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. has resigned from the ‘PulegaaFalelatai&Samatau’ and the E.F.K.S. as a whole. They said they will be joining the E.F.K.A.S. or the church’s equivalence in American Samoa.
The letter by Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. was copied to all the Elders of the ‘Matagluega a A’ana’ and Anae Misa Pita as well. Anae is the current Chairman of both the village and the church in Matautu Falelatai. Anae received his copy of the letter on 19 January 2017 and most interestingly, both Rev.Senara and Rev. Soana’i went to see Anae one after the other at his home in Vaivase-Uta on the same day seeking his assistance.
Instead of siding with either one of the parties, Anae acted immediately to find out a solution to the worsening situation. He instantaneously called an urgent meeting of our village and church leaders in Matautu. During that meeting the leaders, under Anae’s directions,were led to highlight the main issues that are needed to be dealt with and to identify the most appropriate strategic approach to confront the issues. Firstly is to clear the name of Rev. Senara, our Pastor, from the criminal accusations. Secondly is to save the ‘PulegaaFalelatai&Samatau’ from being dissolved and going non-existence due to the move by the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S., as that would leave only three (3) congregations in the ‘Pulega’.
To clearRev. Senara’s name, Anae called a full meeting of the Matautu E.F.K.S. membership to be attended by all members ranging from the old people down to boys and girls. The well-attended meeting was held the very next day, Saturday 21 January 2017. Rev. & Mrs Senara were not invited to the meeting. As a result, not a single soul of the entire church membership has any knowledge of any criminal activity that Rev. Senara has been involved with as per the accusations by the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. Therefore, Rev. Senara’s name has been cleared.
To save the ‘Pulegaa Falelatai&Samatau’, Anae called a meeting of the leaders or ‘Faaaloaloga’ of the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’ which includes Anae, Misa, Nanai and Lupematasila of Matautu and Taefu, Lealaitanumoa and Faalavaau of Si’ufaga. Anae’s intention was to seek the consensus of the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’ which is called the ‘AfiogaTutasia leAigaTaua’ana’, as that would be the only force that can convince the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. to change their minds.
The meeting of the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’was held at Taefu’s residence in Si’ufaga on Tuesday 24 January 2017. It was not that difficult for the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’ to reach a consensus or its‘AfiogaTutasi’. The leaders and members of the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. were also present. They have heard the deliberations, the intention as well as the ‘AfiogaTutasi’.
On Sunday morning, 29 January 2017, Rev. Senara and members of the Matautu E.F.K.S. were extremely shocked when Rev. Soana’i and the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. came to our church performing a traditional ‘ifoga’ and apologising to Rev. Senara for the entire incident. Rev. Senara has accepted the ‘ifoga’ wholeheartedly and he voiced his immediate forgiveness of Rev. Soana’i and the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. As a result, a letter signed by Rev. Elder Senara, Rev. Soana’i, the ‘Tamaaiga’Tuimalealiifano and all the ‘Faaaloaloga’ of the ‘Falefitu a le AigaTaua’ana’ has been disseminated to the E.F.K.S. Elders Committee humbly requesting a reconsideration of their decision on Rev. Soana’i.
The above clarification represents the truth and the truth only.The traditional ‘ifoga’ by Rev. Soana’i and the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. and the instant forgiveness by Rev. Senarais the fruit of the influence by the ‘AfiogaTutasi’ of the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’.
Consequently, we were not putting our noses in someone else’s business as per Leilua’s letter.The Si’ufaga Village and the Si’ufaga E.F.K.S. is our business. It is traditional since the past, when major issues of this nature arise in Si’ufaga, Matautu intervenes with help. So does Si’ufagato Matautu. One would never leave the other to fight alone. Why? It is because Matautu and Si’ufaga are flesh and blood constituting one family which is the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’.
On the other hand, every Dick and Tom and Harry in the E.F.K.S. nationwide knows that the Matautu E.F.K.S. is the mother congregation of the ‘Pulegaa Falelatai&Samatau’ in terms of membership, assets, financial contributions and the first to establish. As always matter-of-factly, the financial contributions by the other three (3) congregations of the ‘Pulega a Falelatai&Samatau’ adding together cannot even reach the amounts contributed by the Matautu E.F.K.S. alone. So the Matautu E.F.K.S has been duty bound as a senior congregation that looks after and protects the ‘PulegaaFalelatai&Samatau’whenever it’s existence and stability has been threatened by issues like the on-going one.
I wonder what Leilua would say with where we are now with this problem. I wonder how he would consider why both Rev. Senara and Rev. Soana’i went to Anae for assistance. One can tell from afar that Leilua is not an heir of the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’. That is why he is so angry because he is powerless, unrecognised and has no representation when it comes to the issues and decision making that affects the whole of Falelatai. Because if he was an heir of the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’, he would have never disrespected the leaders or the ‘Faaaloaloga’ of the ‘AigaTaua’ana’ like what he has done to Anae. But he would be happy himself about the capabilities of the ‘AfiogaTutasi’ of the ‘Falefitu o le AigaTaua’ana’ which he is part of.
If he is smart enough, he would apologise in public for his rudeness towards Anae who is a hardworking and a brave leader of Matautu. If not, that is definite proof he can do the same thing to his own leaders and elders. So he is therefore very weak and narrow minded because he does not even know that one of the most significant elements of Samoan culture is to respect your leaders and your elders. SOIFUA.
Lupematasila Nanai Misa Faamanu Ivara