Opapo spills the beans

By Staff Writer ,

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Former Reverend Opapo Soana’i Oeti.

Former Reverend Opapo Soana’i Oeti. (Photo: Misiona Simo / Samoa Observer)

The Elders Committee of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa have been accused of being inconsistent in their decision-making.

Their behaviour has also been likened to “communism.”

The allegations come from former Reverend Opapo Soana’i Oeti who said that if the Church is about truth and justice, the Elders Committee has failed on a number of levels.

“There are other pastors who are doing wrong things and yet they are not doing anything about it,” Mr. Oeti said yesterday. “As for me, I didn’t commit a crime and yet I have been punished.”

Asked to elaborate, Mr. Oeti said there are many issues the Elders Committee have failed to deal with.

“If we want to talk about the truth and honesty here, then I am not afraid to mention some of those whom I believe are not doing the right thing here,” he said. 

Mr. Oeti claimed that a Church Minister who is looking after the parish at Aana No. 3 should have been dealt with a long time ago.

“I am not going to mention his name but he went and beat up a student at Malua. He wasn’t penalized, there was no decision against him.”

According to Mr. Oeti, the rules dictate that once someone becomes a faifeau, they cannot work somewhere else.

“But it has been almost two years now since another faifeau has been working on his construction company,” he said.

“The faifeau and his wife both work for this company from Monday to Friday. 

“If this is how pastors behave and how Elders are handling these cases, then why should I want to go back to being a faifeau if they are behaving like this?”

Mr. Oeti also talked about the issues with the multi-million-renovation proect at the John Williams Building and as well as the Jubilee project.

 “There are a lot of things people don’t know. But now that I am no longer a faifeau, I can freely speak about anything. 

“I can talk and tell people what they need to know because a lot of them are the ones giving money to the church and they need to know these things.”

Asked if he is looking at taking legal action against the Elders of the Church, Mr.  Oeti said “no.”

He added that the decision by the Church against him reflected “Communism behaviour.” 

 “The decision they made against me has violated my right as a citizen of Samoa. So I did approach the Office of the Ombudsman. 

“The decision was not based on Christian beliefs where we preach forgiveness. It was not based on our democratic system of government but it was based on a communist system. 

“I thought about having a lawsuit against the Elders of the church. 

“But then I thought again and I love and respect the Elders of the church. It is not their fault. It is mainly (Reverend) Senara’s fault. 

“I accept the decision, I will move out of Si’ufaga and I will not turn my back on E.F.K.S. I will not run away. The truth will eventually come out.”

So what’s next for Oeti?

“I was a matai before I became a faifeau,” he said with a smile. I went and checked and I found out that I am still a registered matai of the titles, Leilua (Sataua) and Lotumali’i (Lalomalava). 

“So I have decided to leave my title as a faifeau at Si’ufaga and I will serve as a matai. I will gladly leave and let God be the judge. He knows this is on (Reverend) Senara and he will pay for this. 

“He is also the main reason why a lot of people can never accept what is happening to Toa.”

Nevertheless, Oeti said nothing can stop him now from helping and supporting his daughter, Toa. 

“I am now a free man. No one can control or stop me. But for my daughter, she is now with the Catholic Church. 

“I will continue to support her if she ever needs my help. She is my daughter; I can’t just stand on the side and watch her suffer. Any parent would do the same for their children.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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