Yesterday was a day of thanksgiving for His Highness the Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and his village, Lufilufi.
A five year dispute dating back to 2010 between the Head of State, and the village has finally been resolved. In August 2010, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi was banished from Lufilufi, the village that owns the paramount Tui Atua chiefly title.
At the time, village spokesman, Fe'esago Lopi said the decision to ban him from Lufilufi was made in a village meeting over the construction of a building.
Village leaders said the Head of State did not inform them of the construction and were adamant that proper cultural protocols weren't followed.
At the time, Fe'esago told the Samoa Observer newspaper that Lufilufi no longer recognised the Head of State as the holder of the Tui Atua title.
Following the village decision, in a letter to the Registrar of the Lands and Titles Court, Tui Atua threatened to resign if the dispute within his village and the family was not going to be resolved in a peaceful way.
He also called for a Commission of Inquiry but then later withdrew the request.
But yesterday, many village members turned up to witness the reconciliation ceremony which started off with an Ava ceremony.
His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi said he was very thankful to God that the day had come for him to be reunited with his village.
“I am very happy that I am able to return and win back their support for me,” said Tui Atua.
He said there is nothing he wanted more than the full support of his village as he sits on the chair as the Head of State of Samoa.
“Any matai would need his family and village’s support to guide his journey forward,” he said.
One of the village matais said they would forget what had happened in the past.
“What happened in the past stays in the past; because this morning is an enjoyable reunion between Lufilufi and the Tui Atua.”
The day ended with tears of joy and happiness between the Tui Atua and his village as the whole village reunited.
“The village has come to an agreement that we will not say anymore on the matter because it has been dealt with,” said one of the matai.