Samoa is safe again

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 29 November 2016, 12:00AM

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no need to be alarmed; Tuilaepa is here!

He flew all the way from Morocco, had a brief stop in New Zealand and his feet had barely touched the ground when he jumped right in and taken control of the volatile situation at the Police. 

Now Samoa is calm and peaceful again. What could possibly go wrong?

Indeed what will Samoa ever do without our Mr. Fix It? We’re talking about a man of many talents, our very own Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

Who needs a Cabinet? And who needs anyone else when you’ve got a leader can do anything and everything? 

From rugby, to opening projects day and night to fa’afafine patron to being the savior of Samoa, he does it all with such aplomb. 

We’ve got to hand it to him; there are not many people like him in the world these days. Love him or loathe him, we’ve got to admire his rare qualities. You’ve got to at least appreciate his willingness to be that leader who steps up to the plate when he’s needed – especially into situations others would fear to tread.

Take the Police controversy for instance. The developments at the Police are no longer a secret. They’ve been told in detail on the pages of this newspaper and in other media forums. 

The only thing missing from all those accounts was Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s input. But there is a perfectly logical explanation for that. You see when all that unfolded, Prime Minister Tuilaepa was in Morocco to try and save the planet.

In his absence, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, did his best to steady the ship. To his credit, he had done quite a good job given that the conflict among police officers could have gotten out hand quite easily.

Now back in the country, Prime Minister Tuilaepa was itching to go to work. 

He must have gotten quite fed up with Samoa making the headlines for the commotion down at the Police station so that the first thing he did when his Cabinet met was to grab the Police portfolio from former Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati. This was confirmed in a statement issued to the media later by the Office of the Press Secretariat.

“The Hon. Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, will now assume responsibility for the Fire and Emergency Services Authority as well as take on the duties for the Ministry of Police,” The statement reads:

“Responsibility for Samoa Police had traditionally fallen under the purview of the Prime Minister. The decision to change these portfolios and return oversight of Samoa Police back to the Prime Minister, reaffirms the importance placed on law and order and in keeping Samoa a peaceful nation.”

Well that’s great to know isn’t.

But what about old Sala Pinati? 

Well he’s been handed the Audit Office and Samoa Bureau of Statistics - in addition to being responsible for the Samoa Tourism Authority. That should keep him happy for now. 

The fact is the second reshuffle in less than 12 months since the General Election will be interpreted in many ways by critics and supporters of the government. Some have already called him a dictator for trying to run everything in a one-man band fashion. Others say the decision reflects his absolute lack of trust in his Cabinet Ministers. Is there no one else capable of fixing the mess at the Police? 

Whatever it is, you’ve got to admire Tuilaepa’s leadership. It doesn’t mean his decision-making is not questionable but when you have someone who is so willing to throw himself into the line of fire for the sake of the nation, we’ve got to stand back and marvel. And he does with such a witty sense of humour.

For example, during is weekly media conference; Tuilaepa downplayed the divisions within the Police saying there is nothing to be alarmed about.

 “They are just playing a game – it’s not over yet,” he said. 

“Maybe soon it will probably be done. Remember there is a beginning and an end so don’t you worry them…the men are getting old but I feel it’s over now.”

Asked about the ghost letters, he said he hasn’t seen any.

“The reason why I want to look at it is because I wanted to know who these young ghosts are,” he said. “It came in this girl’s newspaper (Samoa Observer) but I have been looking for the letter. If it came on the newspaper and I have not seen it then, I feel for the Observer because people can just fool them…”

Now in reassuring the nation about their safety, Tuilaepa was happy to show off the keys to the armoury.

 “I take it with me (everywhere I go)” he said adding that all the firearms are in the armoury and the only weapons that have not been taken in are fire dance knives inside his office.

“I have the keys here but I’ll tell my driver tomorrow to take those in and lock it there,” he said about the fire dance knives inside his office, “not because I might get hurt but in case someone might get hurt from it if it falls on them.” 

Don’t you just love those one liners? Typical Stui sense of humour.

Welcome back Mr. Fix it! Now good luck with trying to sort out the Police, you are sure going to need all your humour and charms to fix that mighty mess.

Have a great week Samoa, God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 29 November 2016, 12:00AM

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