Ulugia confirms discussion for Faumuina title at Lepea
Discussions about bestowing the Faumuina title from Lepea upon outgoing Deputy Prime Minister and veteran Member of Parliament, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, have commenced.
This was confirmed by a paramount chief of the family, Ulugia Aukuso Ulugia, in an interview with the Samoa Observer on Saturday.
The family has not reached a final decision on when the bestowal ceremony is likely to happen, according to Ulugia.
"We met and discussed the bestowal of the Faumuina title to "Naomi" the daughter of the late Faumuina Mulinu'u," said Ulugia.
"But because the other side of our family, they are in Savai'i and did not attend the meeting, therefore we have not reached a final decision. I can, however, confirm that we have discussed the issue with the matai and elders of our Faumuina family."
Ulugia said Fiame would be the best person for the title. He would not be drawn into her decision to resign from the Government.
"Fiame is the Sa'o Fa'apito at Lotofaga," said Ulugia. "She is also the Member of Parliament for Lotofaga. Whatever decision she made, we have no say in that. That is between her and the constituency she currently represents.
"But as descendants and heirs of the Faumuina title, we thought it would be best to honour her with the title as she is an heir. The title Faumuina was bestowed upon her before, but the other of the side of the (Faumuina) family challenged that in Court so it was dissolved.
"However, we have ironed out the differences and have discussed that now is the time for her to become a Faumuina.
"We have also decided that our next family meeting will be held on the 26 of this month."
Ulugia declined to comment in detail on Fiame's decision to resign as the Deputy Prime Minister and the broader Cabinet and Government, he commended her general courage.
"It takes courage for something like that to happen," Ulugia said. "So I commend her for being brave and for standing for what she believes in.
"Her Faumuina family has no say in what she does in Parliament because she is the M.P. for Lotofaga. But I am proud of her, that's all I can say. Maybe she did not like whatever is happening in Parliament and at H.R.P.P. so she had to leave."
Regarding Fiame's journey and contribution to the development of Samoa, Ulugia is positive that she is ready to lead the country as Prime Minister.
"She is the daughter of Samoa's first Prime Minister," said Ulugia. "She has it in her to lead and serve her people. She is well-equipped for the job and has all the qualities of a leader.
"But that's a decision only God can make. If it's His will for Naomi to become the first Prime Minister of Samoa, no one and nothing will ever stop or change that. If it's not God's will, then it will not happen."
It was not possible to get a comment from Fiame at press time.