THE people of Southern Highlands are calling on the national government to immediately withdraw the powers of the Southern Highlands provincial government, The National reports.
Many people rang from Mendi, Southern Highlands, while others from the province living and working in other provinces also rang to call on the government to withdraw the financial powers of the provincial government.
They have also condemned the current administrative struggle between reappointed provincial administrator William Powi and the former and sidelined administrator Lawrence Olkoben.
Senior lawyer Marley Nandi said the government should immediately withdraw the financial powers back to Waigani while an independent investigation team was established to look into the rot in the province.
He said the province had become a milking ground for people since the time of the late Dick Mune, the Hami Yawari regime and the Agiru government.
He said that provincial administrators also needed to be investigated as many unscrupulous activities have been going on in the manner in which the funds of the province have been used.
He said that the recent investigation and jailing of seven people involved in the fraud was just a tip of the iceberg as many such people were still on the run and an immediate investigation was required.
Former member for Kagua-Erave David Basua said so much money into the province's coffers from the resources but it lags in development as the huge sums of funds are squandered by people in authority.
Meanwhile Southern Highlands National Alliance secretary Terence Perene called for another declaration of state of emergency.
He said there were many thing wrong with the governance of the province and it was time the national government intervene to correct it.
He said the coming election was also a threat as more guns were brought in to the province while such weapons were brought into the town without anyone being arrested by police as in the recent clash between the two groups over the administration position.
Basua also condemned the action of the two groups and stated that the position was not a birthright for few people.
He said any credible Papua New Guinean can apply for the position and not just the cronies of politicians and people from one district.
Leaders from Lai valley and surrounding villages of Mendi town have also expressed similar sentiments.