Police Negotiate with Villagers to Remove Road Blocks

📷 Alice Vicky

Thursday 5 August 2021 Savaii Samoa.  Police were called to a situation early this morning where villagers had put up a road block in anticipation of the HRPP political car rally scheduled for Savaii today.

A special police force team led by Deputy Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo are in Savaii to oversee the political rally, the third event held this week by the HRPP party. In power for the past 40 years, the Human Rights Protection Party are rallying against a Court of Appeal decision that declared FAST as the Government with the majority of seats following the April 9th general election. Party leader and former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi says they have been unjustly treated by the Courts, and has called for the resignation of the Chief Justice and the two judges that made up the Appeals Court bench, Niava Mata Tuatagaloa and Tologata Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren.

Speaking to Samoa Global News from Savaii, Auapaau said some villagers of Salelologa and Salelavalu who disagree with the HRPP stance, blocked a part of the main road at Salelavalu to stop the HRPP car rally scheduled for Thursday morning.

“We were there this morning to discuss the issue with some Salelologa matai and they have agreed to remove the roadblocks,” Auapaau said.

Auapaau said the matais told Police they are against the HRPP car rally because they felt that the purpose of it was wrong.

“E le talafeagai le mafuaaga ma le agaga o loo fai ai”.

Auapaau said it took some time for them to discuss and negotiate with the village matai.

Photo 📷 Alice Vicky.

“When we deal with villages, we always try to maintain peace and make sure that we take the time to hear them out,” said Auapaau.

“They gave us their reasons for blocking the road and said they are disappointed about the car rally and what it stands for..

“We also advised them that our role is to keep the peace and ensure the safety and security of all citizens,” he added.

“It is all good now, they already removed the rocks and cleared the road for public access,” confirmed the Deputy Police Commissioner.

“We hope that everything will go smoothly as the rally moves through Savaii today,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Village Council of Salelologa made known they would not support the political rally, so the cars will not be passing by Salelologa.

Salelologa and Salelavalu are the villages of elected woman MP Matamua Seumanu Vasati Sili who is now Samoa’s new Minister of Justice.

Marieta H Ilalio