Ratu Naiqama blames SODELPA ‘leadership failures’

Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu leaving the SODELPA meeting at the Southern Cross Hotel conference room in Suva on Friday, March 19, 2021. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

TUI Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has resigned from his position as Social Democratic and Liberal Party (SODELPA) vice president.

He tendered his resignation yesterday and addressed it to party president Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and party leader Viliame Gavoka.

Ratu Naiqama said in his resignation letter he was deeply disappointed and saddened to witness the “state of play” where disagreements within the party threatened unity within the vanua.

“The core foundation of our party based on vanua solidarity has been undermined,” he said.

Ratu Naiqama said adherence to the party’s traditional values based on mutual respect, understanding and dialogue were sadly no longer the cornerstone of the party.

The letter said as of yesterday, the party had more than 70 grievances from members which had not been resolved.

Ratu Naiqama said it was unfortunate that the current party leadership had taken a heavy handed approach rather than fostering dialogue and consensus building to bring about unity within the party.

“Rather than addressing these grievances equally and in total, the leadership focus has been on executing its own vendetta and selective investigations.

“This is despite efforts I made to address all complaints and grievances amicably.

“With these reasons it is therefore untenable for me to remain as a vice president due to the failures of the current party leadership.”

When contacted late yesterday, Ratu Naiqama confirmed his resignation but declined to comment further.

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