Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Messiah Flock Defiant

by Serafina Silatoga

Thursday, April 22, 2010
FOLLOWERS of the Messiah Movement founded by the late Sairusi Nabogibogi have refused to move out of Nakawakawa Village in Bua.
Instead, they have called on the Tui Wainunu, Ratu Orisi Baleitavea, and the turaga ni yavusa (clan head), Naniu Drau, Ilieasa Ratusaki, to resolve the matter through dialogue.
The followers were told to move after arsonists burned a home built in Mr Nabogibogi's memory at the weekend.
Mr Nabogobogi, who was from Nakorotubu in Ra, formed the movement in the 1960s to promote communal living and farming.
Profits from communal farms were shared and used to build homes and develop a settlement at Selemi on the north-eastern coast of Viti Levu.
His mother was from Nakawakawa.
The group's senior member, Samuela Sigatokaicake, said the traditional leaders had not informed them about the ultimatum.
Ratu Orisi told the Fiji Times he gave the group two weeks to move out of the village as they had continued to treasure the property of Mr Nabogibogi.
Nakawakawa Village headman Tevita Kubi said the group should respect the wishes of the chief and move out.
But Mr Sigatokaicake claimed that his members had brought major changes to the lives of poor families in the village.
He said the group had opened a shop and started a dalo farming program aimed at improving living standards in the village.
Mr Sigatokaicake said the farming program had returned good earnings to their members and enabled them to afford educational expenses.
He added that Jesus Christ remained their God and they were members of the Methodist Church.

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