The country's Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye said he travelled to open the Oro Provincial Hospital's operating theatre, following the invitation of the governor Gary Juffa and his administration.
Polye added that the Department of Health in collaboration with the provincial authority and the hospital's board organised the occasion. Mr Juffa urged PM O'Neill to seek counselling on how to respect protocols."Had I been informed in time, I would have received him formally," he told a huge crowd.
He said it was a shame for PM O'Neill. He said there was no need to open such projects by PM O'Neill and his delegation in the country, adding the travel expenses are even expensive than the costs of the projects themselves.
Sharing similar sentiments, Polye said he was privileged to have invited by the people o Oro via the governor's office to witness the ribbon cutting.
He said the invitation for opening was an officially bi-partisan and that the program was organised by the people of Oro.
"Both of us were invited to witness and officiate at the opening of the theatre. I was invited by the governor. As usual I, with my delegation, was there on site earlier than the PM. "It was shocking that the Prime Minister and his delegation skipped the opening at the eleventh-hour," a disappointed Polye said.
He said a huge crowd waited to see him and the PM with his delegation, adding he owes an apology to the people. The Opposition Leader warned PM O'Neill to stop his crusade of neglecting and being arrogant over protocols at his provincial visits in the country.
He described O'Neill's non-attendance as a disappointment and frustration. "The Prime Minister is more inclined to serving his own political interests than the people of PNG.
"Girua Airport and the operating theatre are my projects. The former was funded via a Multi-Trans finance program under the Somare government. "As the deputy Prime Minister, I did their ground breaking ceremony," he said.
He said similar projects across the country which, O'Neill went around the country to cut ribbons without giving credits to those initiated, were officiated in similar fashion.
Polye urged O'Neill to give credit where it is due for the projects, saying he should humble himself and stop misleading the people.
For instance, Polye said, he initiated many projects with funds under the former government.
He further said the Prime Minister had not initiated any projects during his government's term in Parliament.
"He has not put in any programs for projects like I did.
"All the revenues coming into the government coffers have only been servicing the UBS loans and others. There is shortage of funds to develop PNG. He is only good at borrowing money,"he said.
Regardless, he said, the program in Oro was peaceful.
- Photographs supplied by PNG Opposition Media Unit.