Fuamatu J.V. Fuamatu sworn in as Western District Governor
In a general memorandum dated May 15, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga appointed Fuamatu J.V. Fuamatu, who is a traditional leader from Alataua county, as the new Western District Governor, a post left vacant since the passing early this year of the late Lualemaga Faoa.
The governor’s appointment, which became effective the date of the memo, came a week after May 8th meeting of Western District traditional leaders failed to reach a consensus on the next District Governor and agreed that the final decision would be given to the governor to make.
Western District traditional leaders presented to the governor the names to decide on for the next district governor: Fuamatu, Tuiasina S. Esera of Tualatai county, and Leatualevao S. Asifoa of Leasina/Aitulagi county. All three traditional leaders are former senators.
Lolo delivered brief remarks at yesterday’s swearing in ceremony, lead by Deputy Secretary of Samoan Affairs Malemo Tausaga, and attended by Fuamatu’s family members, Western District leaders, such as Sens. Fonoti Tafaifa Aufata and Fai’ivae Iuli Godinet as well as House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale, who one of the traditional leaders of Alataua County.
Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga and Manu’a District Governor Laolagi F.S. Vaeao were also in attendance.
Lolo says its not the wish of the government to take over the appointment of these important traditional leadership posts which are the sole responsibilities of the traditional leaders in each district, and was the reason there was no rush to select the next district governor until the Western District Council had met and made their decision.
Lolo says the district had reached the decision for him, with recommendation from Samoan Affairs Secretary, to make the final selection and that came down to Fuamatu and Lolo suspects that this will be the only time that district governor post will be held by a traditional leader from Alataua county.
He says if the other Western District titular tiles are occupied — Letuli, Tuitele, Fuimaono (Satele titular title currently occupied) — “we believe the District Governor post will never be taken up by a traditional leader” of Alataua county in the future.
Speaking on behalf of Fuamatu, Alataua County as well as the Western District, Savali expressed appreciation to the governor, Mauga and others in attendance for their support.
Absent from yesterday ceremony was Sen. Satele Galu Satele Sr., who had selected Tuiasina as the new district governor, a selection that was opposed by many Western District traditional leaders, resulting in the May 8th meeting at Samoan Affairs Office. Tuiasina also didn’t attend the ceremony.