Kopu winched off Lomlom, Chiefs unhappy

Dudley Kopu, MP elect for Temotu Pele. Photo credit: GCU.

Chiefs and landowning groups of Lomlom airstrip in Temotu Province are unhappy that an unscheduled flight that flew in and winched off Temotu Pele MP-elect Duddley Kopu on Good Friday.

Chief Patterson Tangua of Otambe village said, at around 10am on Good Friday as Christians were going to Church, a plane landed at Lomlom airsport without the knowledge of the local Solomon Airlines agent.

Chief Patterson said the plane was on the ground for about half an hour and the pilot who was the only person on board refueled it from reserve fuel containers on board.

He added, eye witnesses saw MP-elect Kopu and family escorted by police officers to the waiting plane before it slithered through the grassy-strip and disappeared.

“Chiefs went and spoke with the pilot and he said he was there to pick Kopu,” he said.

“Police officers also kept¬† Kopu’s move a secret and did not tell us any details about it.”

He said, this is unusual as it was not a schedule flight day for Lomlom.

Mr. Patterson said kids and mothers who were crossing the airstrip panicked as they were totally unaware of the plane.

Meanwhile, SIBC spoke with Solomon Airlines officials who confirmed there was no Solomon Airlines flight to LomLom Airport on Friday.

SIBC also spoke to an official from Helicopter Support and he confirmed that one of its planes was chartered on Good Friday to Temotu but could not confirm who chartered the plane.

Yumi Toktok Forum’s Benjamin Afuga was the first to attack RSIPF’s neutrality given eye witness account that uniform officers were seen escorting Kopu to the private plane.


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