By Len Garae
Fanafo’s Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP) victorious Councillor, Abel Tangis, has been the village’s water maintenance volunteer for nine years.
Tangis says he is a servant of his people and he would prefer not to be called “Honourable Councillor”.
A native of Fanafo, one of his brothers is the father of soccer star Tangis.
Councillor Tangis is married to Esther Steven, one of the daughters of the founder of the Nagriamel Movement, the late Jimmy Moli Steven.
Both the councillor and his wife are well known for their generosity to the people of Fanafo. In fact, it is believed that their kindness helped to catapult him to win the Sanma Provincial Election.
Asked to comment on his victory, the member of the prominent Tangis Clan says, he believes it is his willingness to help those in need that convinced his voters to vote for him.
“We have not campaigned in the literal sense of the word and did not use a hailer to pass the word. We went quietly into specific households and areas to speak to the people like we do in our nakamals and they listened,” he said.
His wife owns the only kindergarten at Fanafo. Even before the official results confirmed his victory this week, an Ambae community invited him to their community to thank him for funding the electric post and box that take light to their community.
His wife remarks, “While my husband has won using a GJP ticket, his victory reminds me of my father’s (Jimmy Moli Steven’s) promise that better days would be coming to Fanafo with free water supply and lighting. Now we have free water while we pay less for our light”.
Both staunch Seventh Day Adventists, the couple believe the culmination of recent political events were a message from above to guide leaders on the right path in line with the country’s Motto of ‘Long God Yumi Stanap’.
Any visitor who passes their house at this time of year is likely to enjoy a glass of rain water, sweet ‘nadao’ or one of those juicy pineapples that makes the mouth water when it is peeled in front of the eye.