Qereqeretabua had warned NFP president

National Federation Party President Pio Tikoduadua (right) with Lenora Qereqeretabua at the Party’s Annual General Meeting in Lautoka. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO

OPPOSITION MP Lenora Qereqeretabua had warned her colleague and National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was looking for him before the events of August 9 took place.

She revealed this in her evidence to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee.

Ms Qereqeretabua said after a heated debate that morning, she looked across to the Government side and noticed that Mr Bainimarama was “very, very angry”.

“I looked across the Government side to see who else might be distracted. I noticed honourable (Semi) Koroilavesau and so I kept an eye on these two gentlemen and all of a sudden, the honourable Prime Minister stood up, very abruptly, not like we would normally do when leaving the House to go to the gents or the ladies room,” she said.

Ms Qereqeretabua said Mr Koroilavesau followed the PM and she later followed them outside as well.

While at the Parliament foyer, she said she saw Mr Bainimarama facing out towards Albert Park and speaking to Mr Koroilavesau.

“Honourable Prime Minister did not see me coming up behind him and as I walked right past him, he said, “A lako i vei o koya?” which means in English, where has he gone?”

She said she then assumed that the PM was asking about where Mr Tikoduadua was.

“So, I went upstairs to the Opposition Chamber and because to me, it just looked like something was going to happen.

“Because I thought I needed to warn honourable Lt. Col. Tikoduadua that the honourable Prime Minister was looking for him. So, I walked upstairs and I asked the lady at reception, is honourable Lt. Col. Tikoduadua still here? She said ‘Yes.’

“I said to him, ‘President, I have just walked past Prime Minister and honourable Koroilavesau, and honourable Prime Minister is looking for you. I just came to let you know’.”

She said when she and two other NFP officials asked Mr Tikoduadua what he was going to do, he replied that he was going to Lami.

“He said, ‘nothing, I am just going to go ahead with my day as normal.’

So, I said to the two guys, ‘Guys, we need to go down with honourable Lt. Col. Tikoduadua because we need to witness in case something happens’, because I just had this really bad feeling in my heart that something was going to happen.”

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