Rabuka tells of his return to the political arena

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka greets the crowd at a Lautoka rally. Picture FELIX CHAUDHARY/FILE

SOCIAL Democratic Liberal Party leader and former prime minister Major General (retired) Sitiveni Rabuka said he felt compelled to return to the political arena because of the grim situation Fiji was in.

He made the comment while addressing more than 1000 people who gathered at a rally in Lautoka yesterday.

“As I sit here and look out to the sea, I remember vividly one afternoon I was lying in the captain’s cabin of a patrol boat when I was thrown out of the comfortable bed I was in and onto the floor,” he said.

“Everybody was running around as I walked out. Somebody said to hurry but I said to him officers don’t run, that makes the men panic. So I walked.”

Mr Rabuka said he realised the vessel had hit a reef.

“Down came the captain of the patrol boat, so I said ‘what happened’.

He said ‘sir, we hit the reef.’

I said ‘how could you hit the reef, you have all the equipment on board.’

Mr Rauka said he had then questioned the captain about how the accident had happened.

“He said the helmsman was looking at a traffic light in Lautoka and thought it was a leading light coming into the harbour.

“That captain is our Prime Minister today.

“So when I felt that Fiji has hit the reef, I decided to come back

“I have never captained a naval patrol boat or naval ship but I have captained this great nation, I had seven years as its elected captain.

“So when I feel when we are on the reef, it is my duty to come back, get it off the reef and get it into safe harbour.”

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