By Nanise Volau
THE armed arrest of Ratu Epenisa Cakobau at his home on Bau early this morning has been labelled as “sad” by a member of the Tui Kaba clan.
Adi Finau Tabakaucoro said the use of force was unnecessary.
“The support (for Ratu Epenisa) today was overwhelming and whoever is involved with the interference was unnecessary,” she said.
“We will continue with the programme as planned and proceed to have lunch with the chiefly clans that are here from all parts of Fiji.”
Adi Finau has been outspoken in her calls for the next Vunivalu of Bau (generally recognised as Fiji’s highest chiefly titlle) to be elected by the whole of the Tui Kaba clan, rather than appointed by a few elders.
Ratu Epenisa was to have been installed today.
But Native Lands Commissioner Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula intervened late last night.
He said procedures were not followed in the selection process.
Police Commissioner Brigadier Sitiveni Qiliho said officers arrested Ratu Epenisa after suggestions he would not adhere to the NLC ruling. Armed police and soldiers seized Ratu Epenisa and key chiefs in an early morning raid.
The people of Bau have prepared for a big feast with sheds decorated with fine masi and traditional mats.