by Ahmed Mohamed Raage
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo signing Communication Law
After more than a quarter of a century of political and social anarchy, unfounded attacks and allegations are routinely part of our social life and is often used as a gimmick to gain popularity. This was particularly the case following the extradition of Mr. Qalbi Dhagax to Ethiopia by the Somali Government. Many groups have started an open war against the President. In a democratic society, citizens have rights to blast the President’s action, but acting recklessly at a time when the country is trying hard to come together shows lack of maturity. A predominant majority of the Somali people regard President Farmajo as a true messiah. Turning their dreams and realities to look bleak and hopeless undermine the prospect for peace and development.
President Farmajo is barely eight months in office; he is handling lots of critical issues that come to his desk hourly. Leaders everywhere face a daunting task and being a President of Somalia is the most difficult job on earth. The President is working in an increasingly hostile environment and has plans to deliver an expanded set of policy objectives. It is easy for an outsider to criticize and make it look legitimate, but leadership is about taking responsibilities and not making excuses. Some commentators used inflammatory language; their comments were filled with blame, disgrace and mainly based on playing with public emotions. It was merely a combination of populism, and playing the nationalist card. Many people detested the decision made by the government, but nevertheless, remained silent to avoid further polarization of the society and reversing the little progress made since this government came to power.
I must admit that government officials involved in handling the case of Qalbi-Dhagax acted unwisely, but there is no indication that the President was in cahoots with them. It is not secret that the president was unhappy with the way the entire Qalbi Dhagax issue was handled. Nevertheless, there were only two options available for the President: 1) Fire everyone around him and destroy the little progress made or 2) look at the big picture and safe the country from falling apart. The President chose option 2 regardless of it is political downfall. His track record of being a true Somali speaks for itself.
Realistically, there is no easy solutions to the problems of Somalia; the president is focused day and night in executing his political agendas. Peace and security is in his list of priorities. Al-Shabaab is the number one enemy of Somalia; its hatred ideology cannot be defeated only militarily; the government will seek the backing of its citizens to help defeat Al-Shabaab which is one of the main obstacles of peace and prosperity in the country. Protracted conflict and weak institutions resulted in chronic instability, mistrust and under development in Somalia. The reconciliation process, which is in the president’s agendas will address all grievance-driven issues in the society and use sensible approaches at achieving long-lasting peace. Another important agenda is the justice reform. Justice is the basic foundation of any society. The government is embarked to reforming the justice system in Somalia. The goal is to achieve equal justice for all regardless of the person’s social status. The President believes that injustice is one of the main cause of the conflict in the country.
Furthermore, the President is working toward the acceleration of the completion of the Somali National Army (SNA); an army that can protect our boarders and maintain peace inside the country. He will work with federal state leaders to build consensus and resolve any political issues impeding the formation of an inclusive national army.
Somalia needs a sustainable self-reliance economy to develop. Taxation, a means to finance government expenditure by imposing charges on citizens and corporate entities should be re-enforced. The country must exploit its abundant natural resources to mobilize enough revenue to finance its depilated infrastructure and create jobs to the youth. Delivery of public services namely education, healthcare, clean water, strengthening rule of law, and protecting the environment are at the core of the President’s agenda.
On foreign policy, the president’s vision is to create Somalia that is peaceful with itself and with the rest of the world. Somalia is a sovereign country and its foreign policy is aimed at protecting, promoting and securing Somalia’s interest worldwide through the use of good diplomacy.
Concerted effort to undermine the President will not deter his endeavor to pull Somalia out of the mess. My advice to my fellow friends is to end enticing the spoilers of peace and progress in the country, get out of the cozy life and join hand in hand with those who are sacrificing for the motherland. Millions of Somali children do not have education, clean water and healthcare and taking away their future is literally a crime. There is a real difference between believing to speak the truth and judging someone hypocritically. Leadership is about making tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. Regardless of the government’s sloppy, and amateurish decision, the President didn’t jump the ship, instead he chose to safe the country. That is called leadership.
Ahmed Mohamed Raage