General Abdullahi Ahmed Jama (Ilkajiir) was enthusiastically received by thousands of Puntlanders and other Somalis hailing from throughout the North America and Europe. The huge reception was attended by over 500 cheering—clapping men and women, traditional leaders, former politicians, intellectuals, artists, community leaders, activists, students and ordinary supporters. Amongst the welcoming throngs was the former Puntland President the Honorable Mohamed Abdi Hashi. President Hashi was once the head of United Somali Party and one of the key founders of the Puntland State. In his speech, he joined others to reiterate his disappointment with the current Puntland Administration, while underscoring the importance of the upcoming elections.
|General Abdullahi A. Jama (Ilkajiir), Candidate for the president of Puntland|
They all expressed deep concern regarding proposed plans to prolong term for the incumbent president—Mr. Adde Muse, beyond the 2009 day specified for Puntland's presidential election contests.
All the speakers showed their enthusiastic support for Jama's candidacy. Former colleagues in the Somali National Armed Forces spoke of his unique leadership qualities and the general's extraordinary record of accomplishments. It was pointed out that, though a genuine national hero, Gen. Jama had refused to participate in the internecine wars of the so-called civil war that pitted sister Somali communities against one another, whilst many others fully participated in that bloody war. Many speakers spoke of his spotless record and dedication to the common weal. Similarly, about half-a-dozen Somali artists—both men and women—sang about and recited moving poetry about the timeliness of Gen. Jama's candidacy considering the dire need for good governance and his kind transformational leadership in Puntland and throughout Somalia.
The General spoke of his quest in simple but unyielding terms of dedication to principle and duty. He emphasized peace, unity, good governance, cooperation and development as cornerstones of his campaign and leadership style.
Since the Memorial Day weekend events, the news of the General's candidacy has spread far and wide. Considerable pledges of support are reaching the General from many Puntlanders from the Home region as well as all corners of the world. These messages of support are being spearheaded by those jubilant supporters, who know him best.
Biography of Gen. Abdullahi Ahmed Jama (Ilkajiir)
National War Hero; A man of Peace
Abdullahi Ahmed Jama was born in Erigavo, Northeastern Somalia, on March 13, 1951. He completed his primary education at Dayaha, the storied boarding school near Erigavo town.
Upon graduation he was accepted into the newly established NTEC (National Teachers’ Education Center) at the outskirts of Mogadishu, known as Lafole, where he worked briefly as a teacher. Though he saw teaching as a noble calling, Jama found the sense of sacrifice in military service more to his liking.
This was no accident. The trajectory of Abdullahi’s career was already set at an early age by three closely linked facets of his heritage: 1) The fact that he hails from a prominent Makhir family noted for bravery, 2) the sense of adventure that his naakhoude father (one of the renowned captain-owners of the East) had instilled in him early in childhood, and) 3) the bride that the people of Makhir coast/Puntland traditionally take in doing the best possible job.
Abdullahi joined the Somali National Army and was sent to the then Soviet Union for training as a Cadet Officer in 1970.
He attended the prestigious Military Academy in Odessa (Ukraine), earning his first degree in Military Science in 1973.
In 1980-83 Jama attended the Staff College in Cairo, Egypt earning Masters Degree in military science.
In 1988-89 Jama attended the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and earned a diploma in strategy and decision-making.
In 2000-04 Jama attended Bryan & Stratton College at Rochester, NY and earned a degree in Accounting.
As a career Military Officer and Leader, Jama held many positions in the Somali National Army: from Battalion Commander to Army Commander. He was by far the youngest Officer to head the Directorate of Operations of the Somali National Army, where he distinguished himself as an Officers’ Officer.
Jama is a veteran of the 1977 Ogaden war, where he received two (2) bronze medals and one (1) silver medal for bravery as well as numerous certificates of merit for outstanding conduct.
Jama served as a distinguished lecturer at the Somali Staff College. He authored four (4) publications and numerous articles in Somali for the Somali National Army in the fields of tactics, operations and military strategy.
General Jama is one the Somali military officers that refused to participate in the so-called Somali civil war that pitted brotherly communities against one another to advance the selfish interests of craven faction leaders and atrocious warlords.
Though he followed closely the situation of his beloved Somalia, General Jama chose to stay out of the fray of the internecine wars that have been tearing the country apart for the past 17 years.
The one exception is when he was called back by the community in the early 1990’s to assume the position of Governor of the Makhir/Sanaag region. The vexing challenge facing the community at time centered on the need to liberate the region from a well-armed and religious group that had forcibly occupied the region’s principal seaport, Lasqoray and its environs. Shortly upon arrival the General mobilized the community’s defenses and was able to put in place a strategy that resulted in solving the situation peacefully without further bloodshed.
For the past few years, the General has been living with his family in Upstate New York. He is now ready to once again answer the call of duty to return to the motherland to offer the type of transformational leadership that he uniquely qualified to provide.