by Abdisalam Garjeex
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Over thirty years, Somalia hasn’t achieved the full-fledged nationhood it has aspired to for a very long time. One of the primary impediments being, Al-Shabaab, which holds Somalis captive with a sense of insecurity and trepidation towards holding true hope for a happy future. Although they now have left Mogadishu, they still control swathes of land outside of the capital and government’s reach. Even in spite of the presence of nearly 20,000 African troops deployed to protect the key areas including Villa Somalia, the security situation is still precarious as Al-Shabaab still manages to make the occasional appearance, thus still lending them a sense of omnipresence that instills fear. The second obstacle is the state government leaders working outside the federal framework, especially the two renegade states of Puntland and Jubaland.
The President Who Is He and What Does He Stand For?
Farmaajo is a strong, resolute leader. Before the civil war, he spent time working as diplomat and like so many of us who migrated abroad in the Somali Diaspora, he quietly went about raising a family, etching out a career in American Government & academia, then progressively entering the Somali political scene, keen to support his homeland and be of service as a Somali-American already enjoying some credibility abroad. However, as time went on and he became more politically involved, he denounced his US citizenship with no qualms due to the profound understanding that no man can serve two masters and thus removing that conflict of interest completely by accepting citizenship of only his homeland. It was already clear from the very start that he was of a different breed than previous leaders, a more patriotic stock, disinterested in personal gain at the expense of fragile others. He is a unifier, not interested in tribalism and intends to bring back the rule of law, dignity, and good governance to Somalia.
Both as former PM and incumbent President, he has put in a tremendous effort to rebuild the Somali Army and Police forces in order to develop a Somalia that can defend itself from enemies—both foreign and domestic. Furthermore, his personality and character are nearly incorruptible which I have no doubt of being due to his family background. It was in the late seventies where I enjoyed the pleasure of knowing and working with Farmaajo’s father at the Somali Airlines in Mogadishu–his late father was of impeccable character, fair and decent, always ensuring to treat his employees equally and commending or promoting them only based on merit. It is these same qualities I now see in his son in the ways he goes about running Somalia, neither quick to bestow political nor financial favors to friends or those from his tribe thus ultimately proving the adage is true—an apple does not fall far from a tree.
The Legacy He Will Leave Behind
Until now, we’ve not known a leader of his stature (since the conference of Arteh); one capable of returning Somalia to its dignified place in the communities of nations. We are once again considered a mighty foe to our East African counterparts who seek to do us harm.
Since Somalia descent into chaos, the Tigray TPLF organization headed by tyrant, Meles Zenawi, has taken advantage by inflicting unimaginable damage and further suffering upon the Somali people. The demise of the repugnant TPLF leadership was a great advantage for the Somalis, no longer subject to threats from this political scavenger.
When it came to another hostile neighbor, Kenya, the President was again forced to confront the illegal obtainment of Somali land and waters. The Somali National Army (SNA) was able to defend the Gedo region from a coordinated invasion by Kenya. Farmaajo is now working hard to win the ICJ case to return Somali territorial waters and the observance of Somali borders. Lastly, he has managed to stop the Kenyan Khat flights that costs Somalia millions of dollars each year and have essentially severed the diplomatic relationship with Kenya due to their repeated interference in Somali affairs.
Opposition Groups and Armed Protesters
The opposition consists of more than a dozen candidates running for the top job. These are the former Presidents, Prime Minister and other leaders--who have failed the nation in their previously elected offices, yet here again to steal the meagre resources of the poor. Of course, knowing that these candidates can’t win the election based on merit or past performance alone; they’ve now resorted to an armed militia protests against the government. They much rather sow chaos and confusion than hold a fair and timely election so progress can resume. However, they ultimately failed in letting their seeds of unrest come to full fruition as the Somali Army disproved the notion that elections can be won through tribalism and nepotism, and like the bandits they are were shamefully chased out of town.
Deni and Madoobe Factor
It’s evident Puntland and Jubaland’s leaders are in cahoots to sabotage the elections; they are representatives of UAE and Kenya. Deni has lost the confidence of his people; the people of Puntland are suffering from inflation due illegally printed paper money. They’ve allowed the sale of strategic ports to wealthy Arab companies for untold, large sums, while Madoobe in Kismayo murders innocent people and violates human rights. True to the ways of a Warlord, where everything has a price, he has sold Jubaland to Kenya. The Government recently crushed the army militia of Madoobe in the Gedo region and defended the territorial integrity of the country.
Re-electing Farmaajo for a Second Term
Giving the President the opportunity to be re-elected for a second time is the most sensible thing, if not ethical thing to do. None of the other candidates are worth casting your vote for as they simply do not possess the integrity and the track record to get things done like Farmaajo, whose record precedes him.
These candidates are not in the business of patriotism or reunification but instead are bent on looting and destroying whatever is left of Somalia’s resources. Therefore, it is President Farmaajo who will surely unite the nation, rebuild the country, and strive for true reconciliation within our society.
Eighty percent of the Somali people already support the President and are willing to give him a second chance–he is the candidate capable of addressing the pressing issues of the day and bringing them to term. Farmaajo, not only has the most realistic chance to win this election but he is the best pick for restoring the credibility of our sovereignty rather than forever being viewed as the prime example of a failed state. Let’s vote for him!
My VOA interview on the day before the President was elected
Ashburn, VA (USA)