Have you been somewhere in Somalia in the night of February 8th, 2017?! Certainly if you were, you must have had engaged in one of those street celebrations with those jubilant young, old, men, women and kids who came out to those streets endorsing the then president-elect of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
Almost in every Somali city on that day, endorsement protests were carried out by all the categories which make up the Somali community. A plethora of cities including all the Southern ones, plus some of which are controlled by the Secessionist autonomous state of Somaliland; Las-Anod and Burao had also celebrated. An intriguing question about the matter would be; “How did the president receive that much publicity and acceptability among the citizens of a war ravaged country whose people were in constant despair, dismay and poverty and are largely divided?
Probably it was the diligent work and the ambitious reforms he’s done while he was the prime minster of President Shiekh Sharif’s tenure at villa Somalia. The political spurs he had with the president and external involvements that later forced him leave the office might be considered as the strongest and the most plausible argument that bequeathed him the popularity.
But then here comes the bitter fact; “Who had once done a remarkable achievement is not destined to do so all the time”, and these latter phrases are the very embodiment of Farmajo and his current day’s status quo. His administration’s terrible fiasco in most of the many burdens they’ve inherited from their predecessors is what has quite tarnished his image and contributed to the vast reduction of his publicity. His administration’s hostile “YOU’RE EITHER WITH ME OR AGAINST ME” approach when dealing with his political opponents and the member states has vastly contributed to the political instability of the country.
Here’s a brief outline of the blunders his administration has so far perpetrated;
- The president has surrounded himself with flatterers: when you measure and take a deep look into this administration, you’ll immediately realise that they practice autocratic style, and that there is no chance for someone who thinks differently to survive and keep operating without been thrown out of the loop. The likes of Juxa and Mariam Qasim have either been suspended or left their ministerial positions; only for disagreeing in some fronts with either the president or his aggressive tenacious Prime-minister, or suggesting new ways of governing. Few weeks ago, there has been a rumour saying that a top member of the presidency’s communication staff was fired from his job for just posting a picture with JubbaLand’s leader Ahmed Madobe, and for wishing Mr.Madobe the triumph in the state’s election which later Madobe won.
- Dismantling the Federal system: this administration has made dismembering, weakening and succumbing the federal states a mission of a high paramount. Due to the enormous pressure and the aggressive attitude of the federal government towards them, the federal states in many times halted or temporarily suspended their co-operation with the central government; which has often resulted in prolonging the country’s political instability and endangered the fledgling governance. History has it that whenever there’s a tiff between the federal government and the member states and the country enters a state of political instability, Al-shabab doubled their raids and efforts to massacre and shed the blood of more & more of the Somali society. At the end, it turns out that Farmajo and Kheire despise federalism and would favour the republic style; a style which led Somalia to a disastrous bloody civil war, and adapting the federalism would be very much prudent.
- Rotten failure in the country’s security: if there is a front this administration can’t brag about, failure in securing the country would undoubtedly pop up in everyone’s mind, as it seems that the government is helpless and their passive techniques to eradicate terrorism is clearly unworkable. The HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH published on June 19 2018 a report stating that the number of civilian casualties were “982” by October, over half from Al-Shabab attacks. Carrying on with their ineffective stratagem will only worsen the country’s instability, though it seems that there are no signs the president and the PM are willing to alter their current way of dealing with the “Al-Shabab ordeal”.
- Meddling in the member state’s elections; this administration has put all the efforts it could get to interfere the member state’s elections and tried their best to get local politicians who are very loyal to Villa Somalia and they were successful to do so in South-West with the support of Ethiopian troops, but they’ve failed in repeating the same process in Puntland, and in JubbaLand lately. In Galmudug; there is a tense discord between the government and the Ahlu-Sunna religious group in the subject of building a new administration and as it stands, Nabad&Nolol will for sure meddle in the state’s upcoming election and may succeed in making a yes-man of theirs the state’s president.
Given the little time left for his mandate, it would be sober for Farmajo and his administration to focus on strengthening the state-building process and prioritise helping cohere the country not dismantle it, and pave the way for an encompassed democratic governance.
Osman Aidarus is an Architecture alumni at Gelişim University in Istanbul;Turkey