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Political Leadership Failures & Deficiencies

Issue 293
Front Page
Index
Headlines

The Pride & City of Mayor Jiir

Somalia suspends flights to Somaliland

Somaliland Overhaul Ministry Foreign Affairs

Ethiopia Troops Will Not Deploy In Somaliland: Ambassador

French Judges Politicizing Death Probe-Djibouti

Opinions Mixed As Reconciliation Conference Winds Up

U.S provide funds to improve social services in

Norway Slashes Development Aid to Ethiopia

The Dangerous Smell Of Crude Oil That May Ignite A New Civil War In Somalia

Somalia: Heavy Fighting Erupts Overnight in Capital

Regional Affairs

Summons in Djibouti death probe

Somalia Opposition Conference Delayed - Diplomats

Editorial
Special Report

International News

A man alone: The twilight of the Bush presidency

IAEA confirms the "peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities"

Public Debate in Kuwait Following Switch to Friday-Saturday Weekend

Farah battles for recognition beyond the comfort zone of Europe

Briefing: Ban Ki-moon tackles crisis in Darfur

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Kosovo prepares unilateral independence declaration

Ethiopia 'blocking MSF in Ogaden'

Bin Laden Firm Aims To Build Whole Cities

Friendly Fire

Whose Genocide Will It Be?

ETHIOPIA : EMERGENCY AID MUST REACH ITS INTENDED BENEFICIARIES IN THE OGADEN

Somalia: Kenyan Embassy Re-Opened

Food for thought

Opinions

Clan-Politics Induced Toxicity In Somaliland Sports

Political Leadership Failures & Deficiencies

Somaliland Democracy vs. An Era Of Dictatorship On The Horizon

ETHIOPIAN – SOMALILAND RELATION

Open Letter To Dahir Rayale: Let’s Do In Somalia What The UN Could Not Do

Democracy and Judicial Independence

Arrest of vicious politicians: The immorality of ignorant power

The internationally approved Sub-clan cleansing/genocide in Moqadisho/Somalia


By
Hassan A. Mohamud

Congratulations are in order for all those who contributed in any way, shape, or form to this struggle of fighting the dark forces of anarchy. With pride, determination, and God's will, we shall survive from the unleashed political Tsunami that brought the country on the brink of disaster. Though I had faith in our ability to pull out of this, yet from afar and for a while the picture looked bleak to many of our expatriates here abroad. But with enduring public patience and diligent performance of a few patriotic Somalilanders, we are prudently bound to beat the odds and stabilize the situation back to normal. That itself speaks in volumes about our traditional resilience to meet any confronting challenges headlong. Through the selfless sacrifice and credit of a few good Samaritans, we have remarkably survived from Rayale’s “round-them-up” nefarious political campaigns to derail nationhood off the cliff. Once again, political leadership failures and deficiencies pose the greatest danger to our political system.

Though the social, economical, and political stakes of this sustained crisis is very high, yet the embattled president steadily refused to defuse or attend to the simmering dispute. This led many to call for impeachment and even accused him of treason. As lodged complaints or exerted pressures on the government bore no immediate fruits, most communities were left with no other choice but to device contingency plans to act on their own if need be. Bitterly disappointed with the administration’s consummate arrogance and partisan bullying or perhaps incensed with their callous indifference, citizens have seriously taken the matter into their hands. This debilitating controversy which consumed the nation indicates, if anything, a political system out of norm and style with its untenable approach on vital issues of national importance. Along the same tracks, it is a system set on a deadly collision course against the very population it supposed to serve their interest or protect their well-being. Such pernicious political system or behavior rather reduces voters into innocent victims of their own choice or blame. Whatever challenge this crisis fetched to president Rayale’s administration, he botched it in the worst fashion one could ever fathom. It is a disturbing case that snatched much attention in highlighting that such concepts like good governance, executive accountability, and the rule of the law aren’t taken seriously by national leaders.

For reasons yet to be revealed, the President has, either on his own or perhaps on the behest of others, deliberately embarked on a mission to politically destabilize Somaliland and ruin our lives all with the stoke of dirty politics he played on us. Amazingly, we seem to be equally gifted at evading the truth as much as we are at dodging live bullets. Apart from heaping blame on Rayale and his entrenched criminal enterprise, it will be disingenuous of us not to lay the blame at the doorsteps of where else it belongs. Thus far, we successfully avoided asking ourselves the million dollar question of who among us, besides Rayale, is responsible precipitating the present turmoil? It is generally whispered that the current state of affairs came about through an interplay of conspiracy, complicity, and betrayal. Though this is a frightening fact, it didn't surprise many of us. After all, it is no secret that Rayale clenched the nomination in an engineered political coup led by many of our own present leaders. If they haven't overtly supplemented his campaign to reign with deliberate actions of their own, they must have tacitly supported it through dreadful omissions. Otherwise the scheme would have never materialized in the first place. Either way, their soiled fingerprints shows up all over it. There is ample evidence to believe these are well-founded charges that can not be glossed over. I need not add that no lucid explanations of any kind or length can inoculate these venal politicians against these treacherous charges. Now, for some unknown reason, they departed ways to take opposite sides as though they have been forever sworn enemies. It is an intricate and distorted logic beyond me to grasp. For the little I know of the levied charges, it underlines the public's disgust with them all. However, the unrelenting saga and suspense is destined to continue until death does do them apart. Ironically, the idiocy of all this is that the implicated personalities and profiteers haven’t been yet disowned. They are still actively posing as community leaders. By and large, we seem to be living on their terms. For peace or war, the entire population is literally being held hostage by them. for a brutal world, it is all a high-stakes poker game to a lunatic fringe group whose sterilized senses and colored outlook turn a deaf ear to a society screaming with pain because they were expendably exploited, time and again, like a cheap whore. Where is the justice? What blurred our vision of distinguishing the right from the wrong? Could it be that the times has taken a whipping toll on eroding our cultural values to the point of moral confusion and social decay. You figure it.

By definition, politics is said to be a dirty and deadly game of which some players win and others lose. And by all means president Rayale intends to outlast his ardent enemy Mr. Ahmed Mohamed (Silanyo) of Kulmiye party. Thus any shrewd or serious contender could not be more right assuming that neither the law nor other moral inhibitions or religious believes of any kind could restrain the president from resorting to whatever means accessible to him to exact vengeance against political opponents who question the legitimacy of his rule. One has to be ready dealing with the “Diablo”. Anything less is tantamount to playing right into his hands and begging for mercy. One definite outcome of casting such fear of retribution on the political landscape is that it tends to muzzle the voice and process of democracy and freedom of expression. Still another lasting impact on the political system is that it corrupts, forcing the system to lean toward more monopolistic or authoritarian one. Surely, such political behavior not only impedes democracy to flourish but as well denies the vast majority of the population a precious chance to live in freedom and democracy, no matter how briefly, during their lifetime.

A major part of the problems plaguing Somaliland is attributable to leadership ineptitude and irrelevant policies of little or no substance to leave any mark on its intended targets. Such incompetence and poor performance further compounded whatever problems we faced and kept the nation captive to president Rayale’s trivialities which bore little relevance to the people’s real lives. Reckless, vague, and unpopular policy initiatives which are neither based on broad and familiar concepts of governance nor backed by specific studies convey a frightening message of lack of vision to lead. This lethal failure is the root cause of all our political misfortunes. The fragility of the present tranquil state is real. It can fall apart any minute. It is illusionary to the extent that it is not actually peace but a temporary truce in a suspended state of affairs. The chance should have been taken advantage of to build on a permanent peace and harmony while it still lasted. Unfortunately, Rayale is shamelessly consumed on predatory policies of marginal political value while opting to ignore dealing with the most pressing national issues that require immediate attention or action to resolve them.

Weary of civil wars that bred a climate of violence, many in the public felt utterly disgusted with both players on both sides of the aisle. They are outraged with the capricious behavior of fostering ill-will between an innocent population and sustaining a measured doze of hostility and bitterness that left this young nation the most disfranchised one. The general public rightfully refused to come to the rescue of either party in a wish to remain indifferent of any power struggle between these forces of evil. In doing so, on their own, citizens eventually took a prudent stand under a difficult situation. They could not see any other way out of the mess. More or less, it is the case of the two conmen who parted ways because the loot is too small to share. Unfortunately, rather coming up with an acceptable formula that could bridge their greed, each party tend to be busy at devising his or her own sinister scheme to eliminate the other. Such mind-set brings forth a vicious cycle of permeable vengeance and political savagery between two formidable foes. These engaged enemies and their destructive activities have caught the public in the middle.

All Political leaders & public officials must be held accountable

The disgruntled public's disappointment with their leadership is epidemic and must be seriously addressed. It is a problem that solemnly requires an urgent fixing. A collective silence by itself is an acute failure to speak out of painful issues plaguing our community. This further exasperates any existing frustration with current political leaders. Faced with this reality, let us dare discuss our leadership shortcomings and as well revisit the issue of any binding obligations inherent in the contractual relationship between the people and its leadership. Perhaps embarking on a genuine self-evaluation by taking inventory of and cataloguing who is who among our leadership, their performance, allegiance, or where they stand on issues confronting us is in essence what should have been focused long time ago. both from the local and national level, the indelible perception is that they are utterly absorbed in only caring for themselves, are aloof with resounding apathy, and are out of touch with the people they supposedly represent, or so it appears. Most importantly, their misplaced loyalty and rigging practices, an object of severe ridicule and out of sync with the times, defeats the whole purpose of the basic tenets of their social contract with the people. Thus, leaders, who have most to loose in this struggle, should bear the onus of exonerating themselves by quickly moving to quell such troubling and deep-seated sentiments. This requires tremendous effort and energy to convince the skeptics to restore voter's faith and trust. Leaders, be they politicians, tribal chiefs and sultans, or prominent wealthy figures, need to be held accountable for their actions. They should never have a free ride deciding crucial issues solo without consulting with their constituents or considering their valued input. Their actions and behavior merits constant scrutiny and must be closely monitored until such time they each earn the trust and confidence of the people they represent. They have to connect with their communities who starve to be listened to and deserve to be served better. Leaders must pledge to do a better job than they have shown so far.

Unlike other societies, our community's reputable weakness, as noted even by outside casual observers, is the absence of pro-active and engaged leadership. The leadership vacuum is self-evident. I am sure that this very statement will not sit well with many fellow brothers. Though not borne by the facts, I wouldn't pretend that this writing can not be taken out of context to make it appear as an attempt to provoke division and domestic bickering within our ranks. Nothing will incense me more than twisting around my basic intent to admonish the leadership for their past failures and as well raise the issue of why appropriate deterrent measures were undeservedly overlooked to avert any tragedies of this magnitude. But let me stress that there is nothing to gain in undermining whatever good is going for us. It gives me no physical or spiritual satisfaction to stoop so low and allow myself engage in any vicious activities. It serves no logical purpose at all. It only stands to reason that one must wisely and courageously confront his demons sooner than latter. This must be done because “charity begins at home ". As much as I realize the shortsightedness of some detractors claiming that this could be an ill-timed critique which should have been aborted if not slated for another time, it wouldn't dampen my spirits or force me skittishly shrink away from it. I am convinced that the sooner we honestly and congenially examine ourselves without trading insults or accusations and the sooner we clean our house before pointing fingers at others, the better off we are. That includes weeding out the uncaring leadership in our midst. I mean those who eke a living out of betraying and preying on those who trusted them the most. But even if they fail to face the firing squad for their impeachable actions, I take consolation in the fact that in judgment day though, they can't escape the rigorous scrutiny of their maker (God). Fortunately, they can't lie about it either.

An overwhelming disdain for politicians and traditional community leaders of all levels saliently echoes everywhere. Nothing provides more ammunition to this unsettling image more so than their condescending attitude and scathing behavior. It has never been grimmer for their sullied reputation. They stand on a shaky ground for multiple reasons. For one, annoyed by alienation and poor performance by their political leaders, a majority of the public become convinced that these political imposters are incapable of representing them or serving their interests. As a result, public attention has lately been transfixed on how to deal with their dereliction of basic duties and showcased procrastination. The public is no festive mood to be taken lightly or ignored any longer. For the first time, they seriously want to circumvent their leader's excess usurpations and insidious recalcitrance. Secondly, for some phenomenal reason, leaders either won't or are incapable to remain faithful to their constituents. There is nothing more offensive, socially or religiously, than being betrayed or taken advantage of by the same ones you trusted. Basically, their anointed purpose was simply to be their brother's keeper. That pretty much defines their role and what is expected of them.

Overall, an entrenched culture of collusion, collaboration, and camouflaged allegiance is much revered and deeply ingrained in present political leadership. Running more like saboteurs, politicians are motivated by vested personal interests that directly conflict with national agendas. With much sterilized senses and reluctance to perform their basic duties, many are more driven by partisan bickering and professional jealousy among themselves. They are most devoted to circumventing the law in a blazing challenge to violate all that is prohibited from them by law. With such shunned behavior and much disrespect toward voters, they tend to be nothing but a bunch of malcontents in our midst. Politicians remain on the top of “the most despised” group list in the society. Their ailing relationship with the governed or derisive attitude toward the people should serve us as a useful reminder of what went wrong in former Somalia. More often than not, politicians routinely disavow owed loyalty to those who choose to honor putting them in office. They thrive on chipping away our dignity and honor with a subversive behavior of undermining our national interests and selling it to the highest bidders. It is mostly done out of a sheer selfish gain and personal greed. Hence, it might be a mere wishful thinking to expect them carry out their basic duties and functions in accordance with the spirit and as defined by existing national laws.

Most frustrations with the leadership are more or less a symptom of their chronic and longtime neglect to look out for their constituents. This is the crux of the problem. It is a source of a juicy friction that nurtures soaring grassroots hostility toward authorities and public officials for their heartless exploitations of people who traditionally suffered long enough and has been through hard times. Perhaps the faltering relationship wasn't meant to be contaminated and strained this way. Unless some kind of a watchdog panel is formed to rehabilitate deviations and oversee putting things back on track, it is not worth envisioning a passing of the torch from the present cadre to younger generations to cultivate or mentor them for future leadership roles. In the meantime, the fallout presents us an ominous trend that undermines enthusiasm for public service to attract new blood and fresh prospective.

Leaders, rather stubbornly deflecting criticism, either have to shift gears to comprehensively audit themselves and voluntarily reform their antiquated practices of developing a callous disregard for their people's crying wishes for a decent leadership or else give up the privilege of serving. Anything short of that is hypocrisy in its purest form. It strikes me as the epitome of their repugnancy that they intend to have it both ways by retaining the privilege and pleasure to serve and yet insist on doing nothing to earn it. Though none will admit to any wrongdoing, it is morally wrong and unacceptable. But the days of escaping scrutiny and accountability are over. They have to come clean or be ushered through out the door. The public had it enough in being lenient with them too long. With ever-declining number of admirers on their side, they represent a residue of the past that needs to be rinsed away. This is not a campaign to demonize leadership or slander politicians. It is about a lack of commitment and devotion to their civic duties. It is a fight to right a wrong and it is rooted on ethics, morality, and a desire to do the right thing for a change. Turning the tables on leaders for abdicating their delegated responsibilities or bereaving voters of their right to be adequately served is what it is all about. It doesn't sound asking too much if they are reminded once in a while that tending to public's affairs must take precedence over taking care of their vested interests. If they are unable to be counted on or, at minimum, can't keep the balance between the two chores, the next best thing, under the circumstance, is bailing out of the business of representation - "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".

Who are they to tell they know what is best for the their people when they haven't been around long enough, at any given season, to eat, chat, or sleep side by side with their constituents in their difficult times. what makes them especially qualified to preach to anybody about anything if they rather comfortably hide in the Capital to live the hedonistic lifestyle or leisurely cruise around Europe and Middle East, all the while serenading themselves as the guardian angles of their respective lineages - a ritual drill they hardly miss - than to live, rain or shine, amongst their deprived followers to share with them whatever triumph or tragedy they are going through. Having deserted their kinsmen in their hour of need, they certainly forfeited their borrowed privilege to legitimately speak on any issue on their behalf.

Conclusion

Amid all the fury about the leadership, I am in no way aiming to broadly berate them or malign the reputation of the few good, caring, and responsible ones whose names I am unable to furnish them here. I have no quarrel with the latter. They will draw nothing but a blazing praise from me and my lot. However, if my blazing words could snuff out lives or emotionally torment more of any conscious souls, it is largely intended for the corrupt, rogue, and phony elements. Be that it may, it is not a question of engaging in a bashing frenzy or unfairly turning on them. It is a matter of pinching them to coerce them come out of the treacherous behavior they barricaded their soul behind in letting all of us down.

All things considered, it is safe to say that both current and past political leaders have done a quantum number of serious mistakes. In an honest turnabout, the best they can do hereon is, though I have my own misgivings, to review their past political behavior and learn from their mistakes. They need to listen to the silent cries of their people and be more involved and responsive to their yearnings. Symbolically, embracing change and adjusting their perverse attitude of assuming the role of superiors not servants of the people will be a good starting point to improve their standing with the public. It is the only way to rescue their profession and as well compensate the public or undo their damage. They are their brother's keeper and it is time they act like one.

hssnmohamud@yahoo.com

 


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