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Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah - Coast to Coast Candidate
By Mohamed Ali Mousa
October 26, 2007
As the election fever gripped everyone and emotions are getting higher and higher and the competition has already started in a society marked by deep divisions based on tribalism, the lobbying for president and VP has become personal and nasty. The political parties of Somaliland are exploring their candidates and examining their resumes of the political candidates who have shown interest in the election.
In the upcoming election in Somaliland, the fever is more acute in the Kulmiye opposition party, where the presidential and vice presidential tickets are among the most urgent issues. Supporters of various potential candidates have already started polishing their choices and talk about the positive attributes of their men while at same time spreading rumors and false accusation against their perceived adversaries. It is part of the democratic process of our time.
However, we know from past experience that all politicians running for office are not in the same category: their moral character and their commitment to the well being of their constituents and their country for that matter are not the same. Some keep their promises to the public while others will do or say anything to get elected. The questions then become how do we choose the right person for the highest offices in the land. That is where precisely educating the public on the qualifications of the various candidates vying for the top posts in the Kulmiye party presidential and vice presidential slates becomes more important in this election cycle than before.
All indications suggest that the next presidential election in Somaliland will be a defining moment as the new democratic experiment in Somaliland comes to a dangerous crossroads. The stakes couldn’t be any higher; this election will determine whether the democratic process in Somaliland matures into a routine procedure where party politics supersede tribal divisions or country relapses into ethnic fiefdoms like the rest of Somalia where tribalism and politics are synonymous as usual.
Among all the declared and undeclared individuals in the Kulmiye party hierarchy, one debate stands above all other issues discussed among party supporters and that is where Hon. Abdirahman Aw Cali Farah stands in the party.
Hon. Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah is the son of Awdal, a friend of every one who knows him, a helper to every one who needs his support, a savior for Samarone in its darkest days, a warrior who puts his country and its people first. Any one who knows him regardless of his/her political affiliation and clan will agree with on those descriptions. Abdirahman is a seasoned military and political adventurer. During his days in SNM, he endured a lot of hardships among people who have no sympathy for Gadabursi at the time. He fought for his life and his people in so many occasions in the SNM struggle. He had little support from his people and he survived alone among foes and friends. Abdirahman is among very few Gadabursi people who knows every one from Borama. Abdirahman is a rare commodity in Somaliland and he deserves to be recognized as such.
Abdirahman in Politics:
In politics, Abdirahman is in Kulmiye. Kulmiye is a political party like any other party in Somaliland and each one of us has the right to choose the political party of his/her choice. Without any sensitivity, we have to respect each other in the choices we make. Abdirahman is one of the leaders who created Somaliland and its political structure of today. The political parties of today’s Somaliland have not come from the thin air. People have fought and sacrificed for their lives for the sake of the peace the people of Somaliland are enjoying today.
He is one of those people who is suffering and enduring the hardships of the past and present struggle. Abdirahman is a uniter not a divider. He has been busy in uniting the Somalilanders since the start of the struggle for Somaliland. He is respected by the MAJORITY of Somalilanders for his role in the struggle for Somaliland and in the establishment of the Somaliland political and governmental institutions.
He is a seasoned politician and enjoys dealing with friends and foes. He fights for Somaliland to remain independent and he believes in the struggle ahead of Somalilanders. He is a fighter for his rights and the rights of his people. His leadership has been tested as a military leader and VP. He saved Somaliland from civil war among some Isak clans when we needed peace the most. These traits can be witnessed by the MAJORITY of Somalilanders. Abdirahman is man of principle who dislikes those who lack reasonableness and who are self-interested and whose deliberations is logically flawed.
Abdirahman and the coming election:
Somaliland is in the election mode and the political parties are in full swing of the election campaign. The parties are competing for the majority and each one is trying to win in the coming election. Among the big posts are the Presidential and VP posts. The parties are aligning their candidates for the election. Awdal people are busy choosing candidates for the presidency and the VP and thinking of who to support. Awdal people are in critical period in the Somaliland politics and in global Somalia. They have to discuss and evaluate their present and future interests and know the kind of candidates who could benefit Awdal most and defend its’ welfare and safety.
The competing Awdal clans must and should know where the general interest lies and test and examine the candidates who represent not a particular clan but Awdal as a whole. The people Awdal wants to elect will be representing Awdal people in local communities, regional, and national level. The saying: “You crawl before you walk” is very true in politics and decision making. Some one cannot be a politician unless tested through a wide range of experiences. Electing someone is not just sending him/her to earn one’s living. It is more complicated than that.
Abdirahaman has all the characteristics of a politician. He has already tested the waters and knows his shortcomings and successes. Some people criticize him for his shortcomings but know that he has the capacity and ability to win and to lead. He has big dreams for Awdal and Somaliland in general. He is loved and respected by the majority of people in Somaliland and if he goes for election, there will be a large percent of Somalilanders in every local community, region, and National Level who will be very happy to vote for him. Abdirahaman has the resume, credentials, charisma, and vast experience of a candidate.
Abdirahman and Kulmiye:
Abdirahman and his colleagues fought together for a common goal: to get rid off a dictator and seek for Somaliland independence. They partially succeeded and Somaliland has been in peace since then. However, the unity of Somalilanders is at stake because of the behavior of certain people in all the three political parties. They are heading to where the dictator destroyed Somalia: DIVIDE AND RULE.
Kulmiye has about to destroy itself from within and has become a divided party. Instead of uniting the parts constituents, it plans to sideline some of the old comrades, including some of those who fought hard for Somaliland to be where it is today. It underestimates the weight of certain members. The party has succeeded to splinter the Awdal people and made them to compete for a vice president in the thin air for which some of the Isak clans within the party want it seriously. Their argument about Abdirahman is that he is cut from a tree ( Tolaawe ) and has no where to fall back to. This assumption is false and misleading. If Kulmiye thinks that without Abdirahman, the party can succeed in the coming election, it is sure that those who give this advice are working for the destruction of the party and see themselves in the ditch.
The challenge of Kulmiye Party is to focus on the most important issues of this time: the fight against the Party’s destruction. The party is under scrutiny and its actions are watched by all people who care for Somaliland and its’ struggle for sovereignty. The activities going on inside the party are on the contrary of its’vision: Unity of Somaliland. Sillanyo wants to sideline his deputy, his friend, and supporter in the past and present struggle and lacks the right judgment and reasonableness in order to avoid his downfall, the party’s failure in the elections, and the elimination of the party in the political arena.
He has to look forward and should not listen to the self-interested and tribal-minded elders who cannot survive in a peaceful society. Some of our elders are evil and they create problems among clans so that they earn their living on the expenses of our society. They create problems every day and every minute under the cover of negotiation, integrity, and loyalty to their clans. Sillanyo and his advisors should not fall into the trap created by those evil people who believe in DIVIDE AND RULE POLICY and should stand beside those individuals who stood beside him through thick and thin, such as Abdirahman and his likes in the party.
Abdirahman and Awdal:
Of course Abdirahman is the son of Awdal and by all means deserves to be respected as such. Some people in Awdal argue that he led SNM forces into Awdal and conspired against them. That is far from the history of events and his activities in the SNM. He put himself in very dangerous situations within the SNM command for the sake of the safety of his people. In certain circumstances, his colleagues suspected him of being dishonest but he kept on going and considering the safety of his people, he defied all odds and endured insults from his SNM colleagues. In many times, with the consent of his comrades, he sneaked into Borama to consult with the elders and to warn them either to defend themselves or be part of the movement and fight to liberate Awdal from the remnants of the dictator’s army which were still in control in Borama. However, no one heeded his advice and eventually the lack of acceptance lead to the fall of Borama by SNM forces. Today, most of the people in Awdal, except a minority of the people, understand the truth of the events and give the credit to Abdirahman.
In conclusion, Abdirahman is a man of word, trust, experience, a person to be reckoned with. As all other candidates, he is expecting support from his clan first and secondly from all other Somalilanders who believe in the occurrences of events in the past, present, and future struggles.
By Mohamed Ali Mousa
Ottawa , Canada