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Puntland; All Talk No

By: Safi Abdi
March 13, 2012

Faroole, Jan. 2009
Abdirahman Faroole (Jan. 2009)
January 8, 2009 was an extraordinary day for Puntland and so it was for mudane Abdirahman Mohamed Farole. After years of a downward spiral, a change of direction became inevitable and that was the day our people ushered in Abdirahman Farole as Puntland’s fourth President.

To judge for yourself my dear readers just how excited we Puntlanders were on that day let me please draw your attention to a short article that I posted on this very site, WardheerNews.

To be fair, what our new President inherited January 8, 2009 was not a Puntland that was intact nor was it a functioning state by any sense of the word.Rather it was a leftover of sorts and our new President’s primary assignment was to pick up the remaining pieces…And bring back home the stolen goods…Not the best of legacies, you’ll agree, but that was a legacy our President came into freely and without coercion. In other words, our President knew exactly what he was getting into. It was our understanding that anyone who moved into this house was coming in first and foremost as a humble servant of people. What Puntland needed then (and still needs) was a statesman of high caliber who knew exactly what his job demanded of him. And so we took the Dr. at his own words when he said, I am the one, trust me, I can do it. So we trusted in him and gave him the keys to the family home and granted him all the time he needed to make good on his promises.

Contrary to our expectations, our President has yet to display any of the qualities that you would expect from a true leader of authority and wisdom. Instead his Excellency has mutated into alamb, soft and timid, in the face of the very excesses he was supposed to challenge, while yet roaring like a lion against his own people,  the very constituency that brought him into office.

Because we kept quiet when our President broke his promise and kept quiet when he thrashed Sool Sanag and Cayn our President has forgotten that we exist. Those of you who think Khaatumo State was made in Taleex, think again.

If we may ask our President, other than stabbing our displaced people in the back, the very people that made Puntland possible in the first place. What has he ever done for Sool Sanag and Cayn? The weeks and the months and years we called him our President what good did the Garowe administration do for SSC loyalty?

And since he hasn’t done anything, for how long did our President expect the people to endure the indignity, the killings, the curfews, the hostility and the open ended prison terms, meted out on a regular basis by none other than his antagonistic counterparts in Hargeisa?

And if we may ask, what does our President know about the innocent people who are decaying in Somaliland prisons as we speak?

I ask you the reader and I am asking the President and those subordinates of his, what do they know about the pregnant women and the children that were abducted by Somaliland army from their homes? And what does this Admin in Garowe know about the men who were incarcerated for 18 long months without charge in their own hometown?

And how does it feel to be a relative of a prisoner who from lack of justice expired in his own cell? Does anyone know this prisoner’s name? Has anyone seen his damaged body? How many of us hadfollowed his lonely funeral?

Tell us what does our President know about this ‘Puntland’ that he so flimsily tosses at the Media? A ‘Puntland’ left to the mercy of Somaliland oppression? What has our President done to earn SSC love or respect for that matter? You’ll have to agree, nothing.

Now since our President knows nothing about the sufferings and the tyranny that’s the daily bread of our once proud people of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn, what  right does he have on belting them in the media the sons and daughters of Khaatumo State?

And how is our President any different from Silanyo, a man whose life’s mission has become the dismemberment and displacements of a whole population of men, women and children? Children and women whose only fault is that they want to be masters of their own God-given land? Since when has it become a crime to be master of your own fate?

Alas, Puntlanders are big talkers, but fall short in the face of oppression.That’s exactly what Somalis did with Somalia. Silence against oppression is not the answer to our condition. The believer is commanded to speak loud at the first whiff of oppression.

But by running away from our obligations, we’ve sent our President astray. The way Somalis did with Siyad Barre, they kept quiet, they fled from their rights, and because of their negligence they sent not only the Somali President astray, but sent the whole of their homeland astray.

So I call upon all those in whose name our President came to office not to give up their rights so easily. The land is theirs, the people are theirs. What we can’t achieve in unity we can’t achieve in disunity. If disunity has any beauty Somalia wouldn’t have been in the way it is today.

Somalilnd, Puntland
So I hereby say loud and clear that our President is a single person, he does not represent me, he represents himself and himself alone. Perhaps not as perfect as we would have it, but Puntland was already there when Farole walked into office. And Farole came to this position to serve all the people that voted for him, not vice versa.

Puntland is not a family business; people need to understand this. A new election date is coming upon us we want Puntlanders to become vigilant. And there’s a huge difference between violence and vigilance.  We want Puntlanders to know where they’re being led. We want them to have a say in how they are governed. We want them to demand justice. We want them to hold accountable their leaders, and this without brainlessness or violence. We want them to voice their wishes. We want them to have dreams and vision for their people, not only in Puntland but in all of Somalia. We want them to respect their land and dignity. We want them to extend their hands and love and friendship to all Somalis.

And last, but not least, my advice to Khaatumo State, beware of emotions; we all know where that had landed a senior citizen who was once respected and admired: right at the bottom of the human hierarchy. We know who he is, his masters have found an apt label for him: Information Minister.

We also want you to know that we in Puntland we love you. Khaatumo State is Puntland. And Puntland is Khaatumo State. Puntland is therefore your strength, Puntland is your homeland, Puntland is your sanctuary. In Puntland you are not a second class citizen. In Puntland you are not a minority. In Puntland you are Puntland. Garowe does not belong to Farole. Farole is a single entity and he is dispensable. He has had his attempt at the helm, he did do some good things but he also did plenty of slip-ups. So we say to him, thank you for all the good things. But Khaatumo State is not dispensable.

So we Puntlanders are saying to each and every Somali leader as much as we are saying to Farole and each and every one of his ineffective subordinates in Garowe:

For once in your life, be a real man; for once in your life, put your nation and people before yourself; for once in your life, give priority to the common good. And for once in your life, ponder the state of your own soul on the Day of Accountability before assuming other people’s burdens.

And all success is with Allah the Most High..

Safi Abdi
Email: aifas32@gmail.com


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