Saturday, August 18, 2018
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By Abdi Mohamud (Awabdi)

It sounds strange, unheard of, but it has happened and it is true. Hassan M. Abukar has detailed about the invitation he has received and his subsequent trip to Mogadishu in his recent article on The invitation came from top Somali Government officials who were claiming they wanted to hire Hassan as a speech writer in the Office of the Presidency. Hassan accepted the invitation, trusting the promises of his would-be employer. Then Hassan got ready for the big move to Mogadishu. He stated in the article that he immediately embarked on getting rid of lots of stuff that he had accumulated over a long period of time. His books, furniture and most importantly his business, of which he did not talk about its fate.

Minister Ahmed I Awad,

Hassan did all the preparation for the move in a hurry, because he was not given much time. I would also imagine that he was motivated by patriotism that he wanted to get there and serve his country. However, Hassan never got the job. Instead, he got disappointment and deception. It seems there was no job opportunity or vacancy at all. So you may wonder why the invitation then!.

In pure and simple terms, Hassan was told a lie, deceived and mistreated in a way that is even hard to imagine. And all that lie, deception and mistreatment was planned and executed by top Somali Government officials led by its new  foreign minister, Mr. Ahmed I. Awad. Why did they do this to this decent man? What were they trying to accomplish by deceiving and mistreating him? Had they thought the move was not easy for Hassan financially, psychologically, emotionally? Had they thought that they were disrupting his life and that this disruption would have big impact on him? Had they put a plan in place to ensure everything was taken of so that Hassan would have transitioned into his new life smoothly? There are lots of questions to ask here because the mistreatment of Hassan is unprecedented. It is hard to make sense of this.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Awad and his cohort lack any sense of accountability. One may argue that their behavior suggests that they always get away with their wrongdoings. They lack sensitivity and care. They would do the worst things and behave as if they have done nothing wrong. The way they treated Hassan is a classic example of how they treat every Somali that tries to apply for a government job, get government service or demand from them accountability. Somali citizens get humiliated and mistreated at the hands of government officials and employees every day. When Hassan went to Villa Somalia and was met by the two officials mentioned in his article, see how they behaved.

They pretended that they had known nothing of Hassan’s trip. They asked him what brought him to Mogadishu. Hassan was shocked, humiliated, and totally at a loss. Just imagine you invited someone to your home, then’ the person showed up and knocked your door. You opened and asked the invitee what he/she was looking for. That is exactly how the two officials dealt with Hassan. He was devastated, psychologically and emotionally. Hassan said in the article, “I wondered if I were in a bad dream.” Back in his hotel room, Hassan was trying to make sense of the rude encounter he had had with the two officials in Villa Somalia. He composed himself and contemplated his options at that crucial time. Then he decided to contact the good minister, Mr. Ahmed I. Awad, who had initiated the first phone call that lured Hassan to Villa Somalia.

Hassan sent email to the minister, explaining what had happened at Villa Somalia. He also wanted to know what the minister had to say in regard to the job offer. Hassan waited for hours and days, expecting that the minister would reply to him and come with some solution. No communication from the minister. This was a critical moment, so it was expected that the minister would intervene and take some decisive action. After all, Hassan was in Mogadishu at the minister’s invitation and promise.

The minister failed to show leadership. He just chose to disappear. Now the question arises: if the minister was unable to address relatively small thing like this, would he be effective when stakes are higher? Will he be able to effectively articulate for and defend our country’s interests in the international arena? Can he be trusted? We should be concerned when our leaders perform and behave unsatisfactorily. In regard to Hassan’s case, the actions of both the minister and those in Villa Somalia were unsatisfactory. In fact, they were so disappointing that Hassan decided to make the whole matter public.

Finally, I would like to make it clear that I am not an agent for Hassan. I am not speaking for him. Hassan is a smart, educated man, capable of looking after himself. However, he narrated the humiliation and the mistreatment accorded to him by the minister and his cohort. Hassan shared that with the wider public. It bothered me a lot and I decided to add my voice to his concern.

I also encourage other fellow Somalis to add their voice to this, and to demand accountability from our leaders, because if we do not do that, then it is just business as usual for them. We have to actively choose to be on the side of justice. In all fairness, I believe the minister owes an apology and explanation to Hassan and the Somali public at large.

The apology has to be public because the matter is already public knowledge. And minister, please do not attempt to put on a privacy mask as there is nothing private in this matter.

By Abdi Mohamud (Awabdi)


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