by Abdisalam Garjeex
May 15, 2022, became a day that would go down in infamy and as a supreme disgrace through our failure by electing Hassan Sheikh as Somalia’s second president. I was in Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia at the time, following the Presidential election proceedings in my hotel room. I realized former President Farmaajo would ultimately lose after only gaining 61 votes for the 1st round. What was the point of waiting for the final call, when it was abundantly clear that all hope was lost and here now would commence the regression from all the milestones and progress we made as a sovereign state?
As former President, Hassan is a man who doesn’t need an introduction nor should enjoy the benefit of the doubt usually conferred to newly elected officials. Simply put, his reputation precedes him – his bad leadership, misappropriation of public funds, misuse of public property, and tribal mindedness.
Why was Farmaajo not re-elected? Due to a Parliament and MPs Rotten to Their Core
Farmaajo has touched the hearts of millions of Somalis; that’s why he was called “Xabiib Al Malaayin,” the darling of millions. The opposition group rejected the one man one vote simply because they knew in this manner he would simply win. Therefore, they opted for a selection method in which they could corrupt MPs and other key players by bribing them. It was corruption that was so plainly conducted that it’s shameful what transpired could even be called an election. The two biggest corrupters were Deni and Hassan and that makes Hassan Sheik an illegitimate President. We have entered an era of darkness and uncertainty; the existence and nationhood of our country are in great danger.
Hassan Sheikh’s Concept of Governance
1. The new President’s objective is to enrich himself, his family and his cronies; he has no sense of shame; he will loot whatever comes on his way, be it a public land or international aid or money in the Bank.
2. He believes that his clan should enjoy all the spoils of the civil war since it was them who overthrew the Siyaad Barre’s Regime in 1991 and not received the chance to relish it.
3. He will turn Villa Somalia into Villa Wardhiigley and will employ individuals for important positions from close relatives and in-laws. You will soon see the traditional dance “Shirib” played in the Presidential palace and Government offices.
4. Hassan will use the Somali National Army as clan militia—Salaries will not be provided to the army and civil servants; the SNA will likely disintegrate, and the country will be at the mercy of mercenaries and neighboring countries, territorial sea waters will be transgressed, and our fishing resources will be depleted.
5. He doesn’t understand that we’re a sovereign nation and he will be servile to other foreign nationals and this will diminish the dignity of the Somali people.
Can the Somali Federal System Survive under Four Years of President Hassan?
No doubt that some regional states will drift away from the Federal System such as Puntland, Jubbaland, and the Southwest for reasons obvious to all of us—sharing federal resources and benefits that will not be equitably distributed. All wealth will be concentrated in Mogadishu and the whole country will be dealt with like a city-state called Mogadishu.
The economic and financial improvement and transparency achieved during former President Farmaajo will end – looting of the Treasury and misappropriation of the Central Bank will be the main theme. Given the above events likely to occur soon this will naturally lead to loan forgiveness programs from the IMF and World Bank being rescinded and further international aid dwindling to negligible levels, incapable of supporting services.
Will Mogadishu remain the Capital City of Somalia?
I have a great doubt that Mogadishu will remain a capital city in the real sense while Hassan is under the helm of the presidency. In reality, Mogadishu is not the Mogadishu we knew in the 60s and 70s, the cosmopolitan city that offered something to everyone whether you were fresh off the boat or born and bred in Xamar.
I see Mogadishu growing with tall buildings and hotels, but with no infrastructure and services. the original inhabitants were removed and properties seized illegally. It will be a Mogadishu that belongs to the few rich and those who have built their wealth through ill-gotten means like illegal construction of apartments and hotels and pushing the original inhabitants of Mogadishu to live in a different reality. One where they can’t afford even a night’s stay at these new hotels, let alone rent in flat/property. How then will the people in Mogadishu be able to make ends meet?
The Somali National Army Should Intervene: General Odawaa Is Our Only Hope
During the past five years, the Somali Army has been re-built and now are trained and capable of saving the country from both foreign enemies and those within. General Odawaa and his army don’t have allegiance to a clan but to the country and in a moment like this, they should take over the country and remove President Hassan before he inflicts irreparable damages to the people and country. The army should set up an interim government for the next two years until Alshabaab is eliminated and fair and free elections can be supported and held.
You may find me to be exaggerating and impartial and that things cannot grow so bad under a Hassan presidency but it’s truly a genuine fear and terror that awakens me from my sleep in a cold sweat at night.
Whatever happens, I hope Somalia remains resilient and strong as she navigates these dark and uncertain times.
Ashburn – Virginia USA