November 07,2009 (SomalilandPress)-The Somali people are once again learning the crucial lessons of nationhood the hardest way. One such cardinal lesson is never to leave matters of one’s society to others alone but to engage. The only way people can protect what belongs to them, enhance collective wellbeing and further their common interests is to engage in the affairs of their nation.
It was our promise to support the Transitional Government when it is doing something right and speak up when it is doing wrong. Because of its bumbling we visit again the issue of the transfer of swathes of Somalia’s sea shelf to our neighbour.
It was the disgust felt by the Somali people which made the Transitional Parliament to act and put a stop to the transfer of our sea shelf by overwhelmingly voting against the deal. However, we witness a fresh spin from the Transitional Government.
According to a video posted on the Internet (Somali websites including Hiiraan) of a meeting between part of the Somali Community in London and the Prime Minister of Somalia Omar Abdirashid in which for the first time he owns up to [as did the President in the past] the transfer of a large part of the nation’s sea shelf.
In this meeting reminiscent of the communist era of whopping and clapping at the sight of officials, we have seen one TG Minister after another answer questions not about any progress made on any front but on the foiled transfer of a large part of the sea shelf to Kenya. Ironical as it is, in the video, the Prime Minister is blaming Kenya and not his own government for the attempted transfer of our sea shelf. Kenya is only looking after her interests as all nations do. Where there is no seller there is no buyer.
The bumbling explanation of the Prime Minister and his Ministers we saw on the video will not bring anything new to the table other than shed more light on the sad state of affairs of the Transitional Government itself. We need to draw a line under this painful episode in which anyone can take advantage of stateless Somalia by putting the record straight. If it was not the disgust felt by many Somalis and the courage of the Transitional Parliament which averted the transfer of Somalia’s sea shelf, now it would have been a different story. There would have been no more a large part of our sea shelf which we owe it to pass on to our future generation. The Transitional Government could have chosen an honest way other than put out spin. For that reason, the Prime Minister could have easily said: ‘this matter is now behind us.’ Nevertheless, he and his Ministers chose to put out unconvincing spin.
Since the fiasco to hastily push through the transfer of swathes of Somalia’s sea shelf, the Transitional Government had taught the Somali people one crucial lesson: to remain vigilant on the affairs of the nation. However, it will not amount to a thing if at a crucial moment of nation-building — Somalia has at the helm individuals who have for values the warped political culture of the past which new Somalia should never be founded upon. There is no point building a system similar to the past fifty years which resulted in failure. Only to selectively bash the past will not bring about a new era if the culture of greed, malfeasance and ignorance becomes part of new Somalia. The TG should be reminded that modern politics is about honesty and integrity.
At least a competent government owns up to its mistake, draws a line under it and moves on. Somalia needs honest and transparent government. The Somali people should not let their guard down. They should remain on their guard until there is a government which earns the trust and worthiness of its people. However, we need to remind ourselves that good governance does not come by itself. It is something sought and guarded by those who wish to cherish its rewards. Nations which have a good system got it through hard work and citizens who engage and whose eyes and ears are wide open. The Somali people should not only expect but fight for a fresh start and a new beginning from the political culture which had resulted Somalia in ruins and at the bottom of all nations.