Being the most popular politician among presidential candidates at the time helped him get elected in 2016/2017 elections. Today things are different, and people are arguing about his presidential departure and post office life. For the last twenty years, Somalia has had elections every four years and the country has been enjoying less election confrontations and peaceful transfer of power.
This enabled ordinary citizens to pay less attention to the election process in the past, however, everyone is in an alert mood because of the uncertainties and political temperature caused by the current election impasse.
Traditionally Somalis used to honor their leaders after their term, however, there is a broader public discourse on whether the incumbent President deserves an honorary farewell. People insist on some sort of accountability toward the outgoing President and his aides, political commentators also prophesied that, if certain individuals secure the realm, political retaliation is inevitable.
Farmajo’s legacy is on public record and this piece is not about his governments’ achievements, but rather examines the chances he has for re-election compared to his predecessors. Theevening of eight February 2017 when confirmed Farmajo won the election, people took to the streets to celebrate his unexpected victory, for the time being, he is politically isolated with very few friends and allies cheering him on.
A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY LOST
Almost five years in office, Farmajo is in political limbo following the 27th of Dec 2021 coup attempt. There is an ongoing Ministerial level investigation looking on how the conspiracy has unfolded, and the role played by the President and his inner circle. In his first year in office, Farmajo committed what some might call a treasons act when he extradited a Somali citizen to (Ethiopia). The unlawful extradition of (Qalbi dhagax) together with the violent assault of Wadajir-Party leader’s home Abdirahman Abdi Shakur, who happens to be a critic of the administration led by Farmajo, were not the only power abuse under Farmajo’s belt. The cover up of the missing spy agent Ikram Tahlil Farah, the shady way his administration handled the Eritrea saga, and the shameful and rather dangerous way his administration blocked President Sharif and President Hassan’s attempt to visit flood hit victims in Hiiraan led the public to rightfully question whether President Farmajo can lead a fragile state like Somalia intact. Indeed, such actions not only demonstratedFarmajo’s inability to lead the country with consensus and compromise just like his predecessors but instead showcased his autocratic tendencies.
POLITICAL DILEMMA IN ALLIANCE
Trustworthiness induces major support from both politicians and the public. In a fragile country like Somalia, trustworthy leadership means a lot, two decades of dictatorship rule along with prolonged civil unrest resulted in massive social disintegration. Farmajo’s style of leadership stimulates totalitarianism and seems irreconcilable with the reconciliation and peace-building approach taking place in Somalia.Apart from the dwindling public support, his friends seem to abandon him in crisis. Some have been reportedly sucked long after they had offered their resignation letters, just to ruin their reputation and humiliate them.
A communique released by the NCC on 09/01/2022 stressed the necessity to deploy reinforcement to the statehouse (Villa Somalia) which literally means to prevent any viable threat from Farmajo, similar to the failed coup attempt on 27/12/2021. This shows the reckless actions and ill-mannered behavior which is strange in the contemporary of Somali politics.
ALL AGAINST ONE
It is unusual in Somali politics that a president gets elected twice, and the only thing that seems to unify the opposition is to unseat Farmajo and not allow him to get re-elected, this is called a (Washamsi theory). Apparently Farmajo’s attempt to extend his term by two years did not materialize, in fact it unified his opposition and strengthen their desire to block his reelection bid. The failed term extension put the country in danger when the opposition and allied military leaders join forces and resisted the illegal term extension. As a result, thousands of people fled the city, fearing violent clashes between warring groups.
Farmajo put an effort to eliminate everyone who appeared a threat to his autocratic approach of governance by force. He attacked Banadir Regional Administration HQs over a resolvable disagreement with former BRA governor and mayor of Mogadishu (Thabit Abdi Mohamed), the operation carried out by NISA and presidential guards better known as (Koofiya Cas). He also overthrew Mohamed Sh Osman (Jawaari) former speaker of parliament, a well-respected and one of most experienced Somali politicians. Jawari strives to provide checks and balances for the independent powers of the government branches. Few days of political crises which neared violent confrontation, Jawari decided to give up his position. Another half successful operation followed,by replacing regional leaders with his puppets, excluding the failed attempt to bring down Jubaland leader by using a foreign army (Ethiopian commandos) which nearly could cause a proxy war between Ethiopia and Kenya.
Mogadishu’s unwavering support for Farmajo dramatically declined due to the unprecedented hostile treatment of its people by his government. His tyrannical leadership style, Mogadishu’s grievances, and the official disagreements with some federal member states, all these circumstances combined, Farmajo perhaps won’t declare his tendency to run for office again and it is unlikely to get him re-elected in the upcoming presidential race. Somalia desperately needs a charismatic leader with a conciliatory manner and makes people obedient by wisdom, justice and rule of law.
By Mohamed Abdullahi Hussein