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Enough is enough: A single picture can teach Farmaajo how to deal with political differences
Africa

Enough is enough: A single picture can teach Farmaajo how to deal with political differences

Immediately after the electoral commission of Somalia’s Presidential Election in 2017 announced the election result--one single photo from the scene was more than enough to show a positive message of democracy coming from Somalia, a country that has long been known as an epitome of all kinds of failures that one can imagine. It didn’t stop at that point, but went further to educate some dictators in the region what democracy means to Somali people and how it can be a must-learnt lesson to others who have been deprived of that right, most notably in neighboring countries where democracy had already died. The picture of the newly elected president Mohamed AbdullahiMohamed bitterly known as Farmaajo holding hands with his main competitors and predecessors Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud and ShariifShekh Ahmed (as shown in the above image) began to circulate within the media outlets around the world. That move was seen as a way of demonstrating a grown-up political consciousness and a highly valued democratic culture adopted by the people who suffered from decades of civil wars, terrorism, nepotism and political instability. Many of those who are destined to be under the rules of unelected leaders couldn’t disguise their feelings of jealousy towards the great political accomplishment witnessed by Somali people. Some of them, mainly Arab people, who discussed the matter on social media platforms wished to see their leaders taking and leaving offices through democratic process like Somalis were doing. It’s been acknowledged by non-Somalis that Somali leaders have reached a high level of political maturity by agreeing to get the power transferred from one to the other in a peaceful manner; something that was missing in many countries where the most popular means to climb power are through military coups or/and other violent channels. Less than two years are now on from the historic power transfer on 8th of February 2017, but unfortunately almost everything has gone backwards and it seems that we are currently in need of the same lesson that we taught others through the democratic political show that Somalia did early in 2017. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmaajo) who has been elected by Somalia’s parliament members in a secret and de democratic vote is now behaving as if he came to power in a military coup.  The country that once was a place where political leaders engage in a competition to win the leadership now transformed into a stage on which only those who are in authority can deliver their messages, while others are not allowed to have their say freely, this would mean the president killed Somalia’s newly born democracy in less than two years. The Somalia that was yesterday used as an example of political maturity and well-established democratic values is now a mirror to reflect power abuse, subjugation, coercion and all types of autocratic behaviors that distorted the country’s already positive image gained from the presidential elections and the democratic power transfers in 2017 and back in 2012. Throughout the short period of time that president Farmaajo has been in office, Somali government has been involved in several unlawful use of power against political leaders who have been arrested and bodily harmed by its forces in a bid to silence them. Among them is MukhtarRobowAbuu-Mansur, a former Alshabab leader and a hopeful presidential candidate of the Southwest state of Somalia, who is currently in detention for several days after he was arrested by the Ethiopian troops in Baidoa, the administrative capital of the SW state, in a move that believed to have been pushed by Somali government. Robow’s arrest is regarded as an attempt in which Somali government wants to bar him from taking part in the upcoming election, in the interest of the government’s apparent favored candidate AbdiazizLafta-gareen who stepped aside from his ministerial post to run for the region’s presidency after the federal government instructed him to do so. The same picture that has earlier shown Somalia’s success in democracy can now serve to remind the president that if the only way of resolving political differences was the use of power, then he wouldn’t has been elected as the president of the country by consensus. The message we previously sent to the world was that Somalia used to be a country where political leaders go through open and competitive process to reach a political position. But now, a different truth is unfolding itself on the ground to reveal that current leadership of the country is intentionally ruining the collectively made progress that led to their election. The question arises from this unwise politics of fear is why the power obtained peacefully needs to be maintained forcefully? Mohamed AbdullahiAbubakar (Dhaaley) Email: mohameddhaley@gmail.com