April 7, 2020
Mr. President, after warm Greetings from the suburbs in Nairobi, where you have spent most of your time in your struggle to fight against the ugly regime in the Region, I would like to bring to your attention on how many of the good citizens of the Region are not happy with your Leadership when it comes to Good Governance, Fighting Corruption, Nepotisms and clan based politics in the Region.
As you were sworn into office, you already knew that the Region was more polarized than ever. We were a people divided along clan lines as a result of long oppression where clan leaders were arranging meeting in different hotels in Jijiga to raise clan related matters after you start nominating your members to the Government positions
It was almost this week last year, when the then Somali democratic Party has concluded its meeting in the regional Capital , Jijiga and you have completed the Nomination of all your Bureau heads, who were to kick supposed to kick start the long handicapped and corrupted offices to serve for the public in different capacities.
As soon as the list of nominees came out , we can all remember how the rebirth of clan based politics commenced and clan leaders started for the first time in ten years, raising concerns of how their clan does not deserve to get that share from the nominations.
I saw that as a relief of sigh for the people in the region to freely express their concerns but things turned to the wrong direction when all the story of the politics in the region resurfaced to the old clan politics of power sharing to an extent that has resulted in the resignation of some of the heads you have nominated to acknowledge the plea of their clan members.
Mr. President, with full knowledge of how the region was paralyzed for many years, when it comes to good governance, we were all expecting that you tighten your belt in leading the government in such a way that you multi-task and look into all loopholes that may come from the different corners of your team, but later in the months that followed we have seen and watched from the media that, when people raised concerns, that you just started defending your team by making comparisons between your Government and that of the overthrown.
We have never expected from you to justify the weakness within your circles by relativity by comparing your performance with that of the system of Government led by Abdi Mohamud Omer. You had full knowledge of how that system worked and shared with the global community with your sharp and hard hitting articles you used to write.
It was a total shock to many of us that you and your team were not dealing with concerns from the citizens seriously for that you had all the necessary information that could have led you to take decisive decisions in breaking the infant stage corrupt officials within the system.
Fighting Corruption and Nepotism
It was as clear as crystal, that the Region was in hands of one man in deciding who gets what share of the government contracts and funds for years but as soon as your team came to power, we have also observed the great come back of nepotism and who gets which contract has re-emerged , We have witnessed that recruitment of Government employees has also taken to the old root of running after each ones’ clan representative to lobby for and recruit graduates which eventually left the most vulnerable and honest citizens to get equal chance for the job opportunities in the Region.
Mr. President, with your good background in how best to ensure that funds go to were most needed, we were expecting you put in place a very robust monitoring and evaluation of all the Government implemented projects by establishing and deploying well qualified professionals who would track and supervise all the mega Projects under implementation and report to you any deviations from the plan.
But we see that you have not given that much needed technical attention to supervision, monitoring and evaluation on top of your agenda in running your Government but still we see that most or all the Mega projects you put the corner stone a year ago are yet to be finalized due to lack of serious follow up.
The culture of Contracts chasing after Projects and the common belief of the citizens that if a contractor is awarded of project of Ten million Birr is interpreted as if that amount of money has been given to that individual to do his own business by building a Villa and buying a four wheel double cabin vehicle prevails as the story everywhere in the Region and that is why everybody will encourage you to seek a contract from the Government. Mr. President, this should not be the case and we expect you to address all these loopholes in your Government.
With all these issues at stake, the people in the Region have great expectations of your leadership. For a long time they were looking for a hero, and all of a sudden you appeared on the horizon. And they applauded you. The burden is enormous Mr. President, but rest assured the people don’t expect miracles from you. All they want from you is to set an example. To be an example for honesty, a commitment for accountability, for good governance, for genuine efforts to set a momentum for development and striving to achieve a certain level of fairness for all. The real test to this will be how you choose your team and how you evaluate them in handling responsibilities. Whether you would be brave enough to take decisive measures against your team who are identified as corrupt or you leave them to do business as usual will be a litmus test for you.
It will be the reflection of your Leadership on how you seriously handle and manage your team.” So if you could be that man in being honest, in setting a vision, in lifting the people’s morale both in your words and actions and in being always mindful of the great hope and trust the people have invested in you, then the people will be generous enough to understand your failures.
Seize the moment Mr. President, the people desire to see you as a President whose decision doesn’t come from Addis Ababa. This is the people’s first and foremost hope of your government. We need our sovereignty to decide on behalf of the People in the Region. If you score high on this issue, you will break new ground as a new breed of leadership. Otherwise, as Karl Marx said: “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. We have already seen the tragedy many times but if you fail the people’s aspirations Mr. President then your legacy will be history repeated in farce. So beware.
The writer did his Master’s Degree (MSc) in Environment and Climate Change Management and has worked in the Pastoral and agro-Pastoral areas of Somali Region and Somaliland for many years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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