We can’t, ignore the fact that, Dr. Mohamed Osman Jawari, the speaker has spoken after long period of dormancy and in activity for almost three years. Mr. Jawari, though to his credit has been less controversial unlike his predecessors and the parliament under his leadership has the most uneventful of all times. For what is worth, the speaker and this parliament and the government are quite different institutions than previous ones and they are no longer in transition.
Also, the speaker is different and happens to be very intelligent, highly educated and experienced, understands the international community than his predecessors and also he has an excellent professional qualifications that include a Director General and a Cabinet post in Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre’s government among other things. Yet, we can’t comprehend why the speaker and the parliament under his leadership could have neglected and failed to supervise and oversee the affairs of the government for so long in regards to peace and security, law and order, federation and establishment of all-inclusive regional states, demarcation of regional state borders, national census, reform and rebuilding the security forces, fight terrorism, corruption and secession in the North, justice reform, constitution making, construction of functional institutions which are all necessary tasks for democratization process of the country in preparation for 2016 General Elections etc.
Imagine, the only piece of legislation worth mentioning is that the parliament has passed under Mr. Jawari’s leadership were budgets composed of hefty salaries for the three top officials, the parliament and the cabinet and they never miss a single month while salaries for civil servants and armed forces which are merely a token are not paid regularly and sometimes they wait for four months to receive a single payment of one month.
Strangely, Mr. Jawari and his parliament duly pass each year a government budget that consists only salaries but they never question why the civil servant and armed forces that include in the budgetary allocation are not receiving regularly their monthly salaries when the country is awash with money. Why? Your, guess is good as mine. Plus, when people are suffering for lack of financial resources and can barely maintain their families, the parliament under his leadership has increased the salaries of top officials of the government such as: the president, speaker and parliament and the prime minister and his cabinet and also it has passed pension plan and other benefits without contributions or deductions from their salaries.
What, they forget is that they are unelected officials which by law means they do not qualify as a privilege or deserve as an entitlement for any enumeration after their services are ended. In addition, the parliament in a political self-preservation and business-as-usual as previous transitional parliaments wants two year extension after 2016 but insist on electing a new speaker and a new president but the president, Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said, “no extensions beyond 2016”. Nevertheless, the speaker spoke publicly at last of three national issues.
1. The Banadir Region which he opposes its merger with Middle Shabelle and the other top government officials, the president and the prime minister all concur with him. In my view, the three top government officials have shown their political desire and intentions and they want to ignore constitutional status Banadir Region and its fourteen districts as one of the eighteen regions of the country and strip off its status and scrap its districts to fashion it after Ethiopia’s Capital City, Addis Abeba with no districts and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government where the majority Oromo people who are the original residents of the city are politically disadvantaged and vote only for the mayor.
By the way, it is alleged that the president has personal agenda and political interests on insisting to merge Middle Shabelle-Hiraan which is to secure the presidency of these two regions to his close associate and “political ally” Abdullahi Mohamed Nur, Minister of State for Finance. Also, we know that the president has made several trips to Central Regions to secure the presidency in these regions for another close associate and “political ally” Abdikarin Hussein Gulaid who is fighting with tooth and nail against Ahmed Moallem Fiqi, former director of national Security Agency and close political ally of former president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh and also Gen. Abdi Hassan Awale “Abdi-Qeybdiid”, president of Gal-Mudug who is favored to win but things could change with the announcement of Ahmed Abdisalan backed by the Ethiopians throwing his hat in the race.
I wouldn’t, be surprised to see Abdirahman Dinari backed by the Ethiopians to become the speaker in these regions. In the case of Banadir Region, the president wants Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir another close associate and political alley to become its president after the original plan of Middle Shabelle-Hiraan presidency proved to be difficult to materialize.
Accordingly, the president wants Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir who is a none resident of Banadir Region to become the president or a “Super Mayor” if Banadir Region is fashioned after Addis Abeba. This is why, the president wants to keep Banadir Region out of the merger with Middle Shabelle since the majority residents of both regions are the same people, namely Mudulood and there is a great support for it and would upset his “grandiose plan” of promoting his close political allies in both regional states.
Definitely, the president wants to influence the national political system of Somalia through the formation of regional states in his favor and he has been busy on how to firmly secure their top positions and legislature in the hands of his close associates and political allies in which he has the financial resources and position of authority to do so and no one can stop him. For instance, the president has influenced the make-up of the National Electoral Commission and the National Border Commission to his liking which are key to 2016 General Elections assumed that it takes place.
He has stacked-up in the two commissions with his political allies and denied opportunities to many more qualified applicants who wanted to serve the country better, including myself (National Electoral Commission) in order to influence the formation of these regional states. However, the question is, what is in it for the speaker and the prime minister to abdicate their responsibilities in these matters of a great national importance that anchors the national political system of the country? Where, is the sense of their outrage?
2. He spoke of Somaliland and said, “no more secession and the matter will be concluded before the end of this year 2015” which everybody agrees with him. Maybe, the speaker knows something that we don’t know and believes that he can persuade Somaliland authorities to abandon their quest for an illusive secession which is now a major headache for the international community which also is holding the rest of Somali Republic hostage and denying it to have peace, security and stability to develop and for the international businesses community’s to come and invest in the country to create vital job opportunities and businesses for its people.
3. He has flatly rejected the legitimacy of so-called regional states of Jubaland and South-West and rightly said, that, “they can’t be called regional states without parliamentary approval and called them temporary arrangements” which puts on edge and on alert mode Puntland which has been trying its best since the inception of transitional federal government (TFG) to sneak into all draft constitutions everything it possibly can to look legit but so far with no much success. Believe me you, most of the people in the country agree with the speaker on these matters but afraid that he is under the spell of Europeans and the countries in the region especially Ethiopia and Kenya like Nur Hassan Hussein “Nur-Adde” who has undermined his own government from within to collapse and paved the way for the Union Islamic Courts to take-over the transitional federal government.
In this regard, people are afraid to see again another government fall in the hands of wrong people because of the speaker’s timing since the federal government has got less than one year and half of its term. Anyway, if he is not under the spell we want from him to clearly spell out his strategy and on how to achieve it that could be acceptable for those most affected by his plan. Finally, I dare say that, there is clearly a cross purposes between the residents of Banadir Region and the three top government officials.
However, the residents of Hamar Region alas Banadir Region alas Mogadishu who are over two million and half people could care less but they will never accept from anyone denying their constitutional rights (political, economic, social, cultural, legal and constitutional and human rights to have representation, at the regional state level and at the federal level in both houses of parliament) .of its people. Of course, the constitutional status of Hamar Region and its fourteen districts were lawfully created based on Law No. 23, dated July 1974 and neither the president, nor the speaker nor the prime minister can put in jeopardy or question now after forty-one years in its existence because of the presence of the Capital City, Mogadishu within the Banadir Region which was there all the time even before independence.
On the other hand, in my view the issue pertaining to Jubaland and South-West is very simple to redress and it is only needed that all major political stakeholders in these regions to participate in the choice of where they want to belong in the formation of a regional states, choose freely and fairly in a transparent manner their leadership and shape their future political direction as united people without government coercion or internal violence orchestrated by politicians and would benefit any conflict and discord among the people in these regions.
This formula should be applied across the board in the construction of these regional states which top government officials have neglected on purpose for political expedience to do the necessary task of constructing an elected administrations at the district and regional levels in the country which are the sole bases for democratization process in Somalia and an absolute necessity for the General Elections for 2016. No, wonder why Hawiye which is the major stakeholder in Somali Republic, liberating the country and its people from the grip of “IRON MAN” Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre and consists sixty-percent (60%) of the population yet remain without a single regional state. Why? We will wait and shall see where one can dance with a stolen drum.