JIGJJIGA – embattled Somali Regional State President, Abdi M. Omar, has suddenly returned to Jijiga after he stayed only one night in Addis Ababa. This sudden return of the president has surprised many in the regional state, in light of what he has briefed regional mass-media before he departed to Addis Ababa.
Mr Abdi told the local journalists on Thursday 4th of Sept. 2014 that he was going to Addis Ababa to participate in a biannual meeting of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Party (the ruling party) which is scheduled to start next Monday, 15th of September 2014.
It is noteworthy, that the president is still struggling with vote of no confidence by his 11 men strong executive committee and possible investigation of maladministration. There is a serious split between members of his executive committee and no permanent solution has yet been reached.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed report indicates that Mr Abdi has already summoned a meeting of his eleven strong men executive committee and Eighteen Bureau-Heads. However, no details have yet been made available about the purpose of the meeting. But there is report that there has been a conflict between two groups in the Regional State, 3 to 8 ratio. Three of the executive committee members support the regional president and other eight oppose him. Confirmed report also identifies that Mohamed Rashid, the speaker of the regional parliament and head of the Ethiopian Somali people’s Democratic Party, is allied with the regional president. The other person who supports the regional president is the president’s cousin and his personal adviser on head bureau portfolio. With this split, the regional state is grip with uncertainty. The Federal government is also unable to solve the stalemate because there are two groups that support each contesting grouping in the regional state. As the result, at the moment, the regional state political activities are halted. We are only few months away from the general election. Experts that scrutinise the regional politic thinks this impasse may result in delay of already sluggish development in the regional state.
It is the first time since President Abdi Mohamed Omar came to power that he has encounter strong opposition. So far each group has used unprecedented words and actions that have never been experienced in the regional state. Both parties inform their supporters the next imminent action and their consultation with the Federal Government. However, one thing is for sure, the regional President has lost significant power to effectively silence the group that oppose him. In the past it was commonplace that the regional president would have used state machinery to stop such kind of contest to his power.
Chris Brown, a foreign correspondent resident in Harar, Ethiopia, can be reached by email@example.com