By Ahmed Kheyre
They say when it rains it pours! For five long years some people in Somaliland wanted to see the back of Hersi Haji Ali Hassan, the former minister of Presidency, and President Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud “Silaanyo”s right hand man. A fervent patriot, hard working and at times over eager, Hersi rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, and all of a sudden, he shows acute political and moral maturity and resigns on a principle. Extra-ordinary!
Along with former minister Hersi, went the urbane Foreign minister, Mohamed Bihi Yonis with his core of strong supporters in the race for the presidential nomination led by Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir, and several other senior ministers and deputy ministers.
And to rub salt in the wounds, Somaliland’s Justice minister, the Attorney-General of the country, Hussein Aydiid also resigned. If your Attorney-General quits on you, then something stinks to high heaven. Shades of President Nixon firing three Attorney-Generals in one night.
What happened on Monday in Hargeisa, is nothing short of a political earthquake. The President’s response was brusque and martial, accepting all the resignations and ordering the Police Commissioner to make sure the former ministers can’t get back into their old offices. An absolutely futile gesture. It is like closing the gates after the camels have fled!!
Political opponents in Somaliland have been proven right in their argument that democracy is not being practised in the highest offices of Somaliland. Even though President Silaanyo come in to office on a thumping election victory, those advising him have urged more sinister “dictatorial tendencies”.
It is one thing to be the neutral arbiter of an orderly succession in your own party, even if you favour one candidate over another, but is something else to say “either file behind my favoured candidate or get out of my cabinet”. Have we sunk so low?
I do not grudge Muse Bihi or any candidate from any party their presidential ambitions. But, you have to earn it. You must attain it on your own merit. Muse Bihi. the Kulmiye chair, should have run a mile away from the presidency. Sadly, he is now tainted with the whiff of patronage and corruption, and his credibility is zero.
There is no doubt that President Silaanyo will find capable Somalilanders to fill the current and future vacancies in his administration and the nation will carry on. There is no doubt that Kulmiye will also carry on. But, on Monday, a lot of people rose up in public estimation and a lot of people were seen as men and women of straw.