The need to Re-examine the Political discourse in Somaliland
By Dr. Ali Osman
I am neither a political scientist nor a sociologist, but my expertise is the in the field of education. As a social scientist, I do not deal with hearsay, but require empirical data to make informed decisions reading different Somaliland websites, listening to different interviews and statement by self-appointed “elites” in and outside Somaliland , traditional leaders etc., I do not know what to think anymore.
The statements of the current leadership of Somaliland whether in power or in opposition are eerily similar to the critics dished out or the response given by the group in power. If one examines the contents of different Somaliland websites and the utterances of the so called leader, publicist in the country it becomes apparent that these websites and elites are either funning the fire of clannism, or uncritically opposing the government or doing both. These websites and the individuals are recycling the same allegation past governments were accused of by the opposition and these are: the sitting government is corrupt; operate outside the rule of law, enriching themselves and their families.
The funny part is that these allegations were once been directed to the president Riyale and Egal, by some of the leading members of the current government. What is there to steal? The budget of the Somaliland government is about one fifth of the budget of my university? I am missing something.
The recycling of similar accusation to me signifies a poverty of ideas and intellectual paucity by the political and academic elites in the country. Are Somaliland political elite of different caliber bereft of ideas, intellect, vision or leadership as prof. Samatar stresses? Is the end game of our politician to become ministers, and presidents, and in this process the end justifies the means. They need to ransack or look deep into their soul and ask themselves why I want to run for a public office. What are my motives? Is it power or money? Political office in Africa means enriching oneself. Is what we want to institutionalize or to be precise inculcate in the minds of the upcoming elites that the only way to be rich is to be a politician.
The political discourse in the developed countries is about ideology, and more importantly how the different institutions in the society needs to be reformed in order to realize the full potential of the their citizens in an extremely competitive world-how different ideologies prefer order a society.
This is the point of contention in advance economies and not which tribe or clan has the god given right to rule. Any country that is organized along tribal or clan will commonsensical misuse its human capital. Competency in such environment is not privileged. , I believe that the richness of a society is not measured in terms of its natural resources, but the quality of it human resources, and how it uses and develops it human capital. If natural resources is a measure of richness, Africa would have been the richest continent in the world. I know that political reality Sweden and other western democratic countries took years to mature, but the majority of our elite are Western educated, and I acknowledge the mitigating contextual factors they are operating under, but these contextual factors should not be an excuse for them to strengthen clannism. Their primary responsibility is to be creative and institute policies in different social arenas that will modernize the country.