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Somaliland Time to Decide

Now that we have listened to all the political augments, rhetoric and even fake news, it is time we sit back and ponder what the three candidates mean for the future of Somaliland. It is time that despite the outward expression of solidarity with those from our clan background, we reflect inwardly on the decisions we have to make. We need to ask ourselves, is our vote decided by others or by ourselves? Are we going to vote for no other factor other than the candidates’ clan identity?

Political Realism

Before I ask you to think about your decision, I would like to make some confession on our individual and collective state of affairs.

Yes I appreciate the simple fact that clans are aligned with different formations and that it is socially not clever to be seen to go against the grain. Most of us are supporting candidates not because we are convinced of their abilities and realistic agenda as contained in their manifestoes but rather because a preponderant number of our visible clan leaders have declared our wholesale support for a particular candidate without any consultation with us. We seem to be bond to these declarations that we did not partake in their drafting.

Yes we have been forced to accept the idea of merry go round – hagbaad where the top seat is rotated around the ‘clans’ for them to have a chance to ‘eat’. We have accepted this despite the fact that we are as far away from the feasting table as one can be. It seems that we derive a sort of weird psychotic slaking if we see one of our own feasting on ill-gotten public resource at our own collective expense. This hallucinating concept of ‘we’ clouds our vision of the poverty that is debilitating us. We sing and shout hoarse in support of a small click that squander our taxes with impunity and grieve to the point of surrendering our precious lives if the same click that live in gated mansions complain of exclusion.

Yes the political elites have their hordes that spread fake sense of grievance calculated against the competing political grouping. These campaign loudmouths know us very well. They don’t bother to pretend to work or do good, all the they need is to arouse our passion – tolaaaaahii, anago reer beheel ……and like poodles we rush to their defence even at the risk of our limbs and lives. They ask us to hate and we hate without question and in the blink of an eye, if their interest changes, they unashamedly ask us to love the very same individuals they made us writhe with consuming hate. In short they have our switches and they can turn it on or off with the full expectation of our unqualified rallying to them.

Audacity of mental Independent

I appreciate that we have been knotted, entangled and leashed and we have little room to manoeuvre and regain our free will and freedom of thought. It is hard to keep afloat above the deluge of fakery, populism, and clannish politics. Regaining physical independence for those who have suffered physical injuries normally requires, at time painful exercises and a tough will to persevere the discomfort and pain.  Mental independence is even harder for those who have been socialized to group subservience. Amorphous clans or its never ending subdivision have a total control of our outlook, our thinking, our action and our identity.

Wrestling ourselves off these powerful cultural shackles will take time and pain. It is sad that despite suffering the painful ramification of politics of clans we are yet to accept them as such. Economic woes, illiteracy, poor health, corruption, insecurity, malfunctioning public institutions, municipalities in disarray, famine, to name a few are not seen as the results of this mental slavery but effects of some flimsy factors listed by the beneficiaries of the current system.

We are never able to see that these politicians never suffer these ills. They water their gardens while the rest of us use pebbles to clean ourselves in the toilets. Their kids are in foreign universities while those of us who dare move are awaited by the torturing magafeey, the cooking sun of the Libyan Desert and sharp cold arrows of the freezing Mediterranean Sea waters and its hungry sharks. Their waste bins were full of pasta and minced meat while the rest of the country withered in the unrelenting droughts. They wear $200 macaawiis while our thin second hand hudeey shirts are tearing on our backs. In short these politicians are immune from our sufferings. Their world sustained by our collective imbecility and taxes is far away and we can only dream off.

Small Steps of Recovery

As all recoveries from injury, sickness or addiction take small steps, our quest for mental independence needs such small steps. We can take these steps by looking at key issues that are on the table in this election.

Key Issues

I am not suggesting here drastic and or revolutionary disentanglement from mental slavery that I have painted in the preceding paragraphs but rather some very basic steps that will help us achieve this freedom of thought and will. The mundane list is: Somaliland National Security and Somaliland’s Economy. All other factors are icing on the cake and can never be achieved in the absence of security and economic wherewithal.

I will ask you and especially those of you who claim to have receive some education to take time and ponder on these two factors. I preferably will beg your indulgence to think about them when you are alone on your bed, when all the histrionics are off and there are no clan honchos to reprimand, cajole or command you to toe the line.

National Security

Remember we are surrounded by a sea of violence, insecurity and threats of terrorism. These are factors that call for a man with a steel backbone, one who will not dither, delegate or whimper. Now that you know the personalities of the three candidates and their key supporting actors, who do you trust to ensure the security of your families, properties and country? Ask yourself who amongst the three pretenders to the throne can ensure sustainable security. Who has the ability, the will to take tough unpopular decision on matters of security?

National Economy

Any economy requires resources, security and probity to prosper. Natural resources are plenty in the country – livestock, marine, extractive resource such as coal, limestone, precious minerals, and even oil; a young ambitious and fairly educated manpower and a growing market. In terms of probity there are two fundamental factors – institutions and individuals. Our institutions are still very small, weak and fragile to enforce trust in our public finance management. The legal environment is still at its cradles, and despite the existence of a National Plan and Vision, we are yet to get the administration that will operationalize them. What we are grossly lacking is the existence of individuals of impeccable character who can be entrusted with the management of our economy.

All the three parties have made their economic case or rather dreams and they sound great on paper but we know that the key enemies of any economy are corruption and insecurity. Hence the question I want to ask you is very simple – can you entrust your shop to individuals whom you have heard mentioned in corruption? If the answer is no, then you have to look around and see where the notorious characters are hibernating. Does defection from one party to the other absolves a politician’s economic sins?

Once you have properly analysed these, try to ask those close to you and reason with them. This is risky but worth the effort as it will help us get independence of mind and will and make Somaliland a great democracy.

Whatever your decision, be the vanguard of peace and unity. Vote sensibly and let us all pray for our young Fatherland. VIVA SOMALILAND

Faisal Kenadid

faisal.kenadid@gmail.com

Hargeisa, Somaliland