Sunday, October 01, 2023
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A Pledge for a Better Garowe; Letter from a Mayoralty Candidate

By Ahmed Abdullahi Diriye

Unfortunately, rarely do Somalis witness a politician who makes good on his promises. As a community, we are used to being told what we would like to hear by vote-seeking individuals, and when we vote them in, they without fail turn their backs on us and never deliver. So, it is only natural to suspect a new candidate making very similar promises, right? Well, I hope I will manage to change your mind after you’re done reading my letter.

My name is Ahmed Abdullahi Diriye. I am someone who spent most of his life in Garowe, a city I now hope to be among its council members and eventually, become its mayor. I have a bachelor degree in Economics from East Africa University and master degree Warsaw University, and am currently in the middle of a Ph.D course in Political Economy. I am a husband, father and a businessman who put all of his efforts into making this city better than it is.

I know Garowe inside out, as I was born in Muqdishu and grew up here. I have lived and experienced first-hand the impact bad governance has on this great city. And although when looked at its façade, Garowe is considered a prosperous city, which in many ways it is, a deeper look into it and one will realize that the city and its residents are struggling with plenty of avoidable, man-made problems, most of which stem from incompetent leadership.

What problems do I want to solve and how am I willing to go about them?

Garowe is blessed with a population who are mostly young and to a great extent, literate. That young and educated core of people aren’t employed and their potential maximized by the people in offices. The city’s insecurity has significantly spiked in recent years and the reason? Yes, unemployed youth who out of desperation, mug pedestrians or come out late at night and in a drunk state, exchange live bullets. This has become somewhat of a regular occurrence that the people of the city are accustomed to. Establishing security units dedicated to patrolling the city 24/7 to safeguard the society’s wellbeing and stop the drugs smuggled into the city at source in tandem with creating job opportunities for the youth, tops the list of my agendas.

Another big problem the community of this city is struggling with is the extremely steep fees they are charged by the power (electricity) and water companies. Those unregulated fees are so high that if something doesn’t change very soon, only the wealthy who make up a small percentage of the community, could afford and will be able to pay. For years, I have alongside many of my educated peers been conducting researches on how to best address this problem and I believe we have found them. If elected, I will be introducing policies that will enable us to regulate the fees charged on the citizens, our aim is to protect the ordinary citizen from corporate greed.

Another issue is how bereft of greenery Garowe’s well-built roads and the city at large, are. As is well-known, a green city makes for a better spectacle, and is conducive to more rain pouring onto a city. Those are two things a capital city needs, for one, enhances the tourism prospects of the city and the other, reduces the plague of droughts we all suffer from. If voted in, I will dedicate an annual budget to: a) Plant many trees in every part of the city and, b) With proper care, maintenance and out of the livestock’s reach.

And chief among my agendas, is fighting the rife corruption in the municipality offices and harnessing the revenues generated from taxations across the city, directing them all- without exceptions- towards what benefits the city. Those revenues are mismanaged and large portions of them end up in the personal pockets of those in charge.

The problems we are facing in Garowe city are many, and the few I have mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg. I happen to be someone who is well-informed on those matters and has ideas on how to overcome them.

People of Garowe, I will not become inaccessible to you if I am elected to office, as I have been and will continue to be one of you. I have thus far led a life similar to yours and my doors will always remain open to you. I will continually hold consultation sessions with the various parts of the community and will listen to and work on, eradicating your complaints. I have a proven track record of making the most of the tools I am provided with. I have established successful businesses throughout my life and managed to win against the odds many a time.

I am asking you for your votes so that together, we can improve this great city and unlock its amazing potential. I need your help in doing that. I am Ifiye Political Associations’ candidate for a councillor post at Garowe’s Mubarak district, Kaam Jawle, and Washington and six polling station outside the city.

If elected to that post, I will be eligible to launch my mayoral bid. I am not saying that I will turn out to be flawless leader, but I sure have what’s best for this city and its people at heart, and will ensure all my energy is spent on serving you.

Let’s together strive for a better tomorrow!

Ahmed Abdullahi Diriye
Email: [email protected]

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