Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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How bad leadership divides the nation and puts it at peril

By Abdi Mohamud

Somalia has been a fragmented, weak, and divided nation for over three decades now. Mistrust and animosity sustain this division as Somali leaders fail to unite the nation and progress. Lack of cohesion has always kept Somalia in a disadvantageous and precarious position. All progress indicators point to lag in economic, political, and educational achievements.

President Farmaajo (left) and PM Roble

The incompetence of Somalia’s leaders has never been more glaring than it is today as they fail to work together, inspire citizenry, or register any meaningful or tangible gains. These circumstances, as a result of poor leadership, lead to the neglect of our national interest and people.

Who is to blame? Who is responsible for this mess? And how can we get out of this uncertain situation? These are questions being raised by Somalis all across the political spectrum regularly.

Recognition of hierarchy, respect for chain of commands, and cooperation are crucial for an effective government. These principles allow for organization and are the basis for societal advancement. Without these principles, governments may struggle to procure harmony and progress. Governments may even fail to function. Somali leaders do not value these principles, as demonstrated by the recent defiance of Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble. Much to people’s surprise, Roble defied the nation’s leader, President Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, and the constitution by illegally and forcefully assuming powers.

Roble crowned himself and made decisions unilaterally without regard for legitimacy and governance based on rule of law. Much like a dictator, Roble acted out of self-interest, irrespective of laws. He appointed and removed ministers and others in senior positions contrary to established regulations and procedures.. He also conspired with foreign countries with poor relations with Somalia, namely Kenya and the United Arab Emirates. These countries have taken advantage of the rift between Somali leaders to advance their own interests at the expense of the Somali people. Some reports suggest that Kenya asked Roble to lift the ban on khat imports in return for support in achieving his political objectives.

Roble also denied the President and his aides any access to state media. Now, he illegally runs state TV and radio as if they are his own private enterprises. Roble’s actions raise concern for his judgement and ability to fulfil his obligations, such as his responsibility to impartially and efficiently oversee elections. As a result, public confidence in the government and its leadership has eroded and division has deepened.

Ministers, civil servants, and security forces are among groups critical to our nation’s survival that are impacted by Roble’s careless actions as their ability to work together is compromised. Had Roble had any consideration for governance, organizational hierarchy, and chain of command, he would act in compliance with the directives of his president. Unfortunately, Roble charted his own course without concern for the consequences of his rash and rebellious actions.

When Roble first appeared on the political scene, Somalia was already making developmental advancements. The terror group Al-Shabaab was in retreat as the Somali National Army (SNA) assumed more security responsibilities. A review of the mandate of African Union (AU) troops in the country was being discussed. Other grand projects of nation-building and economic revival were also on the drawing boards.

When Roble first appeared on the political scene, Somalia was already making developmental advancements. The terror group Al-Shabaab was in retreat as the Somali National Army (SNA) assumed more security responsibilities. A review of the mandate of African Union (AU) troops in the country was being discussed. Other grand projects of nation-building and economic revival were also on the drawing boards.

Abdi Mohamud
Email: [email protected]


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