Garowe, May 19, 2019
Italian Colonial Administration then called Galkayo “Rocca Littorio” or the fortress of Littorio, after the name of Italian battle ship, Littorio, in honor of city history for producing brave fighters and being the avant-garde of resistance for liberation and independence, a bedrock of SYL Great Somalia and SSDF, the first Somalia’s opposition (1978-1991) to the dictatorship of the Military Junta led by General Siyad Barre. It had known liberal values that raised and gave equal opportunities to those historically considered in Somalia as the untouchables like the families of Samaters, Salhaans, Bootaans, Ayah Dhowres and others, and where a woman thrives as the head and master of the household – a unique characteristics of the City that made it stand out in entire Somalia.
The City of Galkayo, and Mudugh Region in general, is home and origin of almost all prominent politicians, top military brass, generals and historical figures of Somalia.
To avoid some readers raising their eyebrows, I leave that for you to count the names in the list of prominent Somali political and military figures from Mudugh. Take it as homework, but don’t forget to share the list with me later.
Galkayo was home of reknown first class neurosurgeons, gynecologists and orthopedics, receiving patients from the sub-region as whole. It was the forefront in telecommunications even before the foundation of Puntland. One would recall Radio Galkayo, Radio Daljir, Galcom and first Internet service in Northeastern Regions. Galkayo used to be the Centre of Education for the entire former Northeastern Regions of Somalia for high school students. Galkayo ranked first in export of huge livestock and fresh meat to the Gulf States.
Galkayo used to get its notoriety in ideas, adventure and anocdodal excentricity. Yet, the City has been abysmally failing lately and had its residents in disarray and divided. It is no longer the historical City of Rocca Littorio.
Galkayo is now a town looking at Garowe, Mogadishu and Hargeisa for role model. It is a city where her best had left town or contemplating to do so. It is now a town that had lost its sense of community and collective purpose; a city where its prominent residents were and are now targets for murder and assassination without any consequences for justice served; a city that had failed to send its best political representatives to the ruling bodies of Puntland and Somalia. It is now a city where its traditional leadership doesn’t take cue and wisdom from its predecessors.
Galkayo is now a town where Somali leaders occasionally visit when there is a sensless community problem, no longer go for ideas, business or leisure because of the incurable divisions, bickering and severe sub-clan rivalry.
Even Puntland leaders shy away from visiting Galkayo due to senseless commotions, inherent lack of purpose, social cohesion and community leadership. Who wants losers and individual brokers looking for personal interests only?
By the way, the current self-introductory visit by Puntland President, Said Abdullahi Deni, to Mudugh Region, is a small opening for Galkayo residents to show-case unity and collaborative spirit on the ashes of decades of decay and political decadence.
Galkayo is now the infamous town of “Little Asha Elyas” gang-rape and murder.
Galkayo is the not la Rocca Littorio any more