While it is absolutely necessary for Puntland President, Abdiweli Gaas, to support the state institutions and regional self-governing bodies, what he is doing now in Galkayo definitely falls under the mandate of the Local Government.
His current visit to the City of Galkayo is long overdue and his effort now is too little too late. Instead of using the opportunity to announce a major strategic Puntland State policy on GalMudugh, respect for the Federal Constitution, the New Deal and Somalia Vision 2016, he has opted for diverting people’s concerns on these issues to dismantling City dwellings and displacing IDPs in the town, while at the same time the most illegal occupation of the Old Galkayo City by the residents of Baraxley still remains intact and unattended. The President seems to have no stomach to follow up his orders in reversing the illegal expansion, or to use the Somali term “Udub Riixxa” Baraxley.
The Presidential visit to Mudugh becomes a public relations exercise and detraction from the pressing fundamental issues of Puntland State, in general and Mudugh, in particular. What he is micro-managing in Galkayo now he could have easily done as well from his office in Garowe.
Instead of coming down there to visit with a major policy shift announcement in the light of latest difficulties with the Mogadishu Government and its flagrant violations of the Constitution and multiple accords with Puntland State, he becomes a busy body in municipality issues.
Puntland people should be asking President Abdiweli Gaas serious questions as to why Puntland’s series of “Agreements” with the Federal Government were not respected and what he was doing about it; What the future holds for Puntland State in Somalia amid its marginalization of its historical leading role by the fledgling Government of President Hassan Sh. Mohamud. And these are are just a few of the deep concerns people of Puntland have about Abdiweli’s leadership and his abilities to do his job as the President of the First Pillar State of Somalia’s Federalism.
One of these grave concerns is the disturbing absence of transparency in the operations of his Office and Government. There are persisting speculations that things are always done behind closed doors. Equally suspicious is the fact that the President has yet to articulate Puntland State clear position on the latest political developments in and about Somalia.
Escalating Puntland insecurity and threat to its stability from extremists all the way to the United Nations Security Council (see recent UN Resolution) to authorise deployment of AMISOM troops without informing his Cabinet and debate in Puntland Parliament is a serious and an impeachal act bordering on treason. These AMISOM troops will be definitely Ethiopians occupying parts of Puntland territory and some cities. Because of this, people of Puntland have legitimate right to be gravely concerned.
By Ismail H. Warsame
Addendum: One of the main reasons why President Abdiweli Ali Gaas could not come out forcefully against the Federal Government violations of the Constitution and its partial involvement in Galmudugh formation is believed to be that he had been deeply compromised during his tenure as the Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government. Much of the scribblings in the Constitution were done under his watch, according to reliable sources. He cannot talk and defend himself on those issues now as the President of Puntland.