Some of the opening speeches, including President Deni’s speech, were good and adequately captured the spirit and historical background of the foundation of Puntland State its stated mission, founding principles, policy objectives towards re-instatement and re-construction of the failed state of Somalia.
Delegates to the Conference seemed to be highly selective, acquaintance and name-recognition based and through social networking, apart from the traditional leaders and political groups.
Little acknowledgement and recognition were extended to the Founding Fathers of the State.
Plans on how to conduct the deliberations to solicit for maximum inputs from the delegates were kept in the dark and unknowable. How the Conference agenda would be drawn up, however, has created an easiness and concerns among the Conference delegates and Puntland general public alike.
Interest groups dominate the composition or list of delegates.
Day One of the Puntland Consultative Conference so far seemed audious in appearance, but troubling in substance and what to expect as an outcome.
The policy and fundamental constitutional differences between the leaders of the Federal Member States and Federal Government were being down-played with a few passing indirect and mild criticism at Federal Administration.
It appears that the Conference is authority-driven rather than one being led by people’s congress.
The Venue, Conference Hall at Puntland State University, was unbearably hot and unventilated, making every sitting delegate to seek and grab a booklet to blow his/her face for a cooler hand-powered breeze.
Is it too early to draw any conclusions from Conference proceedings from Day One? Stay tuned.
Postscript: if the above is the agenda of the Conference, it is laughable and a joke. It would be a waste of opportunity and disservice to the people of Puntland.