Is PUNTLAND in a state of national crisis in every aspect of its public endeavors? Would the anouncement of a forthcoming PUNTLAND Congress or Conference scheduled in March 15, 2020, respond to this crisis or troubling political disillusionment of its residents, and youth, in particular? Would Puntland continue to hold the unity and cohesion of its constituency member regions, after it had lost parts of its founding members? Would the reckless and unconstitutional activities by the leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia take advantage of Puntland administrative and security vulnerabilities in Mudugh and Bari Regions? Would Puntland stage and maintain fiscal, public and security sector reforms? Would democratization of Puntland governance finally come true before the end of President Abdullahi Said Den’s Term in office? Would Puntland leaders be able to manage the persistent political and constitutional frictions with Farmaajo Administration? Would Puntland so-called “universities” be allowed to continue to ill-educated Puntland youth with fake diplomas and degrees with the production of illiterate graduates with no work skills?
These are critically important questions before the Puntland Forthcoming Congress, begging for answers in fundamental ways.
Puntland Government role in this Congress must be limited only to security, funding and help in organization, but the public debate and agenda setting must come from the delegates to the conference. Delegates should monitor any manipulation by government agents and politicians. The Congress must be conducted in an atmosphere of freedom of expression and genuine debates on outstanding issues of the day and current Puntland socio-economic stagnation, whereby sick persons still embarrassingly go and seek medical care in Hargeisa and Mogadishu, after more than two decades of Puntland statehood and self-government. This is the legacy of systemic and run-away corruption in Puntland public health sector.
In a nutshell, Puntland Forthcoming Congress must be conducted along the Founding Principles of the State and in manners resembling the Founding Congress of the State with benchmarks and objectives to achieve in timeframes.
Finally, Farmaajo Administration is engaged in dismantling the federal system agreed upon in the foundation of the 2nd Republic in 2004. What is the Puntland State strategy and vision towards the New Somalia being created out of the Civil War? What is the alternative to a central dictatorship? Are there lessons to learn from that past experience and experiment in post colonial Somalia? Are Somalis ready relive tyranny and central command government?
Puntland State and its residents have still the potential to recover lost opportunities to mend past policy mistakes and re-gain blurred original vision