President marks 3 years in office amid impeachment move

PRESIDENT HASSAN  Sheikh Mohamud last evening marked the third anniversary of his leadership highlighting major milestones of his administration even as some legislators seek to impeach him.

In a colourful ceremony at a city hotel transmitted live on national television and attended by the Prime Minister and senior government officials, the president said he was confident that his three years in office have been  turn around for Somalia.

“We have achieved a lot; I can say I have delivered most of the six pillars I promised when  I was elected in 2012,” said the president to an applause.

President Mohamud anchored his election manifesto on six thematic areas namely stabilisation through law, order and justice, economic recovery, peace building and reconciliation, security, unity and restoration of diplomatic relations.

Achievements

Speakers in the forum affirmed that the president had delivered in all the goals and lauded him for his leadership. Banners hang on the wall reading major achievements of the president such as state formation, restoration of diplomatic relation, security among others.

Speaker after speaker, including the mayor of Mogadishu Hassan Hussein and the dean of Somali National University commended the president as praise-singers cheered and ululated in the background.

In a speech lasting a little more than 90 minutes, the president singled out state formation, improved security in the country and centralisation of the schools examination system as some of the major achievements of his administration.

“Look at the tarmac roads in the capital, they were non existent some few years back. The president officially commissioned the new look Aden Ade International Airport, the city hall, and other major projects. I can say he did very well,” said Mogadishu Mayor Hassan Hussein, a close ally of the president.

Information minister Abdi Hayir said the president had left a legacy behind and everyone in the country should cherish it, calling on Somalis to have a positive attitude towards the country’s leadership.

“I have been working with a number of presidents and each time everyone accused them of being bad presidents but I have learnt that we cannot get a good president unless we change our mindset and work with whoever is elected,” said information minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir who invited the president to speak.

State formation

In a speech lasting a little more than 90 minutes, the president singled out state formation, improved security in the country and centralisation of the schools examination system as some of the major achievements of his administration.

In 2012 when Mohamud took office, Puntland was the only established regional state with Somaliland already advancing its secessionist ambitions.

So far, Jubbaland, South West State and Galmudug interim regional administrations are in place. Plans for the Hiiran/Middle Shabelle state formation have been put on halt for what sources say is the impeachment issue and differences among clans on the formation process.

On the rocky nature of state formation process, the president struck a reconciliatory tone and called on Somalis to be patient and give the process a chance to be completed and fruits realised in the long run. “People have accused me of disintegrating the country by allowing the formation of states. This is not the case.  You remember Somalis met and agreed to adopt a federal system. This should be implemented and I think it’s the best solution for this country. Pointing fingers will not help us,” said the president.

Rumours

The president lashed out at people he said were spreading rumors about Al-Shabaab attacks singling out private education networks which he said refused to work with the government to centralise the exam system for what they alluded would expose the students to militant attacks.

“They said Alshabab would attack the students and asked me who would be responsible if students are hurt. I told them I am responsible as well as for those hundreds of people who get killed every day by terror attacks. Remember we went ahead with the examination with not a single incident,” noted the president.

The president also said he had agreed with the African Union force AMISOM to vacate National University compound and Mogadishu stadium to allow its proper use.

“This is to make way for major sporting events in the country and learning space for students at Somali National University (Gaheyr) which has been reopened,” the president observed.

Discontented public

Even as the president and attendants at the function painted what seemed a rosy picture of the state of the nation, people in the streets of Mogadishu see a rather gloomy situation.

“The president has taken the country backwards; he has created a political instability by hounding one Prime Minister after another out of office,” said a resident who spoke to Goobjoog News.

Others said corruption has hit the roof in the public sector while others see nepotism and factionalism exemplified by the president’s appointments as critical concerns affecting the country.

“The president has not implemented even the very basics of a functional state let alone any notable progress,” said a political analyst who requested not to be named.As the president marked three years of service last evening, an impeachment motion hanging on his head like the Sword of Damocles speaks of a parliament and by extension a public discontented with his office. The lawmakers have accused him of gross violation of the constitution, corruption, military execution of civilians and failure to realise a universal vote in 2016 among other concerns.

He is the first ever sitting Somali president to face impeachment since the country’s independence in 1960.
Goobjoog News

 

Abdinasir Bashir Ahmed

Goobjoog News

 

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