Why I am Running for President. By Abdinur Sheikh Mohamed

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December 20, 2020| ARLAADI ONLINE

Abdinur Sheikh Mohamed, Ph.D.,
Candidate for President
Federal Government of Somalia

بسم هللا الرحمن الرحيم

In this short commentary, I would like to highlight
to the Somali people the purpose and seriousness
of my candidacy for the highest office in our
homeland and why I am uniquely qualified to lead
my people at this critical time.

Love of country

I belong to a generation fondly known as “calan
saar” who were born at or around the dawn of
Somalia’sindependence in 1960. This generation enrolled in government
schools where academic excellence, love of country and pride in
citizenship was the core message of the national curriculum. Cultural
norms, citizenship values were particularly taught through the poetic
expressions of the famed Somali and Egyptian poets such as Abdillahi
Suldan Timacadde and Ahmad Shawqi, respectively. Our teachers whose
faces radiated light to their students were themselves young idealists
emerging physically and mentally from the yoke of colonial rule. Like the
rest of the public, they were overjoyed to reclaim their national identity
and place in history. These teachers instilled in me and a new generation
of young Somalis the desire to excel in school and effectively participate

in the reconstruction of a modern independent state. This newly found
national fervor and enthusiasm for self-rule that encompassed everyone
was short lived and the system of governance began to degenerate as
the primordial instincts of clannism, nepotism and endless political
rivalry gained momentum. This clan-based political rivalry eventually led
to demise of the democratic republic in 1969 and necessitated the
advent of a military state. Massive social development campaigns which
included the writing of the Somali script led to the expansion of
educational opportunities throughout the country in the first few years
of the military regime and propelled the growth of national literacy
rates from mere 5% before the writing of the script to a whopping 65%
within a year. This was a time where one can clearly and honestly
identify the huge impact government policies and good governance
strategies had on the overall progress of the nation.
Moreover, I am among those who benefited immensely from statehood
and what it offers to its citizens and particularly polices that promoted
social equality and free public education for all regardless of region or
clan affiliation. This was made possible by the endless support of
ordinary taxpayers including street vendors, women traders, other
businesses big and small, that contributed financially to the betterment
of society and an effective government that took its fiduciary
responsibility responsibly.

Grateful to Somalia

My generation is arguably among the most fortunate who benefited
from the fruits of good governance and stable economy in the late 60’s
and early 70’s. Governmental programs and supports provided
opportunities for the masses in the pursuit of educational attainment

and employment in the public sector. Undoubtedly, many who took
advantage of these public offerings OWE a great deal of gratitude to the
nation and considering the challenges the country and its people face
have an obligation to repay these silent uncollected national loans with
in-kind services availing their expertise, knowledge, wisdom and if
necessary, their material resources to the country. Doing so will in turn
lend hand to a more deserving generation who lack opportunities for
personal advancement.

I believe that I personally am grateful for the investments made on my
behalf and owe a great deal to the Somali people. I hope, pray, and plan
that I will be able to give back by instituting effective governmental
institutions, creating initiatives and championing programs that will
strategically provide opportunities including:

1. knowledge and skills necessary in the job market
2. decent jobs to make a living and raise their families
3. peace and security to allow for personal development, and
4. living in dignity and hope, and pride in Somalinimo, country and
Leadership Skills and Knowledge
Leading a nation, let alone one that is emerging from a prolonged civil
conflict, requires specific leadership skills and a comprehensive
understanding of the myriad issues facing the country– be they internal
or external. Moreover, leadership in post conflict states require skillsets
and abilities that effectively capitalize and utilize human and national
resources to push for the emergence of a desired outcome. The two
most critical personal and professional attributes needed in holding
public office asserted by prophet Yusuf (AS) in ancient Egypt are

knowledge of the job (treasury) and trustworthiness in effective public
management, maximizing output and protecting resources.
Prophet Yusuf said to the king: “ “ قال
ع خزاين االرض ل اجعل
“ ان حفيظ عليم

“Appoint me the treasurer of the land of Egypt for I am trustworthy and

These presumed primordial qualities in leadership are to this day
incredibly significant and distinguishes the effective leader from the
mediocre. Knowledge and skills gained through education and work
experience grounded in innate personal traits of honesty, decency,
fairness, and trustworthiness are what is sought today in leadership.
Consequently, I am stretching my neck out, so to speak, to claim with
humility that I embody these personal and professional traits learned
through life experiences and bestowed to his servants by none other
than Allah SWT.

Improve national security

Without a doubt people from all walks of life in Somali society are
yearning for a stable state which may one day establish a fair justice
system and a rule of law that makes all citizens equal before the law. One
of the biggest challenges facing the Somali society today is the absence
of a justice system to adjudicate fairly and judiciously the myriad of social
and political issues facing post conflict society. A famous Islamic scholar
has been quoted regarding just societies when he said and I paraphrase
that “Allah prefers a just non-Islamic state over an unjust state claiming
to be Islamic” which highlights in no uncertain terms the importance of
a justice system in all societies. Establishing a fair and just judicial

system is a cornerstone of every developing society and governments
that establish effective institutions that protect human life and
property offer better living standards to their societies than others.
Unfortunately, current, and previous Somali governments failed to
prioritize the following:

1. Establish national reconciliation commission
2. Lead the nation in establishing citizen-based society
3. Create the environment where a new social contract can be drafted
in which Somalis from different parts of the country agree on a joint
national government.
4. Establish national forces that under no circumstances are used
internally against their own people—unless a national tragedy of
epic proportion that requires the use of all resources such as a high
impact criminal act or large-scale hostage taking.
5. Establish working relations between the public and security
services with the aim of improving relations and effective
6. Restore public confidence in the justice system and the rule of law.
7. Establish a comprehensive hard and soft power approach to
combat extremism with the following phases:
a. Open dialogue with al-Shabab directly or through a third
party with the aim of resolving the conflict
b. Work hard to win the hearts and minds of clan leadership and

the Somali public at large thus reducing or depriving al-
Shabab opportunities for future recruitment

c. Engage religious authorities and institutions to offer counter
arguments against their false ideology claims and highlight
why the government is a better alternative

d. Mandate state agencies to close all financing sources of al-
Shabab from local tax collections and from foreign actors

e. Provide incentives to youth and communities who are
susceptible to extreme ideology or have already been
f. Provide rehabilitative programs for former fighters for the
purpose of effective reintegration.
g. Enhance Somali security infrastructure, capacity and
capabilities with a plan to gradually replace AMISOM foreign
troops with well trained and well-equipped local forces.

Fix Broken System

The Somali system of government for all practical purposes is broken
and needs systemic overhaul undertaken by a technocrat government
with the proper legal and constitutional tools to revamp and reinvent
public institutions, train a cadre of public officials, and establish legal
framework that lay the foundation for good governance, efficiency, and
effectiveness. The Somali clan system which originates from primordial

competitive kinship families and communities is rudimentary, zero-
sum based, regressive, and utterly incompatible with the demands of

modern state. The so called “4.5” power sharing mechanism designed
originally for equity and inclusion between feuding clans is outdated,
primordial and, in my opinion, must be dismantled. Instead, we must
select merit-based systems that ensure capacity, inclusivity and
responds to long-term needs of Somali society.
The federal system of governance in which Somalis chose at the height
of the civil conflict to replace the previous heavy-handed “central
authority” system has its merits and thus far served the country well

despite constitutional glitches that require further review and
improvement. Unfortunately, Somalia has seen the brunt of a centralized
system in pursuit of clan domination or dictatorial usurpation of power.
However, the current clan-dominated federal enclaves running in
parallel with the Federal Government on all matters in a race to outdo
each other is untenable, destructive and must be changed. We must
ensure diversity at the Federal level and in each federal member state
and must find a way to end clan domination and endless rivalry if we
want to exist as a functioning modern state. My solution to improve the
current federal system is as follows:

1. Complete the writing of the provisional constitution
2. Establish legally required commissions and institutions
3. Agree on a fair and equitable resource sharing mechanism between
the FGS and Federal Member states
4. Democratize regional governments and expand authority to local
5. Finalize regional boundaries for tax collection and voting purposes
with flexible options for border communities
6. Engage Somaliland effectively and work toward reunification and
participation on the constitutional referendum
7. Establish a date for national referendum for the constitution to
give the Somali people opportunity to accept or reject federalism.
8. If elected I will work hard to fix the system.
Until then, Somali leaders must honestly and diligently improve and
promote federalism in accordance with the law until the public votes and
the results of a national referendum dictates otherwise.

Competence and Capacity

The complexities of a modern state in the advent of the encroachment
of Africa by foreign entities and other predators seeking to enhance
opportunities for hegemonic aims or seeking cheap raw materials and
other hidden treasures demand that we select the best and brightest
nationals to serve in our public offices in order to competently enhance
our complex national short- and long-term interests and safeguard our
natural resources. To effectively emerge from a failed state status, my
government will focus on vision, leadership and competence and will
not shy away from recruiting qualified professionals to occupy
government offices at every level. We need to glean the successes of
countries such Singapore and Malaysia and the grave challenges they
faced only decades earlier. Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore
and his team came up with a plan thar averted state failure and is now
exemplary among the top developing nations in the world. Similarly,
Malaysia rose to economic prosperity under the steady hands of Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his team. In hindsight, Singapore’s
economy was only three times larger than Somalia’s at the dawn of
Somali’s independence in 1960, however, it grew a whooping 90 times
more in the span of sixty years. These notable examples provide the kind
of leadership necessary to get a failed state stand on its own feet using
vision, effective leadership skills and the effective implementation of
strategies for a better national outcome.

Democracy vs Dictatorship

The Horn of Africa is a region that has historically seen its share of socio-
political conflict which led to the usurpation of power by totalitarian

regimes using past social injustices as raison d’etre for their harsh brutal

rule. Generally, leaders in Africa who refuse to relinquish power for
decades and whose public is suffering socially and economically under
their leadership do not stand to offer exemplary lesson to Somalia.
However, the changing of the guards in Somalia in every four years
enshrined in the constitution, and eventually with one person one vote
election system on the horizon, Somalia’s path to recovery is bright and
attainable notwithstanding systemic enhancements to rain in on
corruptive practices.

Somali leaders seeking for higher political office must affirm their
commitment as I do to democratic rule and adherence to the national
constitution and the laws of the country.

Somalis everywhere belong to a single social ethnic group called Somali
and the concept of Somaliness or “Somaalinimo” has been a uniting
factor beyond clan or regional differences. The concept lost is its appeal
when instruments of government were used internally and selectively
against other Somalis. Generally, as the only legal entity for Somalis
across the globe, Somalia should represent and promote the concept of
Somalinimo through education and public awareness and effectively
advocate for the plight and interests of Somalis across the globe.
Consequently, I will establish a special governmental agency for
Diaspora Citizenship and Relocation Authority for the sole purpose of
assisting the Somali Diaspora and developing mechanismsthat address
their relocation and employment needs upon their return.
The current stalemate in the dialogue between Somalia and Somaliland
is unfortunate. Current and former leadership failed to give the
unification of the Somali people the higher priority that it deserves.

My administration will make talks between Somalia and Somaliland a critical
national priority and will seek to find a permanent solution of the issues
through pragmatic mutually beneficial steps that heals past injustices
and improves socio-economic relations between the two.

We will identify competent individuals with historical understanding of
the issues to critically examine the differences, close the gaps, engage
with their counterparts meaningfully to produce a mutual roadmap and
a revised social contract for the eventual reunification of Somalia and
Somaliland. It is my heartfelt belief that both regions cannot sustain
strong statehood separately and can only reclaim respectable state
status regionally and globally if they come together under a federal union
comprising of two regions or other mutually agreed political

We will work hard to restore Somalinimo, promote brotherhood
among Somalis to end meaningless conflict, engage communities in
enhancing collaboration, respecting differences, and recognizing
diversity as a source of national strength. Somalis of different dialects,
features, cultures, and social backgrounds should all be appreciated,
honored, and treated equal under the law and in society. As enshrined
in the constitution nothing that gives the impression nor directly violates
Islamic law should be acceptable to my administration.

Government of the People

Africa inherited repressive colonial regimes that used power and
authority to suppress the masses while maintaining a fulfilling lifestyle
for those at the top. Unfortunately, African governments continue to
replicate these lessons and continue to misuse tools of government
against their people thus creating justifiable fear from central authority.

This leads to widespread public distrust on the formation of strong
national army and police, which effectively hampers statehood. On the
contrary, Islamic history which many contemporary politicians ignore its
lessons for just society, offers examples of humility in leadership in which
ordinary citizens have the right to question rulers in public without fear
or repercussions, as well as, the development of a system of taxation that
provides social welfare to the impoverished masses. Modern Western
democratic welfare systems in which Somali and other migrants
continue to benefit from are cornerstones of building a caring, uplifting
and just societies. Somalia has the potential to feed itself, protect its
weak and eventually get humanitarian agencies out of Somalia. This
can only happen when the world witnesses that a caring competent
government is in charge and the Somali public is no longer in need of
handouts. I will work hard to lay the foundation for Somalia to stop being
a recipient of emergency aid and becoming a self-sufficient nation that
contributes to the betterment of suffering people across the globe.

Good Governance

Moreover, government officials must be accountable, transparent,
accessible, and continuously inform the public on matters that are
critical to public welfare and security. The public must be made aware of
governmental initiatives and contractual agreements with local and
foreign entities that impact social and community development. Other
than state matters that are deemed national secret for a specified period
under a national security court approved arrangement– all
governmental matters must be made public for transparency and
accountability. My administration will ensure that the Somali people will
be made aware, as much as practicable, all of our international trips,
promises made and agreements signed immediately after returning from

overseas trips or upon concluding meeting with foreign dignitaries
visiting the country.

My administration will promote freedom of the press and will assist
media to have full access to review and critique governmental misuse of
public resources and other violations of the constitution. Rules and
regulations and a code of conduct guiding media reporting will be
established to ensure that Somalia media is competent and professional.

Foreign Relations

Establishing mutual relations between states is a national priority to
enhance our international stature and improve economic cooperation
and development of the country. Competent leaders must be aware of
the renewed Western, Asian, and Middle Eastern encroachment, and
interest in the Horn of Africa. The danger to the Somali state lies in the
event that a national leader aligns himself directly or indirectly with a
foreign entity or actor and becomes entirely beholden to them and
whose hands are utterly tied to engage effectively and meaningfully on
enhancing strategic interests of the Somali state.
I pledge to the Somali people that I am and will be free from and
independent of any local group with a groupthink mentality, foreign
actor, state, or a group of states involvement and direct or indirect
influence or control of my administration. I view Somalia as a nation
endowed with rich natural and mineral resources with an immense
potential to emerge as a politically and economically viable nation if
steady hands are in control and the Somali spirit of entrepreneurship and
hospitality is nurtured. My administration will pursue developmental
projects and economic cooperation independently and free from the
influence and control of any group or state. Somalia can only be free if

its leaders are confident of themselves, belief in the possibility of
returning past glories albeit with necessary corrections of past injustices.
Finally, I pledge to the Somali people that my administration will

➢ honor and respect the Somali citizen
➢ respect and follow the Somali constitution
➢ not usurp powers of independent branches of government
➢ Fulfil my duties with dignity, honor, transparency, and
➢ Select the most competent in my administration
➢ Collaborate with regional governments in accordance to the
constitution and deal with them with respect and dignity
➢ distinguish the federal mandate from regional mandates and
allow regional presidents to pursue their regional interests
under the confines of the constitution
➢ under no circumstance encroach upon the rights and
responsibilities of the regional governments and conversely
expect the same from regional administrations
➢ enhance the involvement of women, youth, and marginalized
groups in my administration
➢ Provide infrastructure and curricular support to Quranic
schools, improve public and private education, and provide
health clinics throughout the country.
➢ fight against clannism and nepotism in government
➢ establish commission against corruption and nepotism and
educate the public about its corrosive nature.
➢ establish national army, community police to establish law
and order and impartial justice system with competent

judges, courts, and constitutional court to safeguard the
supremacy of the law.

➢ Respect the electoral process and hand power to my
successor with honor and dignity.

Somalia can maintain a functioning state that is at peace with itself
and with its neighbors, improves the quality of life for its citizens
and brings back dignity and respect to the Somali state in the
international arena. With your help and the blessings of Allah SWT,
I want to work towards these noble aims—that is, if honored with
the privilege to serve the Somali people.
ل ؤهللا
ع ما اقول وكيل

Hawl, Hiigsi, Haybad iyo Horumar



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