By: Yusuf M Hasan
MOGADISHU (Somalilandsun) – After 45 years a Somali President has handed power peacefully.
Former President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed handed over to Hassan Sheikh Mahmud who assumes the precarious office after he garnered a majority of parliamentary votes in elections that were the first in Somali soil since 1967.
This is per reporter Mohamed Haji Hussein of Hiiraan Online who covered the event in Mogadishu.
During the handover ceremony, the outgoing president said that he was over joyed despite losing in elections to be handing over the presidency to an elected replacement an act that was last witnessed when President Aden Abdullah Osman Da’ar relinquished power to President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke on 10 June 1967.
Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who served for three turbulent years as the head of the internationally supported Federal Transitional Government-TFG said the change from a transitional government to a permanent one in his motherland that heads the Guinness book of records as the longest failed state, is the most important occasion in his life.
Said he, “I extend my congratulations to both national army and AMISOM troops without whose sacrifices have made this historic event a reality”
While urging his country folk to wholeheartedly support president Hassan Sheikh Mahmud because of the onerous task of government building awaiting him, Hon Sheikh Sharif said without unity Somalis would ever be doomed to the same abyss they palced themselves all of the past 21′ years.
“Government and public service provision is at the beginning therefore important for all of us to unite and support the leader of the day in this difficult task we gave him” Said Sharif.
On conclusion of his final speech as president of Somalia, Hon Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed handed over official documents to President Hassan Sheikh Mahmud whom he wished well in his duties as well as promised support whenever needed.
Sharif Ahmed The man now to assume the title LIBERATOR of Mogadishu was born in 1964 in the southern Shabelle Dhexe (central) region of Somalia. He is a member of the Abgaal clan.
Sharif began his education at the Sheikh Sufi Institute, which was associated with Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He then went to Sudan and entered Kordufan University in late 1992, where he pursued a bachelor’s degree in the Arabic language (major) and geography (minor) in the city of Aldalanj. In 1994, the university renamed itself University of Dalanj, and Sheikh Sharif left for Tripoli, the capital of Libya, after having completed only two out of the required four years. In Libya, he entered the Open University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Law and Islamic Shariah, graduating in 1998. He has worked as a secondary school teacher of geography, Arabic, and religious studies.
A hafiz, Ahmed had memorized the Qur’an as a child and spoke only standard Arabic, shunning slang and local dialects. Thus, his religious upbringing and education allowed him to succeed his father as the spiritual leader of the Idriseeyah sect of Sufi Islam in Somalia.