By: Yusuf M Hasan
Hargeisa (Somalilandsun) – Despite insurmountable hurdles the Somaliland democratization process has come of age thence the increase in national interest related disputes’ as opposed to ones based on clan or tribe.
This was stated by veteran politician and hospitality industry tycoon Osman Abdilahi Egal ‘Osman Hindi’ during a joint interview with Somalilandsun and reporter Kadar Dhako from Dawan newspaper at the posh Crown Hotel he owns and manages in Hargeisa.
Upon a recap of the areas of interest for insights Osman Hindi insisted on it being of importance that his interviewers acquaint with the fact that his status as a non-aligned politician guides his perception and views on diverse issues in the country.
I take pride in being among those spearheading non-aligned participation in the Somaliland political scene said Osman Hindi who though once a senior figure in the Udub party and personal friend to ex-president Dahir Rayale Kahin belongs to neither the ruling Kulmiye nor any of the two opposition parties of Wadani or UCID.
Q. Sir, what is your take on the recent physical confrontation at parliament buildings between speaker Abdirahman Irro and his first deputy Bashe Mohamed Farah?
A. The physical confrontation between the two senior most legislators is ultimate proof that Somaliland is now democratically fully matured.
Q. How would you justify the brawl captured on video as proof of democracy having matured in the country?
A. First let me stress that courtesy of personal friendship with both Irro and Bashe, I can confidently state that they maintain very close relations
On the other hand Somaliland is not different from any other democratic country in the world where freedom of expression and right to hold different opinions are enshrined thence never ending friction in one form or another within the leadership or even with citizens.
And the fact that the Irro-Bashe scuffle emanated from divergent thoughts on the planned privatization of the Berbera based Fuel Depot by government thus precipitated by national interests rather than clan or tribal interests of yesteryears is ample testimony that Somaliland democratization process has come of age.
Q. Aren’t your views on the brawl contrary to those of other politicians who have apportioned blame to either Irro for acting as opposed to an aspiring president of the nation he is to contest in elections under the banner of the Wadani party he leads or Bashe for his lack of parliamentary etiquettes that prompted the scandal allegedly under orders from the presidency?
A. Yes, I surely gather the fracas differently it being obvious that it, fray, by two leaders who maintain close personal relations emanated from deviating thoughts on a matter of national importance rather than one induced by disputed grazing fields or watering holes amongst their clansmen.
That said, I also wish to urge upon my colleagues in politics to desist from viewing every slight difference of opinion among leaders as a tribe, clan or sub-clan issue as in the present case surrounding the Irro-Bashe brawl.
Q. do you and your non-politically aligned colleagues agree with the 28th March 2017 presidential and parliamentary elect dates decreed by president Silanyo recently?
A. not only do we fully support the decree but go further and urge for those aspiring for both the presidency and legislature to forget about the issue of 22 months polls and executive tenure extension and embark on preparing their position papers cum party manifestoes as a prelude to actually campaigning.
Q. how would you rate the administration of President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and his Kulmiye party on a scale between 10 excellent and 1 very poor?
Answer to this question was preceded by a prolonged laugh from the politician
It is impossible to rate the Silanyo or any other administration on your scale for each has tangible achievements that are coupled by various challenges and constraints
But on a serious note we are all aware of the administrations before this one beginning with the first post withdrawal from union with Somalia of 1991 led by late president Abdirahman Tuur that oversaw transition from the shambles of civil war, reclamation of sovereignty and establishment, out of ashes and debris of a country that is The Republic of Somaliland.
This was followed by the administration of late president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal whose major achievement amongst many was the forging of nation from formerly warring clans through peaceful reconciliation, demobilization of militias and more importantly creation of functional government structures.
After Egal came the eight years administration of president Dahir Rayale Kahin and his UDUB party that not only sustained status of his predecessors but institutionalized the democratization process that saw him hold the first ever democratic one man one vote elections in the history of Somaliland beginning with local councils, presidency twice and parliament.
Though Rayale achieved much more especially in forging closer relations with foreign partners and keeping a distance from issues related to Somalia his administration shall always be associated with the very successful democratization process which is no longer fledging but fully matured.
The administration of president Silanyo/ Kulmiye party which is a continuation of the earlier three has done a commendable job which is not limited to maintaining or improving on inherited status quos but implementing its policies as well.
in a nutshell the Silanyo administration is still governing and rating on whatever scale is only possible once out of office but suffice is to say each government current or future requires the support of all somalilanders regardless of their political persuasion.
Q. how would you go about the quest for the two decades elusive recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign nation?
A. very simply, first and foremost do we somalilanders recognize our country as sovereign thus independent from external rule,
If the answer is yes, then the quest you term elusive is negligible because having its citizens fully acknowledge and commit to its sovereignty simply translates to the republic of Somaliland being nation that stands tall within itself
Finally sir will you talk to us soon about your other life as a hospitality industry operator and more so as pertains your views on public entertainment of which your Crown Hotel is reckoned with?
Osman Abdilahi Egal ‘Osman Hindi’; you are welcome whenever you want
For your time and candid thoughts thank you very much sir
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