By: Latifa Yusuf Masai
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – We sincerely apologize to both Somaliland citizens and members of parliament following our fight.
This apology was jointly extended by the Somaliland speaker of parliament Abdirahman Irro and his 1st Deputy Bashe Mohamed Farah at the August house in Hargeisa where they also shook hands as a public show of reconciliation.
The two honourables were apologizing and reconciling following a physical confrontation during a fateful session of 12th Sept 1015 that legislators were supposed to have debated a government motion pursuant to privatization of the national fuel depot in Berbera.
The two senior legislators came to punches after persistent differences over the motion after MP Bashe who was fronting the government side grabbed on several times the microphone from Irro as well as usurping the authority of the chair by alleging parallel authority to Irro’s.
In his short speech to MPs at parliament building speaker Irro said that the acrimonious between him and his deputy were over after their unprompted reconciliation,
Said he, ” having observed disconcertion of MPs and citizens who elected us over the events of 12th Sept in this buildings and in lieu of the important function played by this chamber which we lead of which we regret we herby inform that we have patched up our differences “
After this statement Irro and Bashe shook hands and embraced in a show of reconciliation and before turning over the microphone to Bashe, Irro apologized to both citizens and legislators.
According to the deputy speaker Bashe Mohamed “whatever the reasons or outcome of the recent incident in parliament me and Irro have concurred to not only resolve our differences but apologize to parliament for the ugly way we behaved on the fateful day at the august house we lead”
While acknowledging that nobody expected to ever see a physical confrontation involving the house speakers’ Bashe said “From members such is expected but never from occupiers of the speaker’s dais, but all in all we extend our apologies to all”
Concluding the reconciliation session that had an almost full quorum 2nd deputy speaker Dr Ali Yusuf thanked the two former antagonists for squaring up on the fight without external interference a fact that will mitigate against countrywide ill-feelings,despite the fact that the two represent divergent political thought courtesy of their parties of which Bashe is from the ruling Kulmiye while Irro is not only chair of oppostion party Wadani but its candidate for president in 2017 elections.
Dr Ali then dispatched the house back to its two months recess that had been interrupted by the reconciliation session.
Though the 2 have squared up the contagious saga of National fuel depot privatization remains following announcement by a persistent government that it had already handed over management of the facility in Berbera to a private company.
This move has raised ire among a section of the citizenry and traditional leadership of whom two are in custody facing incitement charges not to mention the arrest of some journalists in relation to the privatization in which opponents perceive illegal since legislators from the house of representatives had overwhelmingly voted in favour of retaining the national fuel facility under state control.
In the meantime the speakers brawl has been attributed to the democratic maturity attained by the republic of Somaliland and its citizens.
According to veteran politician and hospitality industry tycoon Osman Abdilahi Egal ‘Osman Hindi’ the dispute between Irro and Bashe was national interest related as opposed to one based on clan or tribe.
The non-aligned politician who has close relations with the two legislators who testified to the friendship maintained by the two during a tet-a-tet with Somalilandsun reminisced that in the recent past differences among leaders was clan based revolving around share to the national cake, grazing and watering holes etc:
“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” argued Osman Abdilahi Egal ‘Osman Hindi’
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