The Head of State had opted to fore-go the defense of his seat at a time he was quite popular and could have recaptured his seat hence the opposition were disintegrated. This is a typical Nelson Mandela reminiscence, making his legacy magnificent.
Immediately after making such announcements, H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Mohamoud Silanyo has time and again told Somalilanders that he would only play the Elder Statesman role of father figure hence shall not be part of the petty political campaigns wrangles.
Of note was his speech to both houses of the bicameral parliament at the beginning of last year where he made this quite clear.
Later on he has repeated the same words again at different times for a while.
It is within this background that we find it worth explaining why the President is concerned with the legacy he hopes to leave behind.
When it comes to the drought issue, it is him who sounded the first horns of the sirens of the SOS about the impending situation even before his cabinet members, MPs, traditional leaders or the media realized what was going on in the country-side.
This column, and THT news features at that, happened to have been privy to the country-side situation and cautioned the people by then.
The President took upon his own self to personally mobilize relief supplies at national to grassroots level and coaxed and nudged Somalilanders who in turn took heed hence helped themselves to aid their own people.
So too had the President led the people to register as voters. He has kept his government’s part of the bargain in preparation for the electioneering process..
Even as the opposition parties and now (all) of the parties have put into perspective the issue at stake, the President has all the right to remind everyone, every stakeholder, Somalilanders as a whole and the international community and the world for that matter that he had wants to leave behind a legacy to be emulated; and he still intends to do JUST THAT.
He could have defended his seat; could have easily won, but decided not to.
As of this calamity, it is not one that he has NO any powers over.
It is a natural disaster and it is just simply that. A natural phenomenon.
What people who do not know our world and our ways of politics is this:-
The constitution of Somaliland has an article regulating rescheduling of elections when calamities strike, whether natural or not.
What we are different with the rest of the world is the clause that addresses a situation of drought.
The Netherlands, US, UK, Kenya, S. Africa etc, for instance, do not re-schedule election date because of drought.
But here in SL we do so because we are pastoralists and when famine, strike our people are displaced.
They go to the neighboring countries or flee their residences and normal habitats.
With the official IDPs situation today being half a million families displaced, that’s a calamity (See story elsewhere in this issue).
It is against this background of the President’s hands being tied that he asks the NEC to put into account, perspective and consideration his legacy as they go back to the drawing board and come with a comprehensive plan to overcome the crises.
That much said, we today hail the President for giving the judiciary its independence.
It is a milestone action which will be forever be remembered in the history and journals of this country.
For the first time, the magistrates and judges will not live in fear of jeopardizing their jobs.
For the first time, these judicial officials will not appease senior executive officials or traditional leaders.
For the first time the prosecution will be seriously put in check, which brings us to the need for also perfecting the prosecutions department.
Constitution governing the roles of the prosecution and solicitor general offices hence defining their jurisdictions is a needful ‘must’.
Secondly the Attorney General’s tasks of prosecution should again be separated from the courts. This will contain un-checked overlapping roles that conflict and impede the management of justice.
As we congratulate Chief Justice Aden we hope that he will now rein in his forces and with the new wand he is wielding, may he wave it in the right direction and lift the justice management standard to a new level.
Stability stands on Justice just as Unity leans on Justice