‘’Daily and hourly, the politician inwardly has to overcome a quite trivial and all-too-human enemy a quite vulgar vanity.’’
Following his recent miraculous escape from the despicable act of terrorism and attempt assassination on his life, and that of some important members of his inner circle of cabinet Ministers and the audience at the bombed out National Theatre by the anti-peace elements, the Prime Minister of the TFG Dr. Abdweli Mohamed Ali Gaas issued a passionate and inspirational call on all peace –loving Somalis across the globe to redouble their concerted effort in rebuilding their nation and defend freedom in an unprecedented local and international broadcast describing on one hand, the continuing fight against the evils of International terrorism and on the other, the genuinely forceful determination of his Government to ensure the successful implementation of the National roadmap, which is his brainchild, that will hopefully end the current transitional nature of government to a Federal status by August 2012.
In his interviews, the PM speaks movingly of the price his government have paid while travelling what he calls the ‘’hard road to salvation of the Somali Nation’’- and of his heartfelt belief and conviction in the justice of their cause, which sustained him during this extremely difficult period. He speaks of the cause that he is so passionately dedicated as to forgo the comforts of a conventional existence. He describes his basic job as a total dedication to the defence of the right of Somalis to free and truthful life. In a nutshell, his passion is total liberty for all Somali citizens. He reminded me of President Obama who also recognized the need for passionate idealism. In The Audacity of Hope he wrote “that it has not always been the pragmatist, the voice of reason, or the force of compromise, that has created the conditions for liberty,” but that passionate, and sometimes uncompromising, idealists like William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman also advanced freedom.
Dr Abdiweli intellectually describes the formidable challenges that face the government in the run-up to the end of the transition government in August 2012, and the hard price paid by those who choose the path of salvation and hard-work in Somalia, citing the recent suicide attack at the National Theatre as a classic case of point which he firmly reiterated only serve as a catalyst for our renewed sense of solidarity and commitment to our cause, which is the cause of all men and women of Somalia who value human dignity and freedom. ‘’You see, at present saving and serving Somalia is quite a dangerous mission for those like me who decide to go into, and to persevere in, the risky business of nation-rebuilding have to be prepared to live in. It implies suffering by choice. As a matter of fact, living in constant danger is a huge part and parcel of the existence of a nationalist. It is because of the high value we put on the object of our passion that we are able, sometimes in spite of ourselves, to choose suffering. ‘’ I ask myself, what kind of people deliberately choose to walk the path of deprivation? For me as a Social Scientist, his discussion confirms the commonplace that in theory as in politics, insight and fecundity count for more than consistency.
He also praises the extraordinary bravery of the Somali people as they go about their daily lives and duties as they defy the artificial fear created by Alshabaab to subjugate them. He commends them for this courage and their selfless act of defiance, and further elaborates on how it has to be renewed consciously from day to day and moment to moment, adding that this is how the battle for liberty has to be fought until such a time as we Somalis have the right to be free from the fear imposed by International terrorism. Perhaps, at this juncture, the wisdom of the Ukrainian poet Anna Akhmatova paints a true genre when she says: “No, this is not me. This is somebody else that suffers. I could never face that and all that happened.”
In his now century old book, ‘’Politics as a Vocation’’ (1919), Max Weber identifies three qualities of decisive importance for politicians as passion, a sense of responsibility, and a sense of proportion. The first – passion – he interprets as the passionate dedication to a cause. Such a passion is of crucial importance for those who engage in one of the most dangerous kind of politics: the politics of rebuilding a war-ravaged nation torn apart by decades of the worst form of political violence compounded and fuelled with the impact of international terrorism. Such a passion has to be at the core of each and every person who makes the decision, to live and work in a world apart from the rest of the modern civilization; a precarious world of Somalia with its own unwritten rules and regulations, a world where if Adam, the father of humanity if he ever chooses to return could easily adopt despite the rapid progress of our post-modernist world, the world of being the Prime Minister of Somalia, the most difficult job in the world!
Dr. Abdiweli, the PM of the Somali TFG, further discussed the notable success achieved by his government, namely the reaching out to a number of regional administrations, the Garoowe constitutional conferences, the consensus reached on federalism, the system of government and electoral system; the Constituent Assembly which will provisionally adopt the new constitution and the election of the new federal parliament.
Speaking of the vital importance of building legitimacy and an inclusive representation of the Somali populace, he stated ‘’the lead role in deciding Somalia’s future constitution will be played by the 825 member Constituent Assembly, a body chosen to represent the diverse segments and communities of our country based on the 4.5 formula, that will come together in the last two weeks of May 2012.’’ He also briefed his audience on the military success achieved jointly by the Somali National Security Forces (NSF) and Amisom together with the Ethiopian forces in flushing out Alshabaab out of Mogadishu and other areas of south central Somalia, including Gedo, lower and middle Juba, Bay, Bakool, Hiiraan and Galgaduud. He added that in those newly recovered areas, his administration is working with the local communities through a modality of grass-root engagement approach to establish civil administration, peace committees, and promoting social reconciliation. He insists that ‘’we must show them – and quickly – the benefits of stable and inclusive government or risk spoilers moving in to exploit the absence of authority.’’
The Prime Minister while recognizing the current building of tensions as the end of the period of the transitional government nears discusses the inherent dangers and concludes with a message of wisdom coupled with a stern warning for those trying to disrupt the achievements of the National Roadmap to build national stability and a new federal Somalia:
“In the past, Somali politicians have been guilty of fracturing – just at the moment where citizens expect and hope for the greatest leadership. Inevitably, some known political factions will sow disunity. They must not prevail.’’
Luckily, all Somalis and the International community know who the spoilers are and their modus operandi. For the sake of Somalia, let the current caravan of change and salvation move under its present architect Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, the incumbent Prime Minister of the TFG otherwise history will never forgive us. I will pen off with the famous Somali nomadic lyrics:
Gediga wadaay waday wadaay oo gediga wadaay
Let the camel caravan move on, let it move on!
Deeq S. Yusuf is a Social Scientist based in London and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org