President Farole in an angry tone told the media, “during the prime ministers’ appointment, we have been consulted, and we welcomed his nomination. The prime minister is from Puntland…but if he fails to consult with us when he’s nominating ministers in particular those from Puntland–which I see it as compulsory–the rift will continue and we will not recognize his government,” President Farole of Puntland said. Upon learning this chilling message, many Puntlanders in the diaspora and in Puntland turned against Farole’s aristocratic attitude towards the prime minister who has been nominated just few days ago. Angry commentary from the public have been trickling into the media. Strong commentary were posted in many websites. The majority of the commentators criticized President Farole for his feeble view of the prime minister, and many demanded apology to the PM.
Whilst the issue has been debated in the media, PM Gaas ignored Farole’s unethical outbursts, and rather focused on improving government controlled areas of Mogadishu. The PM visited the Mogadishu Port and also nominated new committees to help people cope with the prolonged drought season that affected the lives of the people and livestock. In addition, some sources reported that the PM will visit Puntland in the next few days alongside the President of the TFG, Sheekh Sharif Sheekh Ahmed and other high profile officials. No one knows the motive of this visit, whether it has to do with President Farole’s unwise demands or not.
Puntland has been at loggerheads with the TFG and eventually broke relations with the central government, last year. The world learned from Farole only last week that he has been involved in the TFG’s recent political skirmishes including the removal of former PM, Farmajo. In the past, President Farole has had unwittingly accused the TFG of issues pertaining to financial matters, but his recent friendship with the TFG’s parliament speaker, Sharif Hassan Adan has emboldened him to think of a new political maneuvers in close collaboration with the controversial speaker who purposefully unseated TFG’s popular prime minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
Prime Minister Abdiweli M. Ali is still very new and it’s too early for him to engage regional administrations, at least at this juncture. To see him concede to Farole’s demands will greatly weaken his ability to mend the things Farmajo left unfinished. And if he visits Puntland prior to his cabinet formation, many will notice a blemish on the prime minister’s reputation. Moreover, the central government will continue to suffer from lack of a strong leadership and of course legitimacy.
Mohamud Ahmed is political analyst and contributor to Terror Free Somalia