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Thursday, April 1, 2010

The TFG leaders of Somalia are in love with photo ops, but who cares about the people?

By Abdi Mohamed Ali

We have seen how both the current TFG President and Prime Minister fought hard to be photographed in Chaltam House when nobody in this world wants to go or visit Somalia because it has been made uninhabitable not only for millions of Somalis who suffer in the Diaspora but even for the families and children of government leaders and officials.

I was against Abdullahi Yusuf and his TFG and I wished him to go away. It is said do not wish for something you may get it. Sometimes when you get what you have wished for you may be worse off than the situation you were in the first place. Now truly and genuinely we have a TFG which is a lot worse than the government of Abdullahi Yusuf.

When I say these words many Somalis may not take me seriously, but I have the facts here to back it up. Judging from today's leaders of Somalia now I know Abdullahi Yusuf was a patriotic man who only had one problem. Abdullahi Yusuf loved power but now we know for fact that he really wanted Somalia to get back on her feet and become a nation respect by other nations.

In 2004, after the end of the longest conference held for Somalia, fresh from his election as leader, when the warlords stopped him to go to Mogadishu and establish his government there, Abdullahi Yusuf came up first with the solution to include them in his government. He made them Ministers in his Cabinet. Then they showed their true color. The warlords did not want his government or any government to establish itself in the capital. Then Abdullahi Yusuf made a deal with one warlord in Jowhar and he established his government in Jowhar. After the price became unbearable he moved his TFG to Baidhabo and later with the help of the Ethiopians to Mogadishu.

Now we know more than anywhere else Abdullahi Yusuf loved to stay in ruined Somalia than live a five star lifestyle in expensive hotels on foreign countries. For months without end Abdullahi Yusuf would stay in mosquito infested Jowhar and afterwards in Baidhabo.

Barely 5 months as leader, Somalis in America who constantly live under the weight of hope to one day see their country get better wondered why the current TFG leader Sheikh Sharif with a accompanying Ministers including his Finance Minister were doing touring one Somali community to another from Minnesota to Ohio for nearly 40 days on an expensive and time consuming tour of the US. It was all smiles while Somalis who languish in camps suffered in silence while the film just kept rolling.

During those tours was the new Somali leader feeling the burden of the weight of a nation in ruins on his shoulders or was he a man who saw himself like someone who having run a marathon felt to have a bit of "me time" in the glare of publicity?
Let us now discuss here objectively without attitudes coloring any other factors the differences between the leadership of Abdullahi Yusuf and Sheikh Sharif.

1. Abdullahi Yusuf was never after personal glory. During his 4 years presidency no one has seen Abdullahi Yusuf go on long, expensive and wasteful foreign trips for the love of personal glory or photo ops.

2. In 4 years let alone within 4 months of becoming President Abdullahi Yusuf never visited or stayed with any Somali Diaspora community who live in the safety of foreign countries. Abdullahi Yusuf felt that would have been unfair because millions of Somalis live in refugee camps within Somalia and in neighbouring countries. He felt first the country should get better than expend himself on foreign tours.

3. Abdullahi Yusuf did not buy one property in any foreign country and now we have proof. The quality of a budding is in the eating. After power everybody knows Abdullahi Yusuf is in Yemen living off the generosity of the Yemeni President Ali Abdalla Salah. He lives in a modest house lent to him and his family to stay in San’a in Yemen.

4. Abdullahi Yusuf did never acted like a celebrity or a kind of rock star. He knew he was from a nation in ruins which needed to be built up for many generations.

5. Abdullahi Yusuf was not in a business pact with anyone in his government or outside government.

6. Abdullahi Yusuf was not obsessed with money matters.

7. Abdullahi Yusuf was never a greedy man. I do not like to make one’s marital affairs an issue, but in this case, I will make an exception. It is worth mentioning that Abdullahi Yusuf was married to only to one woman for sixty years. One may say he was married to the idea of ruling Somalia, because those who know him and his family say that he did not even have time for his long suffering family.

Someone may say what has to be married to one or more women got to do with leadership. Leadership is about giving your whole time and undivided attention (emotionally, psychologically and physically) to the national affairs. Everybody knows how women (God bless them) love attention. How about married to four and be the President of a nation in tatters?

The author, Mr. Abdi Mohamed Ali, can be reached by email at:


  • Anonymous says:
    April 26, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Nimankan Villa Soomaliya fadhiya waxay ku jiraan inay jeebaka buusadaan oo cidna aynan waxba u qaba.

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