Somalia adopted Federal system in 2012 and afterwards five (5) member states were formed. Hirshabelle and Galmudug States are the last born of Somalia’s Federalism.
Galmudug was established in 2015 after vigorous consultations with Galguduud and some parts of Mudug regions amalgaming to form the federal state.
Since its formation, Galmudug State has been floundering in what seemed never-ending cycles of violence. Due to the presence of different powers and actors in the state, prospects of united Galmudug was a dream. Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a was an eminent force that excoriated decisions that they were not engaged or consulted.
Presence of Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a with forces loyal to them and years of wrong diagnosis cast doubt in establishing a united Galmudug. Dam Jadiid had its pressure and influence in the state.
Alshabab controlled some parts of the State (and still they do) while clan-based interests outweighed that of the public. Members of Parliament (at Federal level) from Galmudug had also displayed their preferences, blessings, and vices on their fatherland. Villa Somalia had its influence too.
According to intellectuals that hail from Galmudug, there are egregious spoilers that meddled Galmudug’s affairs based on their motives. Adado cut ties with Dhusamareeb, there are clan-based conflicts over the meagre resources and Puntland had severed relations with Galmudug. It was years of backwardness.
When the elections were due in 2020, many Somalis cast doubt on the credibility of the results. There were a torrent of criticism that the current president of Galmudug is the choice of Villa Somalia. Nin Dooran Doorta (elect the chosen) was the theme on social media before the elections.
This has dampened the spirits of many including presidential candidates that vied for the top seat. Pessimists predicted the propensity for violence and unrest in the aftermath of Galmudug elections without probing beneath the surface to discover deeper truths. To the optimists, united Galmudug was palpable.
The elections that were held on 2nd February 2020, Ahmed Abdi Kariye (Qoor-Qoor) was elected the president of Galmudug State. The president elect initiated grassroot talks to bring any opposition party or individual on table.
He never travelled outside Galmudug since he was elected but was vigorously engaged with any party that expressed unwanted or unwelcome direction for Galmudug. It is a clarion call for a complete change and a new chapter for the State. A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness!
A politician turned a peacemaker, the president earned reputation when he persuaded his predecessor Mr Xaaf to change his oppositional mind by becoming part of the change. On 6th April 2020, a festive gathering was held in Dhuusamareeb and a cordial reception accorded to Mr. Xaaf (the former president of Galmudug who denounced the elections).
Mr. Xaaf gave up his struggle for the sake of united Galmudug and deserves his share of gratitude. “No more bloodshed in Galmudug” was Xaaf’s message. Converting an opponent to be constructive backup is the role of a peacemaker. A house cannot be repaired when the owner is destroying it!
With the wave in Galmudug and how things are unfolding, the State is headed to the right direction and the efforts of President Qorqor are liable to be emulated and commended. However, stitching together a State that was marred by recurring political differences, clan-based conflicts` and insurgency requires a strong leadership with authority and benevolence. When you want to go quickly go alone but if you want to go far go together!
The current president of Galmudug has huge tasks on his table. Despite the commendable peace initiatives, the presidents has taken, there are hurdles and thorns that lay ahead of the president. Striking a balance between pleasing politicians and public interests is an ineludible path awaiting the president.
Lessons from America’s 1860 elections
When Abraham Lincoln won the US presidency in 1860, he stunned the country by appointing all his three rivals to his cabinet. The three rivals were William H. Seward appointed as Secretary of State, Salmon P. Chase appointed as Secretary of Treasury and Edward Bates appointed as Attorney General. Lincoln believed these people were the strongest men in the country, he declared that at times of peril, the country needed to have strong men.
By putting his rivals in his cabinet, he had access to a wide range of opinions which he realized would sharpen his own thinking. It also gave him a way of keeping all those conflicting opinions together. His rivals had their way of thinking too.
In this way, Lincoln won the respect of his rivals. A set of emotional strengths was the foundation of Lincoln’s political genius: he understood that human relations are at the core of politics and that if you deal with people in the right manner, you are going to work effectively with them. The qualities associated with human greatness- such as sensitivity, empathy, compassion, kindness, honesty- are all keys for political success.
When something went well, Lincoln always shared credit. When something went wrong, he shouldered his share of the blame. When he himself made a mistake, he acknowledged it immediately. He made a time for each of his cabinet members so that they all felt they had access to him. He treated the all respectfully and fairly. In the end, his rivals came not only to respect Lincoln but also love him.
To expand and retain the grassroot initiative, Presidents Qorqor is required:
To direct resources at his command, every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement to united Galmudug while dispensing justice.
To expand Talks to greater Galmudug by visiting major towns/cities to end the pollical stalemate that is branded with the State.
To deploy neutral government forces in areas that has witnessed clan conflicts to pacify the situation.
To form small-sized but competent cabinet that caters community needs
To open doors for aid and development agencies so that Galmudug gets its share from the national pie and from the government partners.
Muktar Abdi Hussein (Fodey)
Public Policy Analyst