After over two decades of being the number one example of a failed and volatile state, where the term “Somalisation” was coined to label Somalia the icon of self-defeat, death and destruction; there is new hope on the horizon for Somalia—the proud nation of poets. Somalis should be delighted that the ugly and unruly transitional period ended on August 20, 2012. Although the transition period and process remains vivid in the memory of every Somali of the mountains of flaws suffered in the course of the Transitional Federal Government, provisional constitution, the selection of the traditional elders and the new members of the parliament; Somalia, in defiance of the expectations of its adversaries, must rise up to claim the position of powerhouse in East Africa.
Despite the challenges posed by unscrupulous politicians and self-proclaimed leaders, outrageously-illiterate tribal leaders, suicide attempts and threats by extremists, as well as firm resistance from the defunct bloated parliament and its unschooled former speaker; the process has been successfully completed, the only remaining agenda-item being the election of the president of Somalia.
There are currently dozens of presidential candidates who have declared their intention to contest for the highest office of the nation. Some of these candidates have extraordinary academic backgrounds, but the question is which of them has what it takes to bring Somalia back to a state of normalcy? Given Somalia’s perilous political environment and the internal and external factors fraught with conflicting interests and agendas; the answer to that question is not an easy one. However, when one looks closely at those presidential candidates, one candidate, ex-Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, not only stands out but stands tall.
The primary reason that makes Farmaajo the obvious choice for President of Somalia, are as follows: the centripetal force of unity his personality, ideology and governance-style brings to Somali political culture and development. The validity of such a uniting force was evidenced during his short spell as Prime Minister. Most experts agree that Farmaajo understands better than any other candidate Somalia’s current predicament. Somalia has very complicated problems that require a leader that has the ability to maneuver the nation out of its current morass. It will be naïve to assume that any one person can solve all of Somalia’s problems, but a visionary leader can inspire confidence in Somali masses and in the international community.
In spite of depressing headlines, upsetting images of endless atrocities of man-made famine, chaos, conflict, and infinite crises that our nation has suffered for so long, and the fact that Somalia tops every list of either being the worst or the least of all metrics of socioeconomic wellbeing and political development; Somalia remains to be richest in East Africa if not potentially Sub-Sahara Africa; with having the largest African Diaspora, aggressive business-minded people, a large store of livestock, fertile land, a longest coastline in Africa, and natural resources including significant proven oil and gas reserves. Somali children don’t deserve to die from starvation and certainly don’t deserve to live in such inhuman conditions for as long as they have. This is why the Somali people must reclaim their country by helping to build strong political and economic institutions, and hence, raise Somalia’s flag sky high. I am firmly convinced that Farmaajo is the leader with the vision to make that goal a manifest reality. He is the right man, for the right job, at the right time in Somalia’s history.
The year 2012 must be the year we correct our past blunders by picking the right person and that right person is and should be, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo; the next president of Somalia, for Somalia’s sake. The ball is now in the court of the New Parliament!
* The Author is a community organizer based in Columbus, Ohio. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org