Post-Mortem Political Analysis About the Catastrophic Failures of Farmaajo’s Tenure!
by Abdiaziz Arab
Thursday July 22, 2021
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo
The much-delayed national election is in the corner. In this short article, we look back closely at Mr. Farmaajo’s reign and how he fooled the nation with his theatrics by beating the drum for nationalism.
On the dawn of February 8th, 2017, many of us were inspired and hoped that the newly elected president, Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo, would bring the change and patriotism the nation was yearning for and take it forward.
We thought that the election of Farmaajo signified the birth of a new dawn for our country.
How wrong we were!
Because Somalis were fed up with widespread corruption and clan politics; Farmaajo seized the opportunity by playing the nationalist card and preaching patriotism. Thus, Farmaajo gained the full support of the nation at home and abroad. But the questions arise here of why Somalis gave Farmaajo an unwavering backing? Why did they not back his predecessors as they supported him?
As we know Somali society is based on clan politics. People are expected to endorse those closest to them from the clan’s perspective. According to the clan tradition, there is no shame in supporting your cousin over others, even if your relative is less qualified than his/her opponent. But Somalis broke that barrier to give Farmaajo an advantage over the other candidates. What was it that Farmaajo told and promised the nation to acquire their unswerving support?
To answer this question and others, come with me on an adventure of exploration about the political journey of President Farmaajo.
In other words, let us explore who Farmaajo the politician is? Why did he become a politician? Why did he swap his safe home in Buffalo, New York, for the most dangerous city in the world, Mogadishu? Was he looking to become rich quickly, as many join politics for that reason? Was fame and prestige behind his motive? Was there something else that we do not know which motivates him?
Farmaajo left the country in the early 1980s to become a secretary for the Somali embassy in Washington and remained in the US until he was appointed as the TFG’s premier in 2010. Before he was appointed as Somalia’s PM, Farmaajo had no prior political career.
After graduating from the University of Buffalo, New York in 1993, he held various civil servant positions in New York state, the most significant and the longest being the Commissioner for Equal Employment for the New York State Department for Transportation in Buffalo.
Some analysts say that because Mr. Farmaajo left Somalia in the 1980s as a vintage, and peaceful country, where its institutions were functioning properly, and it was ruled by a military decree. For him, the time stopped the minute he left the country, and when he came back, he attempted unconsciously to start his political career at the point he left Somalia.
It seems that for Farmaajo, the military rule between 1969 and 1991 is a standard to measure not only for his leadership but also for any Somali administration. Put differently, Farmaajo’s general demeanour and the way he conducts his politics make it seem that he is not fully aware of the hardships and the civil war the country had gone through in the last 30 years.
This is because, contrary to the deafening reality on the ground and the desperate situation the country was pulled from, Farmaajo is more interested in reviving the former military regime’s rites than, for example, fighting terrorism. So, let us look back at how Farmaajo became a politician?
In 2007, Farmaajo became the leader of the Somali community in Buffalo.
However, according to a recent article in the New York Times, Farmaajo manipulated the election process; as a result, the community broke up into two groups.
In October 2010, the relatively unknown Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo was appointed as the nation’s prime minister by the former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. According to political commentators, Farmaajo had a torrid working relationship with the TFG’s most senior officials, the speaker of the house, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden and the president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
As a result, he was forced to resign after a mere six months in the post.
Before the parliamentary election victory in 2017, Farmaajo ran an unsuccessful election campaign in 2012 where he was eliminated in the first round.
So, let us explore and seek answers the above questions, particularly about how Mr. Farmaajo gained the nation’s unwavering support.