The Way Forward For Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni
GAROWE ONLINE EDITORIAL | The pages of history will remember January 26 as the day Garowe united many Somali leaders peacefully in a moment of significance and history. Opposition groups as well as the sitting president of the Somali federal government flew into Garowe to celebrate the inauguration of the new president Siciid Cabdulahi Deni.This was a night to remember, it was big and bold. Besides The President of Somalia, and the new president of Puntland Siciid Cabdulahi Deni, the honorable guests included former presidents of TFG, former vice president of puntland, presidents of federal member states,members of federal parliament, ministers from the federal government,Dignitaries from the International Community, women leaders, youth, traditional elders and the media and of course the larger Puntland community.
If this inauguration was any way an inkling into the style of leadership of President Deni, then we can already see his vision in the people he put in charge of the inauguration including the MC Yasmeen Maxamuud Xamud, a Somali woman from the US, a writer who moved to Puntland to be a change maker. She directed the program in Somali and directly spoke to the International community in flawless English. This was a first of many firsts in this administration.
The waves of people cheered their leaders whom they have only known until that moment from TV screens. Four hours of speeches, poetry, entertainment and reflection culminated in an aura of hope and change. In his speech President Deni eloquently acknowledged the reasons behind the formation of the state of Puntland, namely to bring about a system of governments that was useful for the people of Puntland and to also be a major influence in establishing a Federal Government in Somalia that was strong and stable to support the federal members states. In twenty years, Puntland as a government achieved both.
In his inaugural address, Mr. Deni spoke of the sweeping changes that his presidency represented, describing in detail the changes he would undertake in this new administration. He was confident and knowledgeable when delivering his inaugural address. Over all his speech was thoughtful and well-delivered.
The president promised to bring institutional reforms to the existing public institutions and to uphold the rule of law and the judiciary system to serve the people equally and fairly. President Deni promised to improve and strengthen the revenue collections systems in place to assure a sustainable economy.
He also spoke calculatedly about the will to fight militia groups and to improve the security sector. To judge from his speech, the President who inherited an empty treasury and public institutions that are in shambles, will have a tall order ahead of him to fix the five years of governing by former President Dr. Abdiweli Ali Gas whose government was famous for corruption, nepotism and weak institutions that were not strong enough to sustain public service.
In order to bring the government to the people, President Deni will have to first and foremost bring into his government competent, honest, hard working Puntlanders to serve in his government. The hope is that President Deni will pick his cabinet keeping in mind the drastic changes he promises are to take base, his cabinet must reflect it, it must have competent individuals with strong leadership skills, varied skill sets and transferable Knowledge they can apply to different situations. Also they must be serious about serving the people of Puntland with honesty and principle.
And president Deni should choose merit over friendship and influence. President Deni is better than his predecessor and should obtain his new cabinet, choosing those serving in all areas of government on:
Integrity, honesty, Education, and purpose.
The festive ceremony ended in cheers and excitement from the public and a renewed promise for all puntlanders.The new president will be taken to task and reminded that his government will be judged on the promises he made.
Pres.Deni will be valued on his commitment to bring about bold changes to improve youth unemployment, education, promoting healthier economy and law abiding citizens. The entire ceremony was about validations and a commitment to people who are ready for a leader who is part of their lives and one who will understand a government without the people is a government of failures.
Deni'leadership role is commendable,he brought together under one roof presidents of federal ember states and President Farmajo to bring about solutions on the ongoing dispute that has been dragging and has had negative impact in the relationship between the Mr. Farmajo’s government and that of the federal member states. This was a prominent time for President Deni to showcase his leadership, which he did by attending to the long on going feud between the federal member states and the federal government. There were no promises made here, but an understanding to schedule a time in March to once bring these stakeholders to task to resilve this impasse.
Although President Deni’s administration is still young, his actions and lead spell an administration that is competent, productive, with integrity. We are expecting also a government that respects the will of the people, upholds the rule of law, that is transparent and an environment that will encourage investment from international partners to Puntland to carry out the necessary development and reform President Deni will undertake.