Somalia Govt hits back at opposition’s criticism over encouraging terrorist
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Federal Government of Somalia has distanced itself from the controversial social media onslaught waged by Al-Shabaab operative Hassan Dahir against Wadajir party leader, Garowe Online reports.
In what caused an uproar from Wadajir party and its leader Abdirahman Abdishakur, Dahir called for the latter's execution, following his support for women leadership.
Mohamed Abdi Hayir Mareye, Somalia's Information Minister, on Friday denied allegations that the government facilitated the onslaught against Abdishakur.
According to the minister, the opposition "is using the attacks as a scapegoat for its inability to objectively execute its roles as prescribed in the constitution".
Dahir, the minister added: "Has a right to have a phone and enabling technology that can assist him to go live and defend his religion."
The controversial Islamist leader has been under police custody after being convicted of terrorism and related charges.
Abdirahman, who is the opposition leader, had accused the FGS of allowing Dahir "to call for my killing and supporting him in this and it's supporters promoting the same on social media".
The Islamist leader was responding to Abdishakur's remarks at a conference in Germany where he asked Islamic scholars to embrace women leadership.
Wadajir party, through a statement on Thursday, insisted that "Dahir could have not managed to use a phone in prison without the support of the government".
Further, the opposition outfit linked Dahir to intelligence boss Fahad Yasin, who has more influence in President Farmajo's administration.
In a rebuttal to Mareye's sentiments, Abdishakur said: "If the Somali government position is to solicit that the terrorist has a right to defend this extreme ideology, I wonder what is the position of those who protect, funds and supports this government."
Wadajir party had warned that should anything happen to its leader and key party officials, the Somalia government will be held responsible.
Farmajo has often been subjected to criticism by the opposition, which accuses him of sponsoring intimidations and harassment against the critics.
Forum for National Parties (FNP), another one outfit under former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was recently blocked from travelling across the country.
But last month, Farmajo hosted them at Villa Somalia where he reportedly apologized for the alleged attempts to impose a travel ban against the opposition chiefs.
United Nations has been pushing for unity and stability ahead of 2020 polls. James Swan, the UN envoy, has already held discussions with both the FGS and the opposition.
Abdishakur has been however critical of proposed one 'person one vote' model, arguing that it could lead to unprecedented term extension of the current leadership.
Besides locking horns with opposition chiefs, Farmajo is also struggling to reconcile with a number of state leaders among them Jubaland's Ahmed Madobe.
Villa Somalia is also under pressure from persistent attacks from Al-Shabaab militants, even as the term for AMISOM in Somalia gets to the near finish line.