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By Abdullahi Ahmed Nor

The National Consultative Council (NCC) meeting, slated to take place on April 20-21 at Villa Somalia, called by President Hassan to gather the Presidents of the Federal Member States, has been called off, after it has become evident that the invitees were a no-show. The canceled NCC meeting reflects at a precarious juncture, seemingly signaling President Hassan’s dwindling political influence. Meanwhile, the opposition camp, comprised of former Somalia President, some FMS Presidents, and other prominent figures, plans a convention in Nairobi.

Despite the glaring unresolved tensions between the Federal Government and Member States, President Hassan Sheikh embarked on impractical path by calling for a meeting without prior efforts to address, reconcile differences and devise strategies for unity. He was well aware that such a gathering would be futile without proper conciliation measures in place. Predictably, this move appeared more as a symbolic propaganda gesture than a genuine attempt at meaningful dialogue. It’s evident that President Hassan’s agenda was not geared towards fostering genuine dialogue and resolution. Instead, his actions seemed aimed at disrupting the anticipated gathering in Nairobi by hastily convening such NCC meeting with an outdated agenda. This tactic reeks of desperation, reflecting a leader grasping at straws in the face of mounting challenges.

It was apparent to Villa Somalia that the calling for NCC meeting would face a significant hurdle due to lack of principled interest and participation. President Deni of Puntland holds a fresh mandate of five years, in stark contrast to President Hassan’s dwindling two-year term. Deni remains beyond the reach of Villa Somalia’s manipulation, as he is firmly outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. It was evident that he had no intention to participate in the hasty called NCC meeting, unless specific conditions were met. Deni demands the nullification of the law amending the Constitution and the release of World Bank-funded Puntland Development projects, which have been withheld in Mogadishu for political leverage. The World Bank’s passivity in addressing these issues raises questions about its accountability in ensuring development funds are not politized.

Jubaland  State was also unlikely to join the NCC meeting, given President Hassan’s declaration of political war on President Ahmed Madoobe through the appointment of his longstanding adversary, Senator Abdillahi Sheikh Ismail Fartag, as Minister of Internal Security. President Ahmed Madoobe is focused on aligning Jubaland state’s constitution with the Provisional Constitution and other FMS constitutions, particularly by addressing the two-term limit. The upcoming election in Jubaland will proceed independently, without Federal Government intervention. The rest of the FMS will follow suite as they are all aware that if they allow any intervention from Villa Somalia, however small it may be, that the process will be corrupted, knowing that President Hassan’s propensity for micromanagement and insistence on authoritarian decision-making.

Galmudug FMS President’s Ahmed Qoorqoor response to the invitation was uncertain, as President Hassan has already positioned two well-funded rival candidates to potentially replace him. Southwest FMS President Abdiasis Lafta Gareen had little incentive to attend the NCC meeting in Mogadishu, aware that President Hassan has already earmarked a successor. President Hassan’s agenda regarding the Southwest is to insure people from his clan who settled Lower Shabeele during the civil war period, to assert ownership over much of the Lower Shabelle Region. Hirshabelle President Mr. Guudlaawe was likely the only one to accept the invitation, given his affiliation with the dominant clan in Jowhar and his ties to former President Sharif Sh Ahmed. This connection shields his position from President Hassan’s interference.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The inner circle of President Hassan’s group, comprised of the Damul Jadiid (New Blood Islamists), can hardly utter a word of dissent. Members are often found singing praises to the leaders’ ears. Fearing repercussions, if they speak of the truth or show any sign of disagreement. As the nation teeters on the brink of collapse, this atmosphere of fear stifles any genuine discourse within the group.

Reflecting on the night of February 8, 2017, when President Hassan faced defeat in the election against President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the country erupted in jubilation. In the aftermath of this resounding loss, President Hassan questioned his Damul Jadiid members, expressing bewilderment as to why they had never once dared to inform him of the widespread disdain harbored by the masses.

President Hassan’s Lone Train

This time round, it’s the repeat of yesterday’s journey but the crises and fissures of the Federal Government are visible to everybody bizarrely in midterm – old habits die hard. Damul Jadiid (new Blood Islamists) are akin to the victims of the two opportunistic weavers out to make a fool of the Danish king and his court convince the Emperor that they have made him a suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are unworthy and unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. No one dare to tell President Hassan that he has no cloth lest they be accused that they are unfit for their positions. At this juncture, it’s a disheartening repetition of history, underscoring the resilience of entrenched patterns. Thus, the illusion of governance persists, even as the fabric of leadership frays under the weight of denial and self-deception. 


At present, the Federal Member States (FMS), with exception of Puntland, are assertively pursuing their own agendas, presenting President Hassan with two stark choices. First, they demand that he either extends their terms in office until May 2026, bearing full responsibility for any fallout from such a decision. Alternatively, they insist on conducting their indirect elections promptly and independently, free from any interference from Villa Somalia.

These options tighten the noose around President Hassan’s aspirations for a truly inclusive one person, one vote electoral system. Drawing wisdom from the recent Puntland Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, where they successfully kept away the Federal Government’s toxic influence; the FMS Presidents are resolute in maintaining their autonomy. It’s imperative that they resist even the slightest intrusion from the Federal Government, safeguarding their sovereignty and electoral processes.

Despite President Hassan’s tenure dwindling in a mere two years, the widespread perception among the Somali populace is one of disillusionment, fueled by rampant corruption and dishonesty. It’s evident that the Federal Government’s political relevance has rapidly waned off.

Given this stark reality, President Hassan faces a critical juncture with only two viable paths ahead. First, he must heed the calls for reconciliation and unity by reassessing his approach, revoking his contentious constitution, and actively work to mend the fractures dividing the nation. Alternatively, should he continue to ignore the mounting discontent and persist in his divisive tactics, he risks driving the country irreversibly towards a point of no return. Nevertheless, there is a strong willing from the populace that the status quo is not sustainable, and the need to strategize a long term vision to get out of the never ending vicious cycle.

Abdullahi Ahmed Nor

Email: [email protected]


Related articles:

1) Reflections and analysis on Parliament amended four constitutional chapters By Osman H Yusuf

2)Tensions rise amidst constitutional crisis in Somalia and the Ethiopian territorial ambitions By A. A. Nor

3) Somalia on the brink of authoritarianism By Dayib Ahmed

4) The conundrum of the Somali constitution By Abdullahi A. Nor

5) Somalia on a dangerous precipice By Abdelkarim A Haji Hassan

6) Somalia eroding governance: The case of President Hassan’s second term By Dayib Ahmed

7) An open letter to the us dep of state: urgent action needed to safeguard democracy and rule of law in Somalia By Mohamed Fatah

8) President Hassan Sh. Mohamud: The veil of corruption and family centric administration By Ahmed I

9) An open letter to President Sheikh: Urgent call for national unity By Mohamed Ali

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