Somaliland: Exposing the President to Public Ridicule


L-R Somaliland Aviation minister and presidental spokesperson try to out do each other in a shouting contest with journalsits at Egal Airport 4th Aug

By: Yumoha Pasha
Somalilandsun – Somalilanders within the country and in the Diaspora were treated to shock by the manner presidential spokesperson Ahmed Suleiman Duhul and his deputy Askar turned a jovial president Silanyo meeting 3ith the press into a chaotic and shameful scenario.
– Drama was the order of the day at the Egal International Airport in Hargeisa during the return of the Somaliland president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo from a visit to the UK on the 4th August 2014.
The drama clearly orchestrated to publicly humiliate the head of state started immediately president Silanyo completed official rituals of reception upon return home led by the Vice president Abdirahman Sayli and including Government officials, politicians from the ruling party Kulmiye, legislators and service commanders as well as a multitude of citizens from all walks of life.
Upon inspecting a guard of honour mounted by units of the Somaliland Armed Forces, assuming the baton of office from his deputy who was acting head of state and greeting the reception committee president Silanyo was led to the airport’s VIP lounge for a short rest and as usual subsequent press briefing followed by Q&A.
After a short rest the head of state flanked by his deputy Abdirahman Sayli and others a visibly jovial president Silanyo faced the array of media houses who he jauntily briefed on his activities during his near fortnight visit abroad.
“Am happy to be back home” said president Silanyo while thanking Somalilanders for the peaceful manner they conducted Eid ul-Fitr festivities nationwide revealing that his first Eid celebration out of the country with British Somalilanders in London where he had a quality Eid holiday in which he celebrated and exchanged briefings with the Diaspora on issues related to national interests.
Upon conclusion of his press briefing in which he had also informed of successful deliberations with Prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia as pertains to enhancement of existing multi-faceted relations and cooperation, in jumped the presidential press spokesperson declaring the session ended while assembled journalists were posing questions.

Why and for who are they roasting him
Though president Silanyo was happy and readily waiting for questions, and hinted so several times the cacophony of noises from the no questions of Duhul and a barrage of queries from the now agitated journalists made it impossible for the president’s desire to be heard.
With a number of some senior government officials reinforcing the out of breathe and shouting, ashen Suleiman Duhul consciously or not went on to invite president Silanyo to public ridicule played this time played life in both audio and visually for all sundry to witness.
While the well oiled ministry of the presidency is function superbly in all areas of its mandate the ineptitude of the presidential press unit-PPS is continuously negating them, thus portrayal of the entire ministry negatively.
As the PPS is main organ for the president to regularly communicate with his constituents who gave him. President Silanyo, an overwhelming mandate to govern their state affairs during the 2010 presidential elections and subsequent ushering a hitherto era of availing citizens apt services while broadening central authority to each area of Somaliland and at every level, the inept and unprofessional manner that PPS disburses information leaves a lot to be desired while inducing a feeling of emptiness for the target audience.
A casual perusal of news outlets including newspapers, TV and websites both local and international that report on Somaliland or issues related to the Horn of Africa etc always reveals content malicious to the president without counter-reaction from the PPS popularly synonymous with midnight press releases.
It is therefore imperatively urgent that something be done and done anon before things get out of hand.
There are numerous instances similar to the one of August 4th and those responsible should have a serious rethink and toe the line and in the alternate quit.
Meanwhile we at Somalilandsun who believe that the person in the office of president is owed respect of the office both in private and public as well as when in tenure or later, shall not hesitate in pointing out any disrespect shown by his staffers, regardless of consequences.

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