Somaliland: Sinking Under the Rudderless leadership of Speaker Irro


Irro: My leadership radar is jammedBy: Saeed Mohamed Timir

Somalilandsun – The prevalent rudderless administration of the country is directly related to the incompetence of the speaker of parliament Hon Abdirahman Mohamed Abdilahi (Irro), whose leadership of the August house has turned the legislative assembly from a pillar of checks and balances to a rubber stamping one.

This negative achievement by Irro comes through his failure to lead parliament, turning a blind eye to the local council elections anomalies, and Failure to ‘censor’ Ministry of Aviation among others thus becoming Kingpin of transactional politics such that greased wheels are at work to render parliament submissive to Presidency whims as opposed to being the elected chief protector of the public.

Failure to Lead Parliament

Somalilandsun – The Parliament is supposed to be an advocate and an agent of the people to check on the government against abuse of power as outlined on section 6 of Article 53 of Somaliland Constitution which reads, “The House of Representatives shall have the power to summon the Government or its organs or agencies in order to question them about the fulfillment of their responsibilities”.

The reasons why President Silanyo’s abuse of Presidential powers is not checked by Parliament starts with the fact that the Chairman of The House of Representatives (Parliament), Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdilahi (Irro), consistently lines up with the president and blocks any attempts to check on the Government (President) or its organs or agencies.

Failure to investigate local elections

Take the case of the recent municipal elections where the outcome was rigged. After bloody demonstrations Irro promised to assign a committee to investigate how the elections were handled. Unfortunately, this promise was shelved even after it was approved by 12 parliamentarians out of 14 that were present on December 22nd, 2012.

Mr. Irro chose, deliberately, to ignore the will of the people and Parliament and reneged on his promise to conduct a thorough investigation of the elections and why, needlessly, innocent young men demonstrating against the election outcome were massacred.

I have challenged and asked friends of mine who support Wadani Party to give a good reason why they should support Mr. Irro. Their answer was that Mr. Irro is a gentleman and he gets along with everybody and that we do not need a confrontational leader. This is the basis and essence of their support. But that is exactly where the heart of the problem lies. Trying to get along with everybody and preferring to be silent and not upholding the constitution.

Preferring silence over making vociferous statements against corruption and rigged local elections is a perfect example of the characteristics of week leadership. The Chairman of the Parliament, failed miserably in the eyes of the people, to investigate the root cause and failure to hold fair and transparent local elections. He also failed to investigate why the security services shot live bullets at peaceful demonstrators.

Failure to ‘censor’ Ministry of Aviation

Another example of his dereliction of parliamentary duties is not conducting a thorough review of how the Ministry of Aviation, Mr. Hashi, allowed a private entity (NASHA) to levy a $10 fee on all departing passengers at our airports. That money was collected by above privately owned entity for more than a year without the approval of parliament. It is a violation of our constitution for any ministry or government agency to collect or levy income without the approbation and express approval of parliament. The Chairman failed to ‘censor’ the Minister of Aviation for this violation – A testament to Chairman Irro’s poor judgment.

The people want to know why Mr. Abdirahman Irro failed to enquire where and how that money which was illegally levied on departing passengers was spent. He also failed to enquire how that money can be retrieved and returned to the treasury.

Kingpin of transactional politics

There is no doubt that this failure to scrutinize government and its agencies made him impotent because ‘transactional politics’ is at the heart of all this corruption assigning himself to be the chief protector of the status quo. It cannot be described as anything else but greased wheels at work to render parliament submissive to President Silanyo’s whims. He failed to use his parliamentary devises to check on the President and he resigned himself to be a rudderless leader helping the sinking and demise of Somaliland into the bottom of a dark ocean.

Time for a revolution

In conclusion Somaliland as I said before Parliament is supposed to be an advocate and an agent of the people to check on the government against abuse of power. The people of Somaliland must wake up, organize themselves and start a revolution to end the corruption and demand changes to governance. We must demand just governance and an end to the transactional politics between the Chairman of The House of Representatives and the President.

Saeed M. Timir