Overestimation, self-promotion, bravado and aggrandizement are part of the confusions that may lead the concerned to view himself as bigger than his real weight and importance.
Since Abdiwali Gaas has taken hold of the leadership of the Northeastern regions, there was a persistently growing crises of the region with the Central Government of Somalia. Abdiwali consistently threatened to severe relations with Mogadishu, and to go further, he also implied an agenda of secession from the rest of Somalia, which also Farole gave a hint of it before. Somewhere last year, the boss has summoned members of the parliament of Somalia from his constituency to report to Garowe. During Ali Geddi’s tenure of the premiership of Somalia, Adde Muse did the same threat, but the tone was a bit milder and the language in the message was in the level of a grumble. But in general, all of them used a very undiplomatic jargon. Think of a regional state whose constitution has not been approved by the central parliament claims legitimacy and threats and ignores directives from the central government. Is there any disturbance bigger than that in the sense of a building a legal national institutions in the interest of the Somali people as a whole? Abdurahman Farole, Gaas’s predecessor, has also on several occasions used a harsh language against the Central government. The threat of secession was also there in the dispatch of Farole.
Some media participants described Gaas as: Indecisive, weak and bully. Such characteristics damage the roots and fundamentals of leadership which requires in many occasions restraints and broadmindedness and concessions, if necessary. Nobody is expecting that Gaas would dispatch one hundred thousand armed men to seize Mogadishu or other areas of concern. Gaas and Fraole were losing much to Hargeisa. During Farole’s tenure, Hargeisa succeeded to seize Las-Anood, to the detriment of Garowe leadership and its political prestige.
In March 2016, Adam Mohamed, a leadership expert, in an essay he had it published by Hiranonle, expressed his perception of the crisis of Garowe as follows:
Puntland is experiencing a crisis of leadership, not an electoral dispute with the Federal Government
To justify his argument and have substance for his debate , the author went on to say:
A member of the diplomatic (international) community recently shared a frustration with me asserting, “We are in disbelief of President Abdiweli Gaas; the guy is indecisive. What is more appalling is his weakness to lead. We are no longer sure whom to consult with on matters pertaining to Puntland. In fact, we have asked him if it was Faroole [Former President] or Ali Haji [opposition leader] because he [Abdiweli] doesn’t exercise this responsibility”.
As a matter of explaining what a leadership means the author adds:
Leadership can be defined in so many ways. But, for the purposes of this article, we shall settle on the concept that leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. In other words, leaders take charge of their sworn responsibilities, admit their failures/shortcomings, and never blame others for their failures.
Ultimately, it all starts with leadership. In this short article, I will underscore why Puntland is experiencing a crisis of leadership, not an internal crisis nor a dispute with Mogadishu over the electoral process.
In line with the argument of the author of the essay I picked up as evidence, I think in every level of evaluating these admonitions, there were sense of megalomania, if not a degree of schizophrenia in the language of Abdiwali Gaas. The normal fact is that a certain region can claim to have more importance than other regions if it enjoys two commodities: more human population, a huge demography and more food production, both of which Abdiwali and his proponents will have difficulty to provide compared to other regions of Somalia. The population of the region is comparatively like any other poorer part of Somalia, and in fact sparsely populated in many areas, but in food production the region is behind many others since the geographical nature of the region is simply a kind of desert and livestock, one of the valuable wealth of Somalia , is not as abundant as that much.
And significantly, if a certain region happens to challenge and threaten to take actions against the central authority of the country, the undeniable fact is that this region is fighting for creating a chaotic milieu in the country as a whole. A country without central authority is prone to fall into tribal level fiefdoms, one of the strong challenges which threatens the nationhood of Somalia. And as academic fellow who also held temporarily the post of premiership of Somalia after Formajo was kicked off, Abdiwali Gaas should have been more thoughtful as insightful politician of the actions and language he would use regarding the interest of Somalia as a whole. Compared to many regions of the country, the land area that comes under Garowe is quite small, anyway.