At least two of the more prominent dailies of Somaliland and their website pages- Jamhuuriya and Somalilandtoday – published related stories accusing the current chairman of Waddani opposition party, also the House Speaker of the Somaliland House of representatives, of secretly meeting the president of the internationally propped federal Somalia government in Istanbul, Turkey.
The papers said that the meeting was arranged under tight security by the Turkish President himself, Mr. Teyyeib R Erdogan, who invited both to attend the centenary commemorations of the 1915 Battle of Canakkale (Gallipoli).
One of the papers claimed that the Honorable Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi “Irro” was expressly invited there alone in order to reach a deal with President Hassan Sheikh and Mr. Teyyib Erdogan ensuring that Somaliland went back into a reunion with Somalia against the wishes of the Somaliland people, the results of the 2003 referendum on issue, the earlier charters in Burao (1991) and Borama (1993).
The Somalilandtoday daily went to say that Mr. Irro was promised by the Turkish president a grant of US Dollars 4 million to manage his upcoming run for the Somaliland presidency campaign, and in return, Mr. Irro steer Somaliland towards an unconditional reunion with Somalia once he ascends to the highest executive seat in Somaliland.
The suspicion is lent credence, primarily, the reports and the public discussions that ensued on subject indicate, by a few telltale signs that can be interpreted as signals of ‘treachery and insincerity’ for the Somaliland national cause on the part of the Honorable Waddani Chairman and Speaker of Parliament:
- The Speaker-cum-Chairman was picked out for the participation of the Turkish centenary commemoration. Neither of his deputies who were with him in Addis Abeba was chosen to accompany him. Neither was any member of the rest of the delegation including members of the Cabinet of ministers was given the honor.
- Mr. Erdogan and his government pointedly ignored the highest leader of Somaliland – the President, where they invited that of Mogadishu and – in his place – Mr. Irro:a contender for the ROS presidential palace in the 2016 elections. Why Irro alone?Why not Faisal of UCID, too? Why not the higher Guurti Speaker or one of his deputies? WHY not the President or a member/members of the elected government?
- Mr. Irro is relatively a newcomer to world diplomacy and as such cannot claim an established niche in world statesmanship going back a mile or two back in history.
- Mr. Irro is becoming known in Somaliland circles as a clever ‘dodger’ of high profile events showcasing Somaliland quest for sovereignty such as those in Sheffield and Cardiff, UK.
- The Chairman has proven that he is inordinately attached to a vision of himself as president forgetting on numerous occasions that showing humility, democracy, respect for rule of law and relinquishment of current post may be necessary requisites for crowd pull when the need for more votes arrived. Past tests at the House that he presided over proved him erring and clearly too attached to power – a very unhealthy combination for a true Somalilander harkening after a higher post.
- Some of his followers are known rowdies who will not shy away from treading on public toes even if it called for the total abrogation of the sovereignty issue.
- The Somaliland public has long suspected that there was a clandestine agreement between him and his party, on the one hand, and members of the weak Mogadishu government led by people he and his lieutenants were related with by blood or marriage, on the other hand, not auguring well for the independence issue that Somaliland has for more than two decades lobbying for.
- Turkey is known to favor a reunion and is by all standards and measurement showing a clear leaning towards Mogadishu, showing no sympathy for the Somaliland cause. Turkey hosts the talks between Somaliland and Somalia and still claims it is neutral about them belied by its preponderant presence in a Mogadishu it is actively involved on all fronts.
- Above all, Mogadishu has in recent months picked up its naked aggression against Somaliland sovereignty, development, international standing and territorial integrity – not even trying to conceal it from espying international intellect.
On the other hand, at least one other website I read dismissed the printed allegations as government-engendered propaganda although how the connection was arrived at was not convincing. Calling Jamhuuriya and somalilandtoday ‘government-supported’ media can by itself be a harbinger of war-of-words among Somaliland media practitioners – something that Somaliland can do without.
Either way, Irro’s visit to Turkey at this time without the support of the leading government or a suspicious public may pose as many questions and fears as it may attempt to answer. His movements of recent seem to be following a tom-tom beat of a drumming in a jungle he alone reigns king – unquestioned.