Bad protocol is cheapening President Farmajo – UM

President Farmajo with Ethiopia's Finance Minister Ahmed Shide at villa Somalia. Photo courtesy: Villa Somalia

Mogadishu (UM) – President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is a busy man because he is meeting everybody and anybody. State protocol in Somalia is a total joke as President Farmaajo is personally meeting Ministers from foreign states alone and without the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or their Somali counterparts. The best way to show this is to remind readers that  this week the Minister of Finance of Ethiopia Ahmed Shide met President Farmajo without the presence of the Minister of Finance of Somalia and the Foreign Ministry. Why? Why does the President of Somalia meet the Minister of Finance of Ethiopia? Does Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed meet Minister Beileh or any other Somali Minister? State protocol is so important and the President, as head of state, should not be meeting everybody who happens to visit Somalia.

This government has a weak record on protocol and too many times it has failed spectacularly, including national and foreign state visits. The President or Prime Minister are not totally at fault because it is the duty of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lead on matters of state protocol. All failure of state protocol must be blamed on the Foreign Ministry but the Somali President and those before him have one thing in common and that is they have appointed their friends as their protocol. These people have had no training and experience in protocol and are nothing more than glorified bag-carriers. These friends of the leadership have embarrassingly shown the world Somalia’s disgraceful protocol deficiencies.

The Head of a State is a busy person who is responsible for the future of all their people. They should be dealing with big things and not wasting time on meeting Ambassadors, foreign Ministers and others with whom they have no direct business. The President should focus more of his precious time on leading on the responses to Somalia’s insecurity, fractured politics and reviving the economy. He must know he doesn’t have much time left now.

If President Farmajo is serious about his re-election, he needs to re-connect with the Somali people. He also needs to fix the domestic broken politics and not avoid it. He promised to do both when he was a presidential candidate. The Somali people see no value in his meetings with foreigners in Villa Somalia if he is not able to fulfill his promise to them. Nabad and Nolol must be felt by the peopel not told to foreigners in Villa Somalia.