Mogadishu (UM) – The Somali people celebrated the 58th independence anniversary yesterday in spectacular style. The Party started at midnight with the raising of the flag and the singing of the national anthem at the Local government headquarters and it spilled over into the afternoon with another party at the Banadir stadium attended, again, by all the key Government leaders including the President and Prime Minister.
In his speech to the Somali people, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo spoke passionately about the successes and challenges of his government. He admitted, most honestly, that our forefathers dreams of independence has not been fully realised. We agree. Somalia is alive but it is not united, prosperous or delivering for its people like was envisaged on Independence Day.
Somali Independence day is an occasion of happiness, pride and hope. It is also a day all Somalis must reflect. The success, failures and opportunities of a nation depends solely on its people, not neighbors, international community or even just the Diaspora as most international observers like to make out. Somalia belongs to all Somalis and it is they who must transform it into what they would like it to be. Dreaming of miraculous transformations or building imaginary new systems and policies in distant lands or in coffee shops in Mogadishu is not enough.
Somali leadership in the last 25 years has been poor, divisive and not delivering. Since 2012, some kind of movement in the direction of national leadership began but it remains to be defined and expanded on by President Farmaajo and his government. Slogans, songs, dreams of returning to the past are all pointless. In all honesty, the past was not that great for most Somalis as it was riddled with corruption and abuses from all regimes. Somalis must not forget it was the actions of the past which has created this present governance mess and punishing national poverty that imprisons Somalia and all its people. However, the future can be something we can all be proud of if we work together to achieve reconciliation, inclusive politics, strengthen our economy and empower ourselves to lead on taking responsibility for our own development.
Somalia HANOOLAATO is the national rallying cry for all Somalis but the question is who is hurting the country in the first place? The same people who are sworn to defend it against its enemies. Somalia will progress and prosper when the Somali people work towards these goals together everyday and not just on Independence Day.