Mr. Said Abdullahi Dani has came to office as the Puntland State’s president for the coming 5-year as 66 state members of parliament voted on 8th January 2019 in the capital city of Puntland state, Garowe. He serves as sixth president of Puntland state from 2019 to 2023.
Regarding the social Media and public opinion, the newly elected president did not receive much welcoming from public view as it was done in the previous presidential elections. The first impression is an issue that creates more loyalty or opposition as public option has its impact on political performance. The politician did not make remarks beyond diplomatic speech of congratulation of the elected president as it is too early to react upon him.
It is believed that the victory of the president Dani was as the result of the effort of Aaran Jaan’s group who influenced the votes of state’s MPs due to having political involvement in the state for the last decade. As earlier experience, their hostile political behavior during president Farole’s term is what reduced public hospitality of the elected president. In addition to that, Mr. Dani was one of the cabinets in president Hassan Sheikh’s term in the Somali federal government. In this term, they surfaced in Somalia as the so called Damul-Jadid political group that is characterized by self-protective political conduct. In short, those two groups that have been involved in political issues in Puntland State and Somali government have laid down public celebration of the people in Puntland State for their elected president.
A part from election campaign group, the state/Somali’s politicians, scholars and intellectuals advised that the Puntland state’s political environment should be natural and should accommodate all the people in the state/Somali. One of facebook post says: “… let the elected president consulate only individuals who have sound background, enough knowledge, and integrity among people in the state, and not seek advice from those who have individual interest and do not consider president’s failure, but focus on their personal interest only. It added “… let the president know those individuals who can contribute positive and valuable pieces of advice and future decision should be based on imperial studies and available evidence”
Another facebook post said:” We are not happy how election has been done -result-, but we have accepted it as one eating a bitter food just to serve public interest. Anyway, the elected president is expected to serve for the interest of unity and security of Puntland state”
Despite the comments from public perception, over of the course of recent past years, the state has experienced political, security and economic dilemmas as well as trouble of relations between the member states and federal government that made fragile cooperation among member states and Somali federal government. This has been speeded by the interference by the Somalia government into state election such as South-West and Puntland states. Although it has employed different approaches, it has its political implication as well.
It is quite clear the above mentioned challenges had their harmful influence, but it is obvious that those disputes could not diminish the state’s desire to restore the sound relationships and collaboration with federal government as well as to change the public opinions through inspired leadership. President Mr. Dani can come up with political approaches that could eliminate all the fears and trim political conduct that favors only the elite group and is harmful to others. As it’s well known, that the newly elected president did not hold political position in Puntland state earlier, but he is no outsider to state politics, so it is an opportunity for him to be in no fear trying to improve the state system from any perspective. In his interview with BBC on 10th January 2019, he stressed how he will address with political conflict, insecurity and other challenges that facing Puntland state.
It is hoped that the elected president will come with a political manifesto to build a new Puntland state that would replace the old one that weakened state institutions. Road signs in his political success would include strengthening government institutions, better collaboration with federal government, security and economic development as well as political freedom and establishment of political parties which is an achievement that has never been reached by the previous administration of Puntland state.
Finally, President Mr. Said Dani will have to deal with both member states and federal government to re-establish collaboration amongst member states and federal government. It is also vital to understand state needs and address them in an effective way. People would want to see how well Puntland’s president will approach his election campaign’s slogan of:”Strenthgening and ambition”, and the promise he gave to reform system of the government institution in the state. There is a hope in Puntland state that the newly elected president would make change for the state and country.
Abdirahman Sh. Ali