Puntland's president's explosive speech reveals Farmajo's dark side
GAROWE, Puntland - Puntland has squarely blamed outgoing President Farmajo for plans to cling to power, arguing that Villa Somalia should take the blame for the current political stalemate that threatens to plunge the country into a civil war, despite efforts to promote peace in the country.
In a speech on Sunday, President Said Abdullahi Deni accused Farmajo of plans to "rule by force" despite lacking mandate and legitimacy, following the expiry of his term on Feb 8, a move which would have triggered an election in Somalia.
Speaking in Garowe, the capital of Puntland, Deni said he fears the country is headed for civil war over the actions or inactions of Villa Somalia. Deni urged Somalis to reject “dictatorship” which he claims would set a "bad precedence" in succession politics.
The Puntland president recounted private conversations he had with Farmajo, alleging that at one point, the outgoing president boasted about having money, troops, and patriotic forces that support him against the opposition.
"Farmajo has set a "Darodism trap" for us [Deni & Madobe] several times, but we escaped, said Puntland president during his address to the public on Sunday.
He alleged Farmajo walked-back of a deal to solve the Gedo election, in what exposed the outgoing president's dark side, despite often blaming Federal States leaders on an electoral stalemate.
According to Deni, Farmajo indirectly persuaded international donors to support the scrapping of the federal system and strengthen the central government, besides building up the army in a different way from the agreed process.
Holding an election campaign and vote for the one was similarly Villa Somalia backing, he stated adding that Farmajo was misleading the foreign countries supporting the country's democracy.
Deni argued that the current leaders of Galmudug and South West have come to a bloody election, adding that Farmajo's efforts to divide Jubaland through federal troops have failed miserably. Hundreds of SNA troops are still in Gedo despite resistance from the local leadership.
When leaders had a meeting in Dhusamareeb, the regional administrative capital of Galmadug, Deni revealed, Farmajo had allegedly rejected all the proposed solutions and concentrated on managing the upcoming parliamentary elections in Garbaharey, Gedo region. "
The outgoing president has stressed that he wants to hold elections in the country but critics argue that he's keen to shortchange the other presidential candidates through the rigging, a move that has led to the current political stalemate.
"The country and the people who want the issues to be resolved, Garbaharey has not been resolved," Deni lamented, accusing Farmajo's government of building loyalist forces that do not target al-Shabaab.
The Turkish-trained forces of Gorgor and Haram'ad are under the command of Villa Somalia.
"Are we afraid of al-Shabaab or are we afraid of Villa Somalia because [there is no difference] it is what is being used. We are in danger every day," Deni claimed.
But the allegations are yet to be responded to by Villa Somalia, which seems to be going on with electoral preparations despite the absence of Jubaland and Puntland. The two states accuse the FGS of failing to implement the September pre-election deal that was signed in 2020.
There have been calls to have a conference but Mogadishu accuses the two states of "dragging the process" in a statement that was released by Mohamed Abdirizak, the minister of Foreign Affairs. The opposition, however, dismissed the statement as "irresponsible and inaccurate".
Puntland has been pushing for the withdrawal of federal troops from the Gedo region in Jubaland besides calling for reconstitution of the membership of the electoral committee. But the federal government is hellbent to have the committee conduct elections.
Earlier, Jubaland had also called for the federal government to apologize for the recent transgression against civilians in Mogadishu, besides urging for a meeting with all stakeholders. Farmajo has already called for a meeting but the political situation in the capital on Friday made it difficult.
Also, Jubaland wants the venue for the meeting secured, a clear plan for implementation of the outcome laid down, and has further asked outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to keep off the electoral process. The presidency is yet to respond to the demands as well.