"Rebirth of Somali Government was always seem impossible untill we hosted Garowe 1&2 and Galkacyo Accord in Puntland."
I was born in the Nugal Valley of northern Somalia (present-day Puntland State) in 1945. During my childhood years, I grew up in the countryside where my parents lived and owned livestock. From the countryside, my family first settled in Garowe, which was a small village at the time. I was enrolled at an Italian-run primary school during the U.N. Trusteeship of Somalia administered by the Government of Italy.
In 1956, after completing primary school, I was sent to Mogadishu to continue my education. I attended a boarding school for intermediary and secondary education and completed secondary schooling in Mogadishu in 1964. I received a one-year U.N. scholarship to attend post-secondary education in Lebanon at the International Statistical Institute in Beirut. When I returned to Mogadishu, I participated at a national examination for positions at the Somali National Bank (Central Bank). Out of 725 participants competing for ten open positions, I took fourth place and was hired as Statistical Technician, Balance of Payment Department, within the Foreign Exchange Division, Central Banking Sector of the Somali National Bank.
In 1967, I was transferred to the Commercial Sector of the Somali National Bank to work in regional branches as an accountant in the towns of Bossaso and Qardo (present-day Puntland State). Four years later, I was transferred to Hargeisa (present-day Somaliland) to work as Head of Accounting Department of Somali National Bank-Commercial Sector. In 1971, the Commercial Sector formally became its own separate commercial bank, known as the Somali Savings and Credit Bank. Two years later, I was appointed the Branch Manager of the Somali Savings and Credit Bank in Hargeisa. In 1975, I was transferred to Berbera (present-day Somaliland) to become the manager of the amalgamated branches of the Somali Savings and Credit Bank and the Somali Commercial Bank (which was borne out of Gen. Barre’s nationalization of Italian and British-owned banks) and the new bank was renamed Somali Commercial and Savings Bank.
After the failed military coup of 1978*, I was among the high-ranking officers who were laid off work for political reasons simply because of my clan affiliation with coup leaders. I was forcefully transferred to the bank’s Mogadishu headquarters without any official position. During this period of idle work, I took advantage of my time and enrolled at Somali National University, Faculty of Commerce and Economics, where I completed a Bachelor’s degree in 1985. In 1986, during a period of gross mismanagement of the bank, the former military dictatorship recalled me to hold the position of Director-General of the Somali Commercial and Savings Bank. Because of my objection to political interference, I was transferred to the Ministry of Labour among the pool of politically-unwanted officers without my consent.
In 1988, I again resumed my education at a Master’s degree program of Management, majoring in Finance (MBA), which was sponsored by USAID. The program was known as SOMTAD and was conducted by the State University of New York (SUNY-Albany), graduating in Dec. 1990 in Albany, New York. Since I was one of the political victims of the military dictatorship, I returned to Mogadishu on 25 Dec. 1990, assuming that any change would be favourable to the people of Somalia as a whole. But unfortunately, the rampage of Mogadishu erupted and the mass exodus begun within weeks of the Gen. Barre regime’s collapse and I was among those who fled for safety.** It was unexpected to me to become again a victim of political persecution because of my clan affiliation, as clan-based rebels indiscriminately targeted members of Gen. Barre’s Darod clan-family.
In July 1991, while I was outside Somalia, I was invited by my constituency to the Republic of Djibouti among a few delegates to attend the first Peace Conference in order to stop the bloodshed in Somalia. The first interim government was formed and I was appointed as a Cabinet minister. I returned to Mogadishu but fled again within four months to northern Somalia (present-day Puntland State).
After multinational peacekeeping forces arrived in Somalia in I992 (“Operation Restore Hope”), I was selected by my constituency in Nugal administrative region (in Puntland State) to become the Chairman of the Regional Council (Governor) under the auspices of the United Nations. I attended the U.N.-sponsored Humanitarian Conference for Somalia, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1993. After the failure of “Operation Restore Hope,” I immigrated to Australia a year later and have lived there on-and-off since (my family still lives in Melbourne).
After eight years of in vain attempt to restore Somali national government, I was recalled by my constituency in northern Somalia to attend a Regional Consultation Conference that opened in Garowe in Feb. 1998, where I was a member of the Chairing Panel. The Conference delegates decided to form the State of Puntland within a future federal structure for Somalia as the only viable option for lasting peace. I then returned to Melbourne.
Again, in 2000, I was invited from Australia as a civil society member to attend the Somali National Peace Conference held in Arta, Djibouti, where the second interim government was formed. Then, in 2002, I was invited by the international community to mediate political standoff in Puntland. Later that year, I was appointed the Puntland Minister of Finance and held the post until mid-2004. During that time, I reorganized and put in place the financial management system at the Finance Ministry.
During the 2005 Puntland election, I competed as a presidential candidate where I was the third runner-up and became the balance of power to help lead to the victory of Mohamud Muse Hersi (Adde) as Puntland’s second elected president. That year, I became the Puntland Minister of Planning and International Cooperation where I formulated the Puntland Five-Year Development Plan. I left office in Feb. 2006 after opposing a controversial oil deal signed between the former Puntland President and an unknown company registered in Maldives Island.
I continued my studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and became a Ph.D. candidate on the subject “Development of Somali Financial Institutions in Historical Perspective.”
After three years in Melbourne, my supporters invited me to run for the Puntland presidency and compete against my opponent, the incumbent President Hersi. On Jan. 8, 2009, after a peaceful and transparent election process, I won 74% of the votes of the 66-seat Puntland Parliament and became the State’s third elected president.