In his address to the nation, Saturday, on the 28th anniversary of Somaliland’s re-affirmation of its 1960 independence in 1991, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland called on Waddani political party chairman, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi “Irro”, to even once celebrate 18 May anniversaries with the rest of the nation.
“I call on the honourable Chairman to, for once, participate on 18 May yearly anniversaries,” he said.
The President, in this, exposed a point of contention which the majority of the public had been sore about for some time now but which they had chosen to sweep under the carpet out for respect for Waddani supporters.
The president stated that his government and the ruling party agreed to a number of his demands he made. Despite that, he said, the Chairman was still tabling more and more stumbling block to prevent elections happening on scheduled time.
On the other hand, President Bihi lauded the nationalist values of UCID party and how that party never confused national priorities with a party or personal concerns.
The Honorable Chairman, Irro, and his party’s ‘Leader’, the Ex-Minister of the Presidency, Hersi Ali Haji Hassan, had both chosen to turn their back on the rest of Somaliland conspicuously staying away which is interpreted as a calculated spurn of the nation’s foremost values.
Chairman Irro, in an attempt to woo more supporters from the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Awdal to his party, painted 18 May as a day that only a section of Somaliland introduced, upheld and celebrated. The Chairman ignored the collective resolution reached by all Somaliland clans in Burao in 1991 proclaiming the day as the new Independence Day.
“If 18 May is a day of SNM, and if there were some of us who were not part of that day, we will have a day that we will all belong to,” he said only a day before May 18 was to be celebrated in 2016, leaving Hargeisa the same day.
The Chairman, during the same occasion, alluded to 26 June – the day Somaliland proclaimed independence in 1960, making it seem that Somaliland was sacrificing remembrance and celebrations of that day for May 18. Critics wondered why the two days should not remain as they are: two national holidays observed each on its own way, and how did the Chairman miss that.
“26 June was a day all of Somaliland owned. We believe it is a day that can never be deleted from Somaliland history. Which of the two days – 26 June and 18 May – should be a national day is debatable,” he said on that day questioning a constitutional point.
Abdirahman never participated – not before, not later – in any national event including 18 May celebrations which made many wonder how he wished to win over enough support if he had no respect for the constitution that helped him become who he is as a national leader.
Waddani presence at the celebration square was led by the Interim Chairman, the Honourable MP, Abdulkadir Jirdeh. The Secretary-General and many of the Party Secretaries were also present – but not their Chairman.
Jirdeh never missed a national event.