(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect, in any shape or form, the official policy or position of WADDANI Party. Analysis expressed within this article covers neither all achievements of Chairman Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi (Cirro) nor all aspects of WADDANI POLITICAL PROGRAMME. It is simply a brief personal reflection, which I personally take full responsibility for its contents).

People join political parties for varieties of reasons. Some of these reasons include, but are not limited to: advancing national interest, influencing government decisions, supporting a particular cause, pursuing personal ambition etc. Despite these diverse personal tastes, I am attempting to explain why I choose to join WADDANI Party. Although reasons abound, there are two important aspects that caught my attention: first, the time-tested visionary leadership style of WADDANI Party’s Chairman, Hon. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi (Cirro), and second, the all-encompassing WADDANI POLITICAL PROGRAMME intended for the progress and development of our beloved country—Somaliland.

Visionary Leadership Style of WADDANI Chairman
Somaliland desperately needs a visionary leader. We all know the crucial role that visionary leaders play in societies: they inspire a shared vision, they challenge the status quo, enable others to act, strengthen the economy; curb corruption; improve education, health, and safety; safeguard the country; attract foreign investment/relations, etc. Leadership therefore is not an easy task for everyone to undertake. It is reserved for the natural born leaders capable of handling the aforesaid daunting tasks. However, the only way to verify one’s leadership competence is to put him/her to the test and evaluate him/her afterwards. One leader who went through the most difficult and excruciating leadership test, and has passed with flying colors, is irrefutably the Chairman of WADDANI, Hon. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi (Cirro). Due to his long-term public service, it is obvious that this short article cannot do justice to this important subject because it cannot cover in detail all of the accomplishments of Chairman Cirro. Suffice it to mention few of his achievements briefly.

Chairman Cirro was born and bred in Hargeisa on April 29, 1955. Upon completion of primary, intermediate and high school, he attended SIDAM and obtained Bachelors Degree in Administration and subsequently acquired Masters of Business Administration. He worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in various capacities and subsequently was appointed as a consular officer in Somali Embassy in Moscow, Russia, where he later became the acting ambassador. Some of his assignments included, but were not limited to: protecting Somali citizens’ property and/or interests in Russia; studying Russia’s economic/political conditions and trends; its public opinion; its forces; strengthening the political, social, economical and military relations between the two countries. Despite his national duty, Chairman Cirro tirelessly assisted Somali emigrants who either escaped from the civil war or sought to acquire higher education. After he completed his task, he relocated to Somaliland to participate in the rebuilding of his beloved country.

Chairman Cirro has been the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Somaliland’s
first elected parliament since 2005. Since he assumed office, he has made countless positive changes aimed at improving and enhancing the condition and the standing of the House of Representatives physically as well as procedurally. When Chairman Cirro took the office, there were not enough offices where the members of the parliament could execute their chores. The only office existing at the time of his arrival was the office of the Chairman. Therefore, he initiated, restructured and completed the additional offices of the parliamentary building and purchased all the necessary office equipments needed. This provides for the members enough space and equipments to conduct their respective assigned duties efficiently. Moreover, he has provided extensive training for the employees of the parliament to the extent some of the employees were sent to overseas to acquire the required education, experience, and skills needed. He has created well-rounded employees capable of handling classified information and also smoothing the process of the chamber.

Chairman Cirro has introduced and signed more than thirty-five legislations, though some still pending, intended for the extension of democracy, freedom, and development. It will suffice to mention some of these legislations:
v Law on the Prevention of the Misappropriation of Public Assets & on Combatting Corruption
v Somaliland National Budget Laws
v Somaliland Islamic Banks Law
v Somaliland Telecommunications Law
v Companies Law Of Somaliland
v National Environment Research and Disaster-preparedness (NERAD) Agency Law
v Somaliland Election Law
v Somaliland Voter Registration Law
v Somaliland National Human Rights Commission Law (SLNHRC)
v Private Sector Employees Law
v Somaliland Veterinary Code
v Somaliland Foreign Investment Law
v Law on the Settlement of Salaries & Emoluments of the President, Vice-President and the Members of the Houses of Parliament
The positive impacts of the passed legislation are self-evident and can be seen throughout Somaliland. Moreover, the members of the parliament agree that Chairman Cirro has successfully managed and chaired the 82 members of the parliament to the extent of preventing any conflict and/or chaos from occurring while his counterparts of Somalia were hitting each other and throwing chairs around. We, Somalilanders, should be proud of Chairman Cirro’s effective leadership.

In addition, he defended our democracy when President Riyaale attempted to postpone elections and lock the parliamentary building. He has put his life on the line relentlessly in order to protect our hard-won democracy. He courageously demonstrated the power vested in The House of Representatives. The historical televised event of Somaliland citizens surrounding Chairman Cirro while marching through the streets of Hargeisa and chanting Geesiga aan godobta gelin “the hero who did no harm” demonstrated the unwavering conviction of Chairman Cirro to safeguard our democracy at all costs.

Chairman Cirro has also strived and succeeded to create and strengthen relations between the House of Representatives and their counterparts across the globe. He has regularly travelled abroad to propagate Somaliland’s cause and form strong bond between Somaliland’s parliament and other parliaments around the world. This strategy helps advance Somaliland’s cause and introduces our democratic institutions to the world. Due to his unwavering effort, Chairman Cirro has earned the public trust and that of the international community. He is exceptionally competent, dynamic and highly educated. This visionary leadership style of Chairman Cirro is one of the aspects that has encouraged me join WADDANI Party.

Every political party has its respective national agenda. However, when one reads the national agendas of other political parties, one realizes that the authors of these national agendas are not well-versed the social, political and economic realities of Somaliland and the rest of the world. I strongly believe that their intentions are good because they are trying to develop Somaliland. But we know that good intentions without deep understanding and systematic planning will do more harm than good. We cannot afford to gamble our hand-won peace and democracy. We need to search and find out the political party that has what it takes to lead the nation. After I have searched, examined and compared/contrasted all of the national agendas of political parties extensively, I came to the conclusion that WADDANI Party is the only party better suited to lead the nation into prosperous future. The following paragraphs will shed light few aspects of WADDANI’s national agenda. Again, it does not cover all the aspects of WADDANI POLITICAL PROGRAMME due to limited space.

Economic Plan
WADDANI designed comprehensive economic plan pertinent to Somaliland’s current economic state. It is crucial to appreciate that in developing countries the government should play two important roles in the economy: guiding and regulating the economy in order to stimulate economic growth. First, the government should guide the overall pace of the economy by making development plan aimed at directing the productive sector and the financial system to a greater capital formation and social equality. This development plan is intended for building the physical and social infrastructure of the whole country, which would maintain steady growth, high levels of employment, and price stability. Second, after the government guides the economy by laying down an overall economic strategy, it should regulate the economic activities through taxation, bonds, financial services instruments, government expenditure, etc. These two general principles would assist the government and the market create jobs (which is the most crucial aspect) and stimulate economic growth.
Additionally, WADDANI is strongly convinced that Somaliland is endowed with abundant untapped natural resources. The party has a far-reaching plan to exploit the unexploited natural resources and endeavors to make the most of our oil, gas, minerals, fisheries, soil, water, rangelands, forests, woodlands, etc. WADDANI envisages our government and the private sector to undertake this task jointly and/or separately as needed in a systematic manner while ensuring fare competition between contenders. Exploiting natural resources creates jobs, which will reduce the current high unemployment rate. If the aforesaid economic plan is implemented and the untapped natural resources exploited, our country would experience unprecedented economic growth which would tackle the stagnant unemployment rate. Although WADDANI’s economic policy is comprehensive, this brief description provides a broad picture.

Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP)
The importance of education is self-explanatory and does not need further elaboration. Suffice it to say that education is the single most important factor in determining personal growth (e.g., intellectually, marketability, decision-making, rational thinking) and societal progress (e.g., economic growth, skilled labor force, health improvement, technological advancement, national defense). WADDANI’s comprehensive educational plan aims at providing our future generation for basic education that will help them acquire functional literacy and numeracy in order to: understand the world around them; administer institutions/organizations; run small business; become technologically savvy; master the rudiments of agriculture and animal husbandry et cetera.

WADDANI strives to increase the number of enrollees from pre- to post-secondary school. It focuses primarily on helping poor students acquire quality education and realize their highest potential. To achieve these important objectives, WADDANI developed comprehensive educational plan intended for the improvement and enhancement of our educational system in all levels: (a) WADDANI created fully developed curriculum reflecting our social, religious, and political reality. It is primary intend is to help develop skilled labor force who will have a positive ripple effect on the economy and society at large; (b) WADDANI concentrates on implementing rigorous educational policy, which is currently absent. Education policy is an amalgam of laws and rules governing the operation of education system. All the forms and levels of education (e.g., early childhood education, 1-12thgrade, 2-4 year colleges/university, post-baccalaureate, adult education, and job training) require these laws and rules and WADDANI aims at attaining the aforesaid objectives through the aforesaid rigorous educational policy.

Universal Health Plan
Healthcare is the most important asset for every nation. It encompasses the diagnoses, cure and prevention of diseases, sickness, injury and other physical and mental impairment in humans and animals. WADDANI designs universal health plan system, which provides improved access to health services, preventive measures and positive health outcome. The plan would be mandated and funded by the central government and would be administrated by local governments. WADDANI’s planned health system is intended to: (1) abolish the current financial barriers that hinder healthcare; (2) enhance and improve the allocation of health facilities; (3) utilize the accessible state-of-the-art healthcare technology; (4) curtail bureaucracy and control costs; (5) foster comprehensive health planning; (6) prevent administrative intrusion; and (7) recruit competent healthcare professionals. In this plan, no one will be left behind. Everyone will be covered. The plan covers the entire healthcare services: rehabilitation, mental health services; dental services; drugs and medical supplies; and preventive and public health measures. Committee of medical experts and community leaders would assess the necessary services required to provide for each area.

Quest for Recognition
Somaliland’s recognition is overdue due to varied reasons and should not be delayed any longer. To win our recognition is one of the primary objectives of WADDANI Party. The Party has constructed methodical signposts aimed at unfolding the road to recognition. WADDANI Party examined and explained our previous failures and subsequently finds solutions to remedy our past failures and simultaneously ensures our recognition. It realizes that the primary reason Somaliland is not recognized hitherto is principally political reasons rather than legal grounds; that is, Somaliland has legal rights to become independent state; the union between Somaliland and Somalia is legally nonbinding; it fulfills all the requirements of statehood under international law; it has its own legal border as Article 4(b) of the African Union Charter stipulates. Therefore, since Somaliland has legal rights to be recognized, WADDANI Party strives to embark upon political grounds that hinder our recognition thus far.

Safety and Security
Safety and security are the basis and pillars of life, progress, and social existence, without which development is unattainable. As such, WADDANI Party emphasizes the crucial role that government plays the improvement and maintenance of national safety and security. Therefore, WADDANI Party arranges to undertake appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of Somaliland citizens. The most important undertaking that WADDANI Party realizes is strengthening institutions of justice to eliminate violence and instability and to fortify linkages among them. Strong institutions of justice help protect the life, liberty, and properties of citizens and visitors. It ensures that every citizen is protected by the law against others and, most importantly, against government intrusion.

WADDANI Party believes that very citizen deserves to live a good life with dignity, which can be achieved by ensuring an economic and personal security for all citizens. It is also essential to curb all sources of instability, e.g., corruption, bribes, nepotism, and favoritism. These societal ills need to be eradicated in order for safety and security to flourish. The officers and government employees who are either drafting and/or implementing the aforesaid measures deserve to earn better wages/salaries.

Government Institutions
Viable government institutions are the foundations of any state. If government institutions are not functioning properly, the country cannot build its basic infrastructure. The primary goal of WADDANI Party is therefore to build strong and viable government institutions capable of performing their assigned duties. WADDANI Party strives to strengthen the separation of powers between the three branches of government, e.g., Legislative, Executive and the Judiciary. Our government is divided into these three branches each of which has its separate and independent powers and defined responsibilities. This separation of powers ensures that no branch has more power than the other two branches and each should check and balance the other two. Currently, these three branches’ separation of powers is blurry and messy. WADDANI Party has a plan that grants and underpins these boundaries.

Justice and Human Rights
Justice and human rights are inseparable twins with which its violations usually erupts outright warfare, destruction and mayhem, as history repeatedly attests. Every person desires to enjoy his/her life freely without any disruption and/or government intrusion. Moreover, everyone deserves fair justice and the right to due process of the law. Therefore, WADDANI’s POLITICAL PROGRAMME provides solutions to injustices and human rights violations. It has created a well-developed and comprehensive system intended for the elimination of these violations. In order to achieve this goal, WADDANI Party plans: (a) to enforce laws intended for the protection of human rights; (b) appoint competent judges to courts; (c) provide intensive courses and training for judges; (d) enhance the image and profession capacity of lawyers; (e) empower civil society organizations, et cetera. This will put into action the justice and human rights laws that we were craving for so long.

Foreign Relations Policy
Due to globalization, WADDANI Party realizes that our world is becoming smaller and smaller every day through the exchange of goods/services, information, knowledge and culture which increases the interactions between nation states across the globe at unprecedented rate. Therefore, WADDANI Party’s foreign relations policy rests on the conviction of safeguarding Somaliland national interest and achieving its goals within international relations environment. In this environment, it is critical to build strong relations with neighboring and distance countries. WADDANI Party’s foreign relations policy is therefore strengthening relations with African, Arab, European, American, and Asian countries. In addition, WADDANI Party emphasizes the significance of becoming a member in intergovernmental organizations such as United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), League of Arab States etc. These foreign relations will help Somaliland partake in the existing international commercial matters involving import-export between nation states, which would have a positive ripple effect on economic growth. This, as a result, will assist Somaliland play its role in international community.

The aforesaid examination and explanation of the visionary leadership of Chairman Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi (Cirro) and WADDANI POLITICAL PROGRAMME attract my attention and motivate me to join WADDANI Party. I wish that I had the time and space to explore all the aspects of WADDANI Party’s agenda. However, as I mentioned earlier, it is impossible to explore the painstakingly detailed agenda of WADDANI Party. Nevertheless, I hope that this brief description can help other Somaliland citizens make wise decisions as to which political party to join. I urge my follow Somaliland citizens to examine and evaluate the leadership qualities, education, and experience of every political party’s chairman as well as every political party’s Political Programme. Do it carefully. We owe this to not only our beloved country but also to the next generation.

Abdi Hussein Daud

The author is a PhD candidate in Educational Leadership at Northcentral University. He can be reached at: abdihdaud@yahoo.com