As history is our guide, humans have
become so excellent at politics through
analysis, articulation, elaboration,
expansion, and competency. Evidently,
crises test an individual’s or institution’s mentality; a decision taken in haste
discovers an individual’s maturity; bad governance presages problems; out of curiosity new convictions and concepts come.

Poets are aware of this; intellectuals know
it; elites understand it; most people understand that improvement, innovation
and inventions are the essential components of modern civilisation and, of course, the major principles of urban life, where policing and beautiful ladies who powder their faces seem to have appeared.

“History is part and parcel of our evolution,” Hanad said.
“True,” replied Hinbir.
“What is true?”
“That all nations have their own history.”
“Can history show how we have got here?”
“Of course, if we refer back to past events.”
“You are talking sense today.”
“I always talk sense,” replied Hinbir sourly.
“Can history tell us what must be?”
“‘That is sheer nonsense, Mr. Hanad. How can history tell us what will happen in the future?”
“If history can’t tell us how we would get to where we have never been to, what else could tell us?”
“What are you trying to reach today? I don’t understand the purpose of your argument,” Hinbir said, doubting that Hanad was not himself.
“The argument is not S/land. Nor it is how
S/land came into being. S/land is a taboo that no one can touch and talk about,” replied Hanad.

Hinbir stared at Hanad in amazement, for
he couldn’t understand why Hanad had brought S/land in their discussion. He
looked sideways to ensure that other people were close to them. Surely nobody was near to them. Hinbir looked over again what made Hanad mention S/land to establish its merits in a curious way. For Hinbir, S/land was an issue more appropraite to be mentioned in a highly organized symposium than two person’s discussion. He never expected that an intellectual like Hanad could so easily bring S/land to two-way-flow conversation. After Hinbir couldn’t establish the merits of what Hanad had meant, even from a cursory glance at him, Hinbir said, “I think an argument has two purposes, Mr. Hanad: Either you change people’s points of view or persuade them to accept new points of view. It seems to me today that you don’t have either.”
“You see, Hinbir, I like to have a conversation with people who can reject some views and respect others and you, my friend, are off the charts. I don’t know how you understand my view, but you are a man after my own heart.”
“You think I am a yes-man?”
“I know you are not. But in the event of not being a yes man becomes great in knowning when to challenge. And knowning how.”
“Will you let me know the moral of your argument?,” asked Hinbir.

“The argument is how we are prepared to make S/land great, nurture it, nourish it, defend it, feel it, foster it, celiberate it, symbolize it, and protect it from whatever intends to ruin it. The moral of my argument is how today’s social and political order system will hold S/land in high regard? How confident are we that S/land will survive without reform in politics?,” inquired Hanad.
“What is a reform in politics?”
“An improvement of what is wrong in politics.”
“How does reform differ from revolution?”
“To reform is to improve the existing laws, policies and bad practices, but revolution is a total overthrow of the status quo and replacement ot the existing rules and regulations.”
“A stem and its protecting cover. No difference. See, Mr. Hanad, the way to learn how to run is to run. The only system S/land people can accept is democracy. They can’t hear either reform or revolution. Both movements are enemies of expression. Revolution and its accompanying organization are a luggard and blind. There is no room for another blind dictator in S/land.”
“I said we need to reform S/land politics, if Sland is to survive. I didn’t say S/land needs another revolution?”
“No, no, no. I don’t really like to hear the words that begin with the letter ‘R’ when it comes to politics.”

“Understand two things from your point of view : Number one, you don’t totally see that S/land requires to reshape, reform and refine its current social and political order system, and number two, you are happy about societal division and political disputes that worn out the potentials of S/land people. He who accepts what is not right shoots at advocates of change, but wounds himself unknowingly.”

Hinbir, who naturally didn’t like all kinds of dissidence, became unhappy when Hanad declared that it was necessary to mobilise popular reform in S/land politics. At that time those who were in the government believed that admitting or owning self mistakes was a weakness, and for that if a clash or confrontation could happen between them and the opposition, the outcome was likely to result in irreversible catastrophy.

Seeing things from that perspective, Hinbir tried to disuade Hanad from his harsh stand. He then said, “First, I don’t see any problem that endangers Somaliland existence in our social order system. All Somaliland communities live side by side in peace. Second, there is no public outcry over Somaliland government politics. If there is any, clans would raise hue and cry and claim that Somaliland existing administration is treating them unfairly. Public outrage mostly comes directly from government’s policies and plans – how the public is ruled and the country’s affairs are run. In social and political order system, what can cause a case for reform in politics is an aggression or exessive use of force regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing public outrage or unrest. I don’t personally see in S/land, God forbid, poltical burdens that can necessiate revolutionary changes.”

Hanad recalled some of Hinbir’s previous views towards S/land politics and immediately responded to him.
“‘Hinbir, what is the secret of S/land government?”
“What?,” Hinbir said
“What is the secret of S/land government?”
“Secret of S/lland government?,” Hinbir returned, intending to find out a justification for his initial view with regard to S/land politics.

After few minutes, Hinbir said, “In a divided nation, what pleases one division, displeases other division. In S/land, what is good for one clan is bad for other clans. That is, what is white for X clan is black for Y clan. And so are individuals of different clans and I am among those individuals. So it is not a problem if I had concured with you once that favors and frauds are the secrets of S/land government system.”

Hinbir shot his foot in the finger again unkowingly when he said that S/land was a divided nation. Hanad took that as a contradictory statement.
“Tell me, Hinbir, who are those criminals that divided the people on tribal lines?”
“‘Who said that people are divided on tribal lines?,” asked Hinbir involuntarily.
“I think that you don’t hear yourself. Just a minut. Will rewind the tape to let you hear what you said.”
“Do you usually record our discussion?”
“Without my knowledge?,” asked Hinbir.
“Hinbir, don’t try to escape to answer my question. It is you who said S/land is divided. So, what made our people divided?”
“Is tribalization a humanbeing that walks from city to city, from town to town and from house to house to manipulate people into foes and friends who hate one another? Tribalism is an abstract matter that ignorant people always accuse.”
“What does this mean?,” Hinbir asked.
“It means what it means.”
“If it means what I meant, politicians are the people who committed the crime.”
“Please be specific. Who are those politicians?”
“Who else do you think they would be? They are the Mujahids, if you don’t mind.”
“Why the mujahids did divide S/land people? What is in dividing people into factions for the mujahids?”
“Dividing people into factions is where ascension to power begins from. If one fails to send an ouycry to his tribe and also seek out alliances from other tribes through certain offers during election times, one wouldn’t smell the privilege of S/land’s presidential power.”

One prefatory point that you and me agree
is that the character of S/land politics is tribal, that S/land population is divided on tribal basis and that politicians, who have already become presidents and those who have the ambition to be presidents of this poor nation, are dividers and not uniters. Is that too neat to be clear to you, Hinbir?”
“Trying to write or say something about
S/land social and political order system is like trying to write or say something out of nonsense. S/land people have been divided into tribes settling geographically in different locations since time immemorial. No tribe had even penetrated the location that was the settling place for another tribe, leave alone a tribe that ever tried to integrate with another tribe. Looking at today’s town-plan-residential areas of the early Hargeisa inhabitants is sufficient evidence that S/land people were traditionally divided into hostile tribes and that they would remain divided till the doomsday as long as power struggle and politics also come in play. Period,” returned Hinbir, with a firm confidence.
“Hinbir don’t be pessimist. People can make up their minds and change the way they think particularly if they learn and retain knowledge.”
“If there is anything that can let S/landers change their mind, it is the revelation that has come from above. Somali poetry which is the sense of Somali literature hasn’t even affected Somali mindset. How many quranic verses are read in Hargeisa city each day? The mind that reads the Quran regularly still remains the same. It thinks the way it used to think, still pours lies as it used to pour; still wants to possess more than what is not rightfully its due. If knowledge can affect in how people think, why our intellectuals still think as ordinary people think, if not even worse? Give me a break, Mr. Hanad.”

To be contunued……..

By: Jamafalaag
Hargeisa, Somaliland

As per usual the opinions expressed in this articale are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of