Kismayo: Sheikh Ahmed Islam “Madobe is the favourite to win the election

Photo/Somali Times

jubaland is currently led by Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe

Jubaland State in Somalia goes to the polls in an election that will have a significant bearing on the Horn of Africa region Jubaland is currently led by Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe, who for all practical purposes is seen as the front runner and whereas he faces stiff competition, his commitment to end the terrorism in the region makes him the man to beat.

Observers have rightly pointed out that the most significant outcome of this election is on the security dynamic in the greater Horn of Africa region, with the Al Shabaab threat being on the forefront.

The election is the top news in the country and the talk of every town and village.

The incumbent president Ahmed Mohamed Islam is hoping to retain the seat he unanimously won four years ago after leading a long, spirited and ugly war against al Shabaab to recapture Kismayo in September 2012.

Sheikh Madobe is famously known for leading the Ras Kamboni brigade alongside the African Union-backed troops to kick al Shabaab out of Kismayo. This take over of Kismayo significantly weakened the terrorist group and fragmented their operations thus aiding the global efforts in securing the region. And whereas the al Shabaab threat still persists, the group’s former roar and has now been reduced to a whimper.

Elections, while being the sole preserve of the nation’s sovereign, should not have a regressive effect on democracy. They should produce leaders who shall preserve existing gains and work towards greater state growth and regional progress.

Why Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo is busy dismantling the Federal States leadership to install his allies, when, in reality he will not himself retain his seat come 2020. Going by past Somalis voting patterns, no President has ever retained power. Why destroy what took the Somalis years to build?

As for Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe, he needs to understand that Jubaland is part of Somalia. He needs to know the limits of his powers and stop behaving as if Jubaland is independent. He also needs to ease restrictions on his political competitors and make the ground fairly competitive for credible and fair elections. But can you really fault him for his behaviors looking at what the federal government did in Southwest, HirShabelle and Galmudug?

“Madobe is the favourite but he does not think so. He controls the election commission. The Somalia federal government, on its part, is right on some issues but their approach at dealing with Jubaland is wrong. They are emotional and are creating clan divisions with their hardline stand using all the necessary tactic to oust Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe,”