By: Abdullahi Alas.
In his recent article, I am not sure whether it’s pseudo name or genuine, someone by the name of Muhammad Abdullahi asked a rhetorical question, “Is Somalia’s government fueling secessionist agenda?”. This is a rhetorical question because there are no supporting facts provided. It’s said, “political rhetoric’s lead people to deeper darkness and confusion.” This is a typical evidence of this cheap, self-promoting fallacy.
The Degodia Community, like all other communities in Kenya, are peace loving and patriotic. They could be described as model nationalist people. History is there to back up their nationalistic aspirations and past history. The community’s global traditional leader is Wabar Abdille, who visited Kenya 2019 and was received by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
There is nothing sinister if the leaders of the community in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia ask their people to cooperate, interact, trade and support one another. The issue of community flag is neither here nor there. Globally, the three pillars of the progress of people are the markets (economy), the community and the state.
Activities of Community corporations take place in this context. The Somalis are a homogeneous people, people sharing a common culture, a common language, a common religion and a common way of life. It is natural that they can/should always aspire to be joined together in one larger society.
The writer of this rhetorically titled article wastes a lot of time describing the personal diary of a decent, intelligent lady named Rahma Mohammed Gulliye. He writes, Rahma responded to him, “ I think you don’t know me. The only flag I know is the Kenya Flag”. Where Rahma works and for whom is not anyone’s business. Kenyans are everywhere in the world including in the Australian Senate. That is the definition of Progress.
We don’t want meaningless distractions from our immediate priorities. The country in general and Northern Kenya in particular are presently facing problems of Covid-19 Pandemic and insecurity in Mandera county and other places. The writer insinuates that the Degodia community is the leading community on matters of “secession” in Northern Kenya. Well, there is nothing further from the truth. Historically, secession was not a Degodia affair but then the aspirations of the Northern frontier Districts-NDF comprising the six sub-districts—namely, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Moyale, Marsabit and Isiolo.
Just before Independence, on April 3, 1962, Sir Earl Lytton told his British government “… a large portion of Kenya, which is approaching independence, having been our colony, the inhabitants have expressed a wish, after a period of separate autonomy, not under the Kenya Government, to secede to the Republic of Somalia..”
Four eminent people have put the idea of a Greater Somalia forward at various times. First, there was Sir Charles Elliot, one of our greatest administrators in Kenya, about 1904. Then there was Mohammed Abdille Hassan, commonly known as “The Mad Mullah”, between 1899 and 1920. A Somalia poet!
Why on earth should Degodia community secede?
The writer, Mr Abdullahi, must appreciate the progress made by the residents in Northern Kenya in education, business and influencing geopolitics of the said region. Why will the Kenya government trust sensitive positions to the members of the Degodia community if they were not nationalist models? They served in middle and senior management levels in security services, National Intelligence, and even advised the President on constitutional and legal matters.
Secessionists are associated with militia, or organisations that have taken arms against a political republic. In Africa, two countries have seceded, but that came at a great cost, Eritrea in 1991 and South Sudan in 2011. Somaliland has a flag and wanted to secede from 1991,they haven’t been accorded any recognition ever since. Africa Human rights and people’s charter doesn’t condone secessionism – ‘Self-determinations.’
There are no known such organisations in Wajir and Mandera where the community in question inhabits. Wajir County has a Degodia Governor, four elected members of parliament, largest Members of the county Assembly, MP in Mandera North, East Africa legislative assembly member, and Kuwait Ambassador. World Postal President based in Geneva. Regrettably, such aspersions against the Degodia community lead to the unfortunate “WAGALLA MASSACRE” of February 1984. The same can’t be achieved in 2021, No! Sorry ‘brother.’
As for today, the public officers of the Government of Kenya are too intelligent for this cheap incitement and marketplace gossip. Let them play their roles of management, national cohesion and development.
The writer is a governance and policy analyst