Tradition Leaders Have Become Greedy, Mushroomed Exponentially and Lost their Traditional Role by Suleiman Egeh

Sun 26 August 2018.

Madax Dhaqameedkii Somaliland Waxay Lumiyeen Dawrkii Ay Bulshada Dhexdeeda Ka Ciyaari Jiraan Wadan Kana Khatar Wayn Bay  Ku Hayaan


“Traditional leaders became Jack of all trades and master of none”

 Background information/Introduction

Before they inflict further damage to the country, some of the wrong-headed, destructive, and misguided traditional leaders should be stopped, rebuked and condemned. From that backdrop I am urging the government of Somaliland to reign in and regulate these over-inflated, and out of control traditional leaders.

The institution of traditional leadership was a dominant system of structure governance, council, reconciliation peace-making, conflict resolution and bringing people together. Out of Control so-called Traditional leaders are deeply enmeshed in politics, governance and government machinery. They are on the very verge of jeopardizing the state and the Nation. They were always a force of moderation, a force of calm and deliberation. It is an undeniable the fact that traditional leaders play a pivotal role in our society. Since ancient times even before the establishment of the foreign imposed nation state, the traditional leaders were integral and indispensible part of our society. The institution of traditional leadership comprises of chiefs, sultans, Ugasses, Garads, headmen and village heads. Village heads are physically the closest to the people and thus, have the most interactions with the citizens in rural areas. Prior to the colonization of the Horn of Africa, the institution of traditional leadership was the sole governance structure with legitimacy to governance derived from tradition and culture.

Traditional leaders had fused governmental powers and authority. Soon after colonization in the1880s the colonial government started to rule the then British Somaliland through the traditional leaders. Here in Somaliland the British colonization was an indirect type of control whereby the colonial officers control the country through the traditional leaders. Since Somaliland reestablished its independence there was a harmonious relationship and interactions between traditional governance structures and the modern State institutions. In these modern times the relationship between two above-mentioned leadership groups is no longer as smooth as it used to be, and substantial disagreements came to forth between the two groups. Adding more fuel to the fire is the fact that traditional leaders have mushroomed and at same time became pseudo-politicians, religious leaders, and commentators, thus lost the respect and support of the people.

These days they keep on throwing themselves at everything. Increasingly these charlatans have lost their traditional role among the society, and at same time so lost in things that are beyond their traditional role and scope. They are clearly interfering with the state governance. The whole thing boils down to the fact that once respected traditional leaders have lost their way. These days the once respected traditional leaders have metamorphosed into a negative force that is interfering with the jurisdiction of the legitimate state governance and the role of our elected leaders. It is worth noting that nobody has elected these traditional leaders. Among their legitimate traditional roles include peace-making, mediation, arbitration, conflict resolution and some other civil matters. These days they have crossed all redlines, interfered with the legitimate governance, act like politicians, media personalities, and responding to every trivial event or incident. In short they became Jack of all trades and masters of none.

These days they seem to lose their respect among the citizens of the country. They became sectarian, tribal, corrupt, unreliable, unethical, megaphones of negative interest and shameless empty vessels. Instead of peace-makers they became peace-busters, instead of smooth soft spoken and polite beings, they became pompous, aggressive, and confrontational loud mouths. Instead ad of humble and dignified people they end up becoming shameless chameleons, masters of deception and manipulation. The days when they were people with encyclopedic knowledge of the culture, tradition, values and the history of the different sects and branches of our society were long gone. Therefore, it is high time Somalilanders of good will stand up and stop these mindless jackals and wolves on their tracks. It is time to strip the multiple phony microphones from these once respectful leaders, who metamorphosed into toxic beasts and deadly chameleons that have the tendency and propensity to change their colors, convictions, political positions, affiliations and attitudes with the twinkle of an eye. It is high time to point out the ravages these jackals are inflicting on the country and its people.

These days it is a common sight to watch one of these mindless wolves wrapping himself around a tribe and saying things such as “Hadaanu Nahay Beesha X or Y who are a famous tribe, sub-tribe, or sub-sub-tribe and so on. First of all they are wrapping themselves around clan, tribe, or sub-clan without the latter’s consent or permission. Wise Somalilanders who love their country need to come out and tell these virulent jackals they did not represent them and need to shut up. They need to stop their shameless and unethical tendency to disparage other people, government or tribes. People need to tell them that they are not talking on their behalf. These people dominate our rudimentary media that lacks depth, low in ethics, and knowledge of the trade.

Suleiman Egeh is a freelance writer and a senior science instructor


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