Former Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed blasted the incumbent President in a campaign speech in Mogadishu on Wednesday, accusing Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of graft and corruption.
Mr. Sheikh Ahmed arrived in Mogadishu and immediately hit the campaign trail ahead of the upcoming Somali presidential elections directly targeting President Mohamud, who he sees is his main obstacle between him and the nation’s top job.
In his speech, Sheikh Sharif told his supporters that the security situation in Somalia is worse off today than it was when he left office lamenting that Al Shabaab militants are “at our doorstep”. He pointed out that 4 years ago, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s main platform for his campaign was strengthening the security sector and making Somali’s feel safe in their own country. He noted that today, Mogadishu is essentially locked down by security forces.
Sheikh Sharif also slammed the President over questionable campaign practices, accusing the President of pilfering state funds from the port and airport to fund his re-election bid.
“Is it right that you (Hassan Sheikh Mohamud) use state institutions and the office of the presidency for your own benefit so that you can return (as President) ?” asked the Sheikh Sharif, “when you first arrived as President, you were unknown, you defeated me in the previous elections and we all thought that you would do great things, but what happened (during Mr. Mohamud’s Presidency) is unforgivable and we can’t have you return.”
Towards the end of the campaign speech, Sheikh Sharif was asked by a reporter if he thought we would win the election and he replied with an emphatic “yes, 100%”.
Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was President of Transitional Federal Government of Somalia between 2009-2012 after serving as the Commander in Chief of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). His presidency was marred with political infighting as he constantly clashed with his Prime Ministers. Most notably the dismissal of Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullah Farmajo which put Parliament into a political deadlock. The move was widely criticized and protested by Somalis