What does being a patriot mean to you?
Does the flag lapel pin stuck to the left upper torso of your designer suit certify your patriotism?
Wait, don’t answer that just yet.
Today, we have more than 893,000 refugees that are internally displaced in southern and central Somalia while both northeastern and northwestern parts of the country have 84,000 and 129,000, respectively.
More than 1.1 million refugees are in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda and others in Europe, North America, or in refugee camps seeking asylum.
These people should have been your constituents that you “represent” in the Somali parliament if they had it their way.
And yet many of you grin like it is business as usual even when the government of Kenya decides to indiscriminately arrest, detain, and take forced bribes from those populations of ethnic Somali origin in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya in response to the deadly blast last week.
So I ask you, how do you sleep at night knowing a family member, neighbor or a colleague is arrested, dehumanized or possibly raped?
Your madness for power grabbing and state creation under the federalism process has blinded you to ignore the two most important things: To serve and protect those you claim to represent. And these obsessions are contributing to Somalia’s dip back into chaos and allowing others to treat you as they please.
If your understanding of federalism is to create a wild stretch of imaginary states served on a 4.5 clan-system plate with delusional elites as short-order cooks and eerie shadow figures as your waiting staff, then the answer to my last question is “No One.”
Your country needs you now more than ever. Our hope to live in a peaceful and prospering nation is still alive.
You can do better. We can do better.
Nelson Mandela, the great liberator who fought apartheid system in South Africa once said, “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”
This piece was authored by Ubayda Sharif, an Independent writer interested in African and Middle Eastern politics. You can follow him on Twitter: @iamubayda