There is one fact that even his detractors cannot hide. This was the only Somali politician who the Ethiopians did not dare to push around as they wanted. He was stubborn and proud, traits that Ethiopian rulers do not find attractive in a Somali. It is this unease about his refusal to play to the tunes of Ethiopia that finally sealed his political career.  By Muktar M. Omer

(Stone inscription)


Wardheernews -Perhaps Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was not a hero, may even be a villain to many. But he was a remarkable political figure, one whose pages on Somali history is assured, for good as well as for bad, for now. Alive, he was equally loved and loathed. He meant different things to different people. That divisiveness, so emblematic of historical figures, will follow him to the grave. But history has a fascinating way of rehabilitating and cleansing historical figures, well after they are gone, buried in dark graves. No one remembers Che Guvera for the wives he deserted or for his suicidal revolutionary idealism. Mandela’s neglect of his progeny is forgiven. Sayid Mohamed fought not only colonial occupiers but close kins and tribes who resented his autocracy. He has composed numerous pejorative poems whose appeal and potency diminished as time passed. Heroes like all mortal humans err, after all. Yet, all of the Sayid’s warts were washed away by his nationalistic gallantry and defiance against colonialists. And history did rehabilitate him generously, pardoning his clannish escapades and highlighting his nationalistic grandeur, at least in the mainstream Somali history.

Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed’s patriotic achievements do not parallel those of the Sayid, but so does his political wrongdoings. A considerate History would judge Yusuf by his intentions rather than his achievements. A vindictive history would disregard his efforts and intentions, instead zooming on the dismal political results he left behind.

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