A day after opposition presidential candidates held a press conference to oppose what they termed as unreasonable conditions set by the electoral commission, 135 elders called for the candidates to stop inciting violence and bringing disrepute to a process the elders approved. The elders asked the opposition candidates to desist from spreading lies and warned them not to try to destabilize Jubbaland’s peace.
Ugas Hassan Ugas Mohamed Ugas Yerrow of the Marehan clan asked the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to avoid anything that may impede the peaceful ongoing electoral process and accused the candidates who he said may be in the pay of the FGS to see the forest for the trees. ” Those lying to the masses should stop. We are aware they are misleading the people of Jubbaland and lying about the council of elders” said the elder. ” We are the elders who helped form both the FGS and the regional government of Jubbaland, and we will take part in its formation again. The process is ongoing and we are satisfied with how the Independent Electoral Commission is conducting it” continued Ugas Yerrow.
The elders unanimously asked those disrupting the peaceful process of building Jubbaland to desist. Earlier, opposition candidates who spoke to the media said that the process is invalid and is favouring the incumbent. They called the selected elders as “fake” representatives, a claim that has irked the elders who have a huge following and a big say in how the election pans out. Sheikh Shakul who is a candidate and is a businessman in Kenya called the elders “fake” a sentiment echoed by another presidential candidate who is a serving deputy minister in the Federal Government. One of the conditions to participate in the election is for all state officers to resign from their positions before they can be cleared to contest, a common electoral condition across the globe. The candidates raised concerns about this but the elders endorsed the process.