01 September, 2012

Perspectives on the Controversial TOL Group – Suleiman Egeh

Perspectives on the Controversial TLC Group – Suleiman Egeh

The formation of community organizations is not something easy. It is a complex, multi-layered effort that compromises multiple layers and steps.

For an organization to work something similar to the following must be put in place:

1. First of all a leadership has to be identified and there must be a need for having an organization.

2. A main group of leaders that looks like the whole community must be thoroughly chosen.

3. The prospective community must have a common vision, and the particular things they need to create, improve, or change should have to be identified.

4. How to do that must be in the form of a plan that has to be formulated and put into place.

5. A well-thought of strategy that is destined for set goals, and agendas has to be put together. All the above named items should be put into action through something called an action plan.

6. The action plan has to put its plans into action, and after that the ensuing results have to be assessed and evaluated.

7. Last but not the least, everything that may potentially help or put an obstacle in front of your plan of action must be identified, and a way to circumvent it should have to be identified and put in place

In this piece I would like to put into a fair and just perspective on the Toll group, a rather new and obscure organization people hear very little about its agendas, purpose, and mission. Though fairly unknown, currently the group has precipitated so much controversy, defense, and counter defense in Borama. It is also rather bizarre why at this time they conducted an undeclared meeting in Borama. At this point, peaceful Somaliland, and the peaceful city of Borama for that matter did not need controversy, community discord, and disharmony. The piece is no way, shape or form, to disparage, degrade, or deride anyone, but is nothing but an honest personal perspective and observation.
What is a community organization?

It is n structure or organ where whereby a group of people that share some sort of interest, blood, religion organize themselves, and put in place mechanisms and devices to have that should have an impact or influence on policies, cultures, governments, and institutions that exist in their place of birth or dwelling. For any type of an organization to be viable utmost transparency, perseverance, and accountability has to be displayed.

The process of formation should be an open book whereby all the community members are to participate. The leadership, the rank and file or members should be open to all the people that dwell or live in that area that the community organization claims to be operating. Few people with certain agendas even positive ones coming together, and declaring to represent a certain community who know better, and safe guarding the well-fare, and well-being of those communities can’t be acceptable, credible and viable among the community. Any community organization coming to represent a certain community, and in this case the whole Gadaboursi clan family can’t be acceptable if formed under such circumstances. The above named prescriptions are exactly how the Toll group was initially formed, and subsequently acted. This group was hastily formed by a group of people.

From the beginning many people have expressed their reservation from the group. For curiosity I have attended their first meeting, which could be considered a get together session for their formation. Some of my family members put a tremendous effort in the preparation for conducting its meeting. They were hoping this organization to become a unifying organ for the large and far-flung Gadaboursi clan family. Unfortunately the Toll group became as obscure and controversial as ever since the day of its day of inception. The leader of that group and the man who triggered most of the alarm and concern among the Gadaboursi clan family, Mr. Samatar is currently a member of the selected parliament of the troubled, fractured and violence prone state of Somalia.

When I heard about that I thought his controversial group should extinct and dead, as far as many Gadaboursi people are concerned. Even before he went to Muuqdisho, I thought the group has been already extinct for a long time. When I look back at the timing of the Toll group formation, and see where its leader and founder is today, a clear picture of their real agenda may come to mind. Many people will think the formation of the group was used for other agendas, purposes and goals, and Mr. Samatar’s sudden departure and quick embroilment in the intractable problems of former Italian Somalia is a lucid confirmation, and genuine witness of many Gadaboursi fears, and reservations about the group.

In addition to that, I did not hear anything from the group since 2010. Now all of sudden they emerged in Borama. From video pictures of their Borama meeting, I saw a lot of new people who were not participants in the Minneapolis conference. That is really bizarre and strange, and I am asking what their sudden emergence and undeclared meeting in Borama is all about. Again the alarm, suspicion, and divisions they created is genuine and understandable. Moreover, I never heard when was its new leadership was formed. I hope this group should have acted like some of the organizations operating in Somaliland. They would have formed like a private group led by a small group of friends, or people with common interest, agenda, or goals. In conclusion regarding the circumstances of its formation, which for all practically purposes is closed, and the haphazard, and none transparent ways it selected its leadership, I personally think the TLC group is not a viable organization that is in a position to represent all the members of the Gadaboursi clan family.

I suggest for founders of the group to think of making a rather personal organization that does not bear the name TLC, with has a narrower goals. The goals they declare are too broad, too ambitious, monumental, and too good to be true. Therefore, I believe the huffy goals they declared are much beyond their scope. Last but not least everybody would like to see the formation of a genuine, transparent, open, viable, and all inclusive organization for all the Gadaboursi clan family, but the current Toll group in its current structure is not that organization.

In my opinion, anything less than that would not become workable and viable. Therefore, in this difficult time, our area is going through, and the brewing tectonic plates around us, we really need and genuine, and viable organization that unifies our brains, efforts, muscles and voice for that matter. Let is work, and strive hard for such an organization. The TLC is not really that organization.

Suleiman Egeh a freelance writer and a senior science instructor


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