NUSOJ Replaces Corrupt Leaders in Somalia

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The Supreme Council of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today met at Sahafi Hotel International in the capital city of Mogadishu in an extraordinary meeting. It was followed by an Executive Committee meeting and among other resolutions, elected a new president and a Secretary-General to lead during the transition period.

The supreme council comprising of members of the Executive committee and representative delegates from the respective regions of south and central Somalia regions and Puntland, referred the decisions of the executive committee dated on 29th of January 2011. It was noted that the fraud allegations against the Secretary General were beyond manageable levels. The Secretary General presented documents presented in today’s meeting with list of names and money indicating that they have been given to the right beneficiaries. But investigations revealed that none of the journalists and families have recieved the funds.

With the consideration of the provisions in the constitution under Article 7, Sanctions of The Member of The Union, which clearly indicates punishments for any member who violates the constitution and other provisions. The sanctions empower the council for the removal of the Secretary General and the president under in such circumstances.

The council vehemently decided for the removals of the Secretary General, Omar Faruk Osman with 13 votes and 14 votes for Abdirisaq Omar Ismail who was holding the president of the Supreme council.

The former Secretary General of the union, Omar Faruk Osman has been accused of extreme fraud, obtaining money from the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) Safety Fund and other donors belonging to wounded or killed journalists on 2009 Shamo Hotel bombing. The former leader was also accused of stealing the money meant for widows and orphans. He was also accused for over-staying in the office and for refusing to convene a General Assembly meeting on August 2008 with the help of Abdirisaq Omar. They have violated the NUSOJ Constitution and which goes against the merits of democracy.

The meeting observed that Omar and Abdirisaq had also become dictatorial and was not therefore serving the interest of the members but their own interests. Their continued stay at the leadership of the union has only worked to earn NUSOJ a negative name.

Mr. Burhaan Ahmed Daahir was elected the position of president of Supreme council with 14 votes of the council to replace Abdirisaq Omar Ismail. Burhaan was previously holding the position of NUSOJ Representative for Puntland.

The Supreme council discussed the behavior of Omar which was described as not a good leader. Among other violations, he also failed to conduct election of new officials which was long overdue. He dwindled fortunes of the union following a massive withdrawal of donor support. His leadership lacked transparency and accountability.

The Council also announced General Elections will be held within 30-90 days depending on the availability of funds. They also called Omar Faruk Osman, the former Secretary General to hand over the union properties including the union website that he is currently holding as soon as possible. General elections will take place and to seek the overall funds mismanaged by Omar. The Executive committee referring to Article Seven, under the sections of 3 and 4 has sanctioned the membership of Omar Faruk and Abdirisaq Omar for violating the constitution.

Taking into consideration of the Article X of the NUSOJ constitution, the executive committee nominated the vacant position that Omar left for Mohamed Ibrahim and elected among them Secretary General.

Mr. Ibrahim, who works for the New York Times was the union staff for the last couple of years. He will lead the union during the transition period.

The meetings resolved to rebuild the image of NUSOJ and make it appealing to donors. It aims to assure donors that accountability has been restored in NUSOJ through the removal of Omar Faruk and Abdirisaq Omar Ismail.

It also resolved to write to EAJA, FAJ and IFJ, to donors, partners, collaborators and sister unions to immediately inform them of these resolutions, including the changes.

The meetings concluded successfully with the spirit of solidarity to protect the freedom of expression, labour rights, democracy, accountability and transparency.

Signed By The Following Supreme Council Members:

1. Abdiaziz Weheliye Coofle, NUSOJ Representative/Central Somalia

2. Cudbi Suleiman Mahdi, Gender Secretary/EC Member

3. Cabdiqani Sheik Mohamed, NUSOJ Treasurer/EC Member

4. Suleiman Sheik Ismail, NUSOJ Representative of South East

5. Abdirashid Abdulle Abikar, Training Secretary/EC Member

6. Mohamed Hussein Jimle, NUSOJ Representative for Benadir region

7. Said Hagaa Afrah, NUSOJ Representative for Middle Shabelle regin

8. Abdirashid Abdullahi Haydar, NUSOJ Labor Secretary/EC member

9. Hamdi Kediye, Executive committee member

10. Ahmed Omar Salihi, NUSOJ South Western Representative

11. Abdulkadir Ali Abdulle, NUSOJ Senior Vice president

12. Burhaan Ahmed Daahir, NUSOJ (North Eastern) Puntland Representative

13. Muktar Mohamed Atosh, NUSOJ Head of Baidoa Branch

For more information, please contact:

Mohamed Ibrahim,

Acting Secretary General,

Mogadishu, Tel: +252 61 5889930

Burhaan Ahmed Daahir, Supreme Council President elect,

Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254 70 2223958

Email: [email protected] or