By Mutiu Olawuyi (Nigerian)
Not until I spent two weeks in the country, I must confess I was unsure of the true nature of Somaliland; I still had the perception of most West Africans and citizens of other parts of the world – I saw Somaliland as a war zone where people live with starvation, fear and depression. But my determination to assist citizens of the land with my God-given teaching, writing and mentoring prowess made me to accept the call to relocate to the Horn of Africa – Somaliland.
Before relocating to Nigeria on 28 August 2016, I spent about six years in Islamic Republic of The Gambia teaching IGCSE English Literature, English as a Second Language and English as a First Language, and involving myself in humanitarian activities such as peace and conflict resolution advocacy. And as fate would have it, after spending just three significant months in Nigeria, I got a call from Somaliland for the same mission that took me to The Gambia. Sojust exactly a month ago, I boarded Ethiopian plane to answer the call of my destiny.
My first two weeks in Somaliland was consciously used for keen observation of the people and the socio-economic and political situation of the country.Consequently, I realised that Somalilanders, broadly speaking, are easy going, religiously conscious, caring and all-welcoming. And Somaliland is a de facto state that welcomes all and sundry regardless of individual’s religious and socio-political affiliations. It is a state that is fully ready to welcome even citizens of other nations as long as they have positive things to contribute directly or indirectly to the development of the state.Most importantly, the government of the land is seriously dedicated to maintaining peace, security, and socio-economic and political stability of the country.
Unbelievably with all the rumours about Somaliland, the country has constant and uninterruptible power supply and sustainable means of supplying clean and drinkable water for the populace despite the environmental nature of the country. For the past one month of my stay in the country, I have not had a single minute of blackout or power outage.In addition, one can see that the government is unrelentingly trying to construct long lasting roads for smooth transportation of people and goods to and fro the country.
More so, there is relatively insignificant and extremely low drug abuse, and domestic and gun violence cases in the country. One can also see clearly that education of the youths (most especially girls) has become the culture of the nation. Likewise, the country has been able to maintain peace and security since the end of war about twenty seven years ago. For instance, for the past one month of my stay in Somaliland,I have never heard a single gunshot, kidnapping case, political tension or riot despite their preparation and readiness for the March 2017 presidential and parliamentary election.
However, the only and ultimate drug abuse common everywhere in the country is khat chewing, which makes most of those involved to become psychologically useless to themselves within some hours of their everyday life. I also understand that some parts of the country annually experience severe drought, which affects the socio-economic condition of dwellers of such areas. But with the generous nature of the people of the land, every able citizen ensures no one or family is left with nothing to eat daily.
Lastly, let me submit by saying: I can categorically say that Somaliland is one of the best nations on earth for tourism development and entrepreneurship exploration. In a nutshell if you truly need peace and harmony, just try and have a taste of the Horn of Africa; and I can assure you – you will never have a cause to regret! The simple logic here is: if you’re lucky to discover Somaliland, you’ve discovered peace.
Curriculum Developer, IOU Intensive English Course (IEC), Hargeisa Somaliland
Founder, Peace December Advocacy Initiative