Kulmiye leader accuses Irro of being pro-Somalia in Burao campaign speech

Abdi says Irro is receiving support from Somalia's government and wants to reunite the two countries, if he wins the election.

BURAO – Kulmiye leader, Musa Bihi Abdi, on Wednesday, accused his rival candidate, Waddani’s Abdirahman Irro, of attempting to bring Somaliland back under the fold of Somalia, during a campaign speech in Burao.

During his speech, Abdi listed numerous SNM veterans hailing from Burao, who fought for the freedom of Somaliland, and asked the crowd “What is the significance of their struggle for freedom, when a political party in Somaliland is being ruled by Mogadishu?”.

Abdi went on to assert his stance on Somaliland independence and how he believes Irro is being backed by Somalia to reunite the two countries.

“We will not accept rule under Mogadishu. We have nothing to do with them. We haven’t recovered from the wounds they inflicted on us. Mogadishu is against the existence of our nation,” Abdi said.

“Kulmiye will protect this nation from our enemies and make this nation secure,” Abdi said.

Abdi riding a horse in Burao on Wednesday.

“This country cannot be trusted by someone who is being ruled and supported by Mogadishu.,” Abdi added.

Abdi went on to talk about Irro’s track record since he entered politics in 2005, and said that Irro has never had the country’s interest at heart during his tenure as Speaker of Somaliland’s parliament from 2005-2016.

Kulmiye supporters in Burao.

“Kulmiye has fought for this country, and has invested a lot of time in building peace in this country. What history does Irro have in Somaliland?,” Abdi questioned the crowd

“A presidential candidate (Irro) should state a day where he has strived to protect the interests of this country,” Abdi said.

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“We can not allow Mogadishu to receive support from this country, Somaliland will not accept that, we will not accept that,” Abdi said.

“We will prevent that from happening by going to the polls, we will not be ruled by Mogadishu for a second time,” Abdi concluded at the end of his speech.

Irro is expected to respond to Abdi’s accusations on Thursday, when his party begins their second day on the campaign trail.

This is a developing story. Please check back at The National for more.

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