Residents of Garowe are the most patient people on earth, enduring the public inconveniences practised by authorities for years. It so happens that the State President, or more often, the Vice President attending an event in a public place in town seizes and seals off the entire area with unproportional security forces. Patrons reluctantly and patiently turn around and go home sadly. The protocols and related security departments couldn’t fix this problem since the foundation of the State, mainly because of the fact that the bosses are fond of seeing their presence and power felt by the public repeatedly.
Ironically, those who are now perpetuating this overzealous VIP security protection turn into ordinary human beings overnight when voted out or replaced. Right now, sitting near my table at hotel lobby is a former Puntland Minister of Public Security. He is alone without a single security guard. But the new comers or replacements go into same cycle of abuse of power or showmanship once installed.
This VIP security protection showmanship is happening tonight at Grand Hotel in Garowe with Puntland Vice President in attendance. I have been told that the whole security fuss and public inconveniences so created is about a school graduation ceremony. I also know that residence of the Vice President isn’t far off from the hotel – it doesn’t require carloads of security personnel to occupy forcefully and seal off the entire area. Why does it need such a show of force by a civilian administration in every event in town? I think it is more than ignorance. There is a dimension of public abuse as well. All they need here is a well trained and efficient police force to maintain law and order in such events. Puntland doesn’t need individual collections of personal bodyguards that would disappear with that VIP of the day once he goes away.
Next time you hear blaring car siren along the road in Garowe, don’t think it is an ambulance transporting a sick patient to a hospital emergency – it is the either the President or Vice President owning up the public highway.