Risking Life to Run for Presidency in Somalia
She is quite, warm and usually carries herself with a smile. From her looks, one’s first guess would be that she is a model. Well she was once a model as a young woman, but has spent most of her adult life working with the United Nations in various countries. And now, Fadumo Dayib, 42, a Master in Public Administration student at Harvard Kennedy School is eying Somalia’s presidency.
It is hard to tell from afar that this sweet spoken lady is built for what would obviously be a tough battle for presidency in the insecure Somalia. But sitting down with her for an interview, it is clear not even the possibility of assassination would stop her from running.
“I understand the challenges that are attached to this. Wherever you are in the world if you are aspiring to run for political office, as a woman, you will face the same challenges.
“In Somalia, because of the instability, those challenges could be a bit harsher which means that you could actually lose your life. But I am not worried about that,” explained Dayib.
Now a mother of 4, Dayib has lived both in and outside Somalia. She has ever lived as a refugee in Kenya, and later sought asylum in Finland where she is now a citizen.
Somalia goes to the polls in 2016, the first time since 1967 that citizens will directly cast their vote for a president. In 2009 and 2012, presidents were elected through parliament due to instability in the country.
The election in 2016 would be the first democratic election for many Somali youths, whom Dayib banks her support on and puts on her agenda.
“As a young person, I represent the segments of the Somali population. I understand their sentiments, I can empathize with them because I have been there every stage of my life,” says the confident Dayib.
She says she is running because she wants to help her country not to have a second generation that has no sense of stability.
The current government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has faced a lot of attacks by the Al-shabab millitants, with politicians often being targeted.
This year alone, the Al-Shabab millitants have claimed responsibility in the killing of five Somali lawmakers, including Mohamed Mohamud Heyd on June 4, female lawmaker Saado Ali Warsame on July 24 and Aden Madeer on August 2.
But even that does not frighten Dayib, who plans to go back Somalia for the campaign. She says:
“I am very serious about this to the extent that I am willing to go in an unstable environment without my family and the people I care for the most to do this. And that shows you how serious I am.”