By Abdirisak Itaqile
Garowe, (Somaliland Monitor) -A veteran politician who run for Somalia’s presidential elections in 2017 and served as the Somali Federal Minister of Planning, Dr. Said Abdullahi Mohamed better known as Said Abdullahi Dani has an edge in the race to become the next leader of the Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, according to opinion polls and people familiar with Puntland voting system.
Dr. Saed Abdilahi Dani is favourite to become Puntland’s fifth president since it’s inception in 1998 by replacing the incumbent president Abdiwali Gas during Puntland’s upcoming presidential elections planned to be held in January 8, 2019.
Dogged by corruption and nepotism scandals, incumbent president Abdiwali Gas has lost supporters inside and outside Puntland and has put the veteran and well known politician Dr. Saed Abdilahi Dani in a comfortable position in Puntland’s upcoming presidential elections next year.
Born in 1967, Dr. Said Abdullahi Mohamed better known as Said Abdullahi Dani was educated in Somalia and Malaysia. During the collapse of Siyad Barre regime’s government in 1991, Dr. Saed returned to Somalia where he started to revive the country’s education sector by establishing a chain of primary and secondary schools known as Nawawi. Also, Dr. Saed was also one of the founding members of Puntland state in 1998. Mr. Dani is also one the leading businessmen in the country, where has a large companies.
Dr. Said Abdullahi Mohamed was elected member of Somalia’s lower House of parliament in 2012 and served as Somali Federal government’s planning minister from 2014 to 2016 where he succeeded to implement the country’s first population census preliminary population census in over two decades.
Also during his tenure as the Somalia’s minister of planning, Dr. Saed Abdilahi Dani succeeded to establish Somalia-Japan bilateral cooperation where Japanese government put forth a $40 million funding package for the rehabilitation of Somalia’s police forces, relief services, and job creation opportunities.
Eventually, Dr. Said Abdullahi Mohamed was one of the leading contesters of Somalia’s presidential election race in 2017 where he narrowly lost to the current president Mohamed Abdilahi Farmajo.
The author, Abdirisak Itaqile is the Editor-In-Chief of Somaliland Monitor