14 Feb 14, 2010 - 12:52:29 PM
But the future of the VOA Somali section, under the leadership of Abdirahman Yabarow, a former BBC staff seems to gradually disappearing under the dark clouds of deadly clanism.
In an interview with Radio Rajodoon, Farhiya Absiye, now a former VOA reporter, revealed the inside story of the station and how clan plays the biggest role.
“It is a place where your goodness would haunt you down. I thought that if you do something good, you will be appreciated and recommended. Things are vice versa there,” she said.
She adds, “The first time I joined the station, a colleague advised me on this but I did not understand then.”
She was known for her innovative and excellent reportage which glued many to their radio sets but sadly many Somalis will not have chance, for the time being, to listen to her on VOA.
It all started when Yabarow decided to indirectly put Farhiya at loggerheads with people from her mother’s tribe, which she courageously repudiated to play in his clannish cards.
“Indirectly, he tried to turn me against some of these people at the service that belonged to other tribes. These staff members that he wanted me to turn against were from the same tribe as my mother, and when I rejected this to his face, he took it as I siding with them and against him,” she said in resignation letter
She took the initiative to warn him ‘many times to disengage from his clannish hostility towards her and others, but that was begotten by heavy and direct attacks he undertook against her.
“It was at this time that Mr. Weheliye saw me as an enemy to be rid off as he has done to others before. But I resisted, and some of the employees including me begun to complain about being signaled out because of our friendships or tribal affiliations,” she stated.
To undercut her, he decided to demean and demote Farhiya by eliminating her air time in the section but she stood up and proved that, no mater how much he strives in his ambitions to bring her down, the audience will always be the judge.
“They know who the most talented broadcasters at the service are. It’s not something he can cover up with the nurturing and promoting of those that he thinks are not threat to him. Those that he knows owe him because they were hired unfairly and unjustly from the beginning.”
Farhiya has all evidence against Mr. Yabarow, from his staffing of most incapable and incompetent people from his tribe to usage of the service for his own political and tribal gains.
But the one that clearly stands out, which Farhiya happens to have evidence, is his decision to honestly reward his relative, who has never delivered the commissioned service.
“This work was never done by this person who is a close relative of Mr. Weheliye. He decided that he wanted to reimburse her the money in which she bought her flight ticket to America.
She is leaving a station that has no respect amongst it listeners and that is being used to propagate agendas that demise the conflict-ravaged southern Somalia.
“My future is too bright for this service. I have dreams that Mr. Weheliye and his small minded friends alike cannot even imagine. That’s why I am moving on,” she said, hoping that ‘U.S tax payers will not continue to fund the very same practices that keep on fueling the conflict in the Horn of Africa.’