A congratulatory tweet that former president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo sent to Kenay’s president-elect William Ruto has garnered close 20,000 likes within a couple of hours.
The immensely popular president has recently reached 1 millions followers on Facebook and his popularity is growing day after day on other social media platform.
Mr. Farmajo reacted early to Kenya’s Electoral Commission announcement of Mr. Ruto’s win. Incumbent Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had a rocky relationship with Farmajo and had backed the Somali opposition and current President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Farmajo is a man of few words, but his rare statements are widely celebrated and shared instantly among the somali public.
Most of his followers are young and educated people but also disenfranchise citizens. Everyone missed the new hope he breathed in a country scarred by decades of looting and insecurity.
Many Somalis who had previously lost their appetites to corrupt-beyond-repair politicians leading Somalia were alarmed by the particularly virulent and divisive speeches of those politicians who had been out of business during Farmajo’s four years.
What has made many sympathize with Farmajo are American threats and a relentless smear campaign launched by foreign-funded media and a clan-based opposition notorious for its corruption and ruthlessness.
Since he relinquished power on May 15 following a murky electoral process that many have described as a foreign-backed coup, every blunder his outrageous successor has made has won him more followers.
Many followers expressed their love for the former president, their hope to have him as the next president and their sadness of having to bear the current corrupt leaders for four long years.
One follower said: “If Somalia does the same thing as in Kenya, free and fair elections and 1 man 1 vote, it is sure that people will vote for you.”
Another one wrote in Somali: “You have been absent for 3 months, we miss you as if you have left for 20 years (crying emojis). Come back in peace. Inshallah, we are waiting for you, sir.”
Here are some of the 800 reactions posted by Farmajo supporters.
President Mohamud supporters were there to post offensive tweets attacking the former president and his supporters. Farmajo’s soaring popularity increasingly unsettle them. However, President Farmajo never said anything about his successor’s politics.