President leads the nation in prayers for “a great lion of Somalia”


AaskaCabdirasaaqXaajiXusee20140207_1His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud today led the nation in prayers for the late Prime Minister of Somalia, Abdirizak Haji Hussein, whose body was returned from the US for burial in Mogadishu.

The President led a group of dignitaries to receive the Prime Minister’s body at Mogadishu International Airport. They included Speaker Mohammed Sheikh Osman Jawari, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohammed Ali Gaas and Jubba Administration Leader Ahmed Mohammed Islaan Madobe, together with numerous ministers, former ministers and MPs. The President said:

“Today we pray for one of Somalia’s greatest heroes. Abdirizak Haji Hussein was a great man and a towering Somali patriot. His life should be an example to all Somalis as we seek to rebuild our great nation together. If there is one lesson we can all draw from his life and career it is the importance of national unity. Think how much we can achieve if we pull together. After years of division and despair, we must unite as one and achieve extraordinary things.”

The President paid tribute to Abdirizak Haji Hussein’s outstanding record as premier:

“This was a man who staked his leadership on anti-corruption, whose insistence on efficient, democratic government was bold and uncompromising, whose dedication to serving the people of Somalia was an inspiration to those of us who follow humbly in his wake. He was a great lion of Somalia. We must remember him and take courage from his example. He is a national icon and although he has gone he still lives on in our hearts.”

After prayers in Isbaheysiga Mosque the late Prime Minister’s body was taken for burial in Al Irfid Cemetery in the outskirts of Mogadishu, alongside the resting-place of Somalia’s first President, Aden Abdulle Osman.