The government has no place for honest people Hilal and his severance pay [Archives:2008/1211/Opinion]

November 27 2008

By: Nayef Al-Muraisi
Politicians and media personnel were surprised last week by news of the resignation of Minister of Local Administration Abdulqader Ali Hilal. Even it's content implied that there is no place for honest people in a government ruled by illiterate and less experienced individuals on a tribal basis, the resignation notice rendered by Hilal is a positive step though late it came.

The resignation letter was supposed to be rendered earlier as soon as the minister learned that the 'old guards' is a redline, which is impossible to cross and that the tribal influence is what defines the scope of his official business. The notice should have been rendered immediately after the first lesson, uncovered by the Distour Newspaper that has good ties with senior government officials.

According to the media, Hilal's resigniation is the result of presidential suspicions about the victim's allegiance with Abdulmalilk Al-Houthi, who has been engaged in a four-year fighting with the army. Other reasons why Hilal resigned his post relate with the allegation that the official has been sympathizing with Islamist groups and secessionists.

Suspicious allegiance

Due to his prudence and diplomatic tactics in establishing good relations with the public, Hilal won a Parliament seat in Damt area as a General People's Congress (GPC) candidate in the first parliamentary elections in a constituency were the contest was exclusively limited to Islah Party and Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) candidates while GPC had no notable popularity in that constituency. That functioned as the first test for Hilal, which consequently qualified the man to hold the post of Deputy Governor of Ibb. It was only a few months until Hilal was promoted to the post of governor.

Having continued his hard efforts with the ambition to build an institutional state of law and order, Hilal was shocked by both pillars of the current regime: the tribe and sheikhs. Most Yemenis still remember the dilemma the victim has undergone in his confrontations with tribal sheikhs, who have been bearing in mind that the law is what sheikhs say while citizens are merely creatures whose job to serve and obey sheikhs.

Hilal overcame this dilemma by disbanding some private jails owned by powerful sheikhs and releasing those detained in them over disobeying their sheikhs despite the fact that those tribal leaders receive support from high-ranking officials.

While serving as Ibb Governor, Hilal's activities were not limited to affairs of his governorate only. Rather, he established effective coordination with international donors for the sake of supporting numerous education, health and infrastructure projects. His governorate actually got the biggest share of international support and he was highly appreciated by staff of international donor organizations. Therefore, he obtained international awards in Germany and the Netherlands.

Hilal's engagement in development doesn't hinder his political performance, particularly as he became responsible for a seemingly Islah Party-controlled governorate. The fact required that Hilal should step up his political efforts in favor of GPC in an attempt to achieve equal balance between both extremes of the equation in the governorate: the Islah Party and GPC.

He shocked Islah Party leaders by helping GPC candidates won 30 seats, compared to two for Islah candidates in the second parliamentary elections in 1997. He continued to work on the same rhythm until the GPC turned out to enjoy notable popularity in Ibb, as well as in other governorates until he was promoted to the post of Local Administration Minister.

Intelligence agencies uncovered Bint As-Sahn not weapons

At this point, we are shocked at how the intelligence agencies in our country were more able and competent to disclose that Hilal sent Bint As-Sahn (a popular Yemeni meal) to Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, which is the main reason behind Hilal's suspicious allegiance with Houthis and his subsequent resignation, however, they failed to uncover many trucks filled with arms that reached Houthis from various destinations. This is a severance pay, which Hilal was rewarded by the end of his service with GPC.