The only office premise that existed in the entire North-Eastern Regions in August of 1998 was that of the Governor of Nugaal Region in Garowe.The Ruling Administration of SSDF in the Regions did not even have an office. We outlawed it immediately, among other Civil War organizations, in that part of Somalia.
To kick-start a novel regional state administration, we had to borrow an occupied vocational school away from the City of Garowe across the “Togga Manjo-Qarshe” to the North. I had personally established eight office rooms in the school building for sharing between the entire cabinet consisting of the President, Vice President and nine Cabinet Ministers. The only computers we used were my two personal HP laptops and a portable printer, running out of cartridges all the time. On the top of that, we were two billion and half Shillings in public debt, incurred in the holding of two major conferences: Consultative and Constitutional, extending to months of Congress deliberations. In addition, the International Community left us to our own device because of the inclusion of Sool and Sanaag in Congresses and state formation. SSDF leadership feverishly and strongly opposed to Sool and Sanaag joining Northeastern Regions. All Southern warlords were conspiring against us. Somaliland was threatening us because Sool and Sanaag issue. In other words, it was like starting from ground zero with a lot of insurmountable difficulties, sailing through storms in unfamiliar waters. We did not have the opportunity the formation of Somaliland enjoyed by taping into rich and committed overseas business communities in Arab Gulf, ready to liberate themselves from the “Southern Domination”. This may give some one an idea of how incredible our situation was at the time. One may think of Ethiopia giving us a helping hand to create Puntland State; Not at all, and not in any capacity.
Addendum: SSDF Chairman then, Mohamed Ashir Muse (Haabaan), did not believe that Daarood Bari (Eastern Darood) could stand alone on their own without the Hawiye in Mogadishu. Some Traditional Leaders led by Garaaad Abqani Garaad Jama were pushing for an Emirate type of administration for the New Regional State. We overcame a lot of other obstacles along the way.
Adjunct: That was how we modestly started Puntland with a lot of difficulties bravely met with persistence and lot of perseverance.
Postscript: On the top of that, we had to champion for and lead the way for the re-institution and re-construction of the Failed State of Somalia. It was an historic mission, I believe, we had finally succeeded, despite it is yet a long way to march to the final victory.
Ismail H. Warsame