Somali Public Works minister Abdifatah Ibrahim Gesey has resigned over what he described as Mogadishu's interference in the affairs of the South West State of Somalia (SWSS).
Mr Gesey, also a member of the Federal Parliament representing an SWSS constituency, accused the Mogadishu government of suppression and kidnapping of people form SWSS.
I have no idea why my government decided to interfere in the internal issues of South West State of Somalia, Mr Gasey told a press conference in Mogadishu on Sunday.
The minister appeared angered by the detention of Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali (Abu Mansur), a former deputy leader of the Jihadist Group Al-Shabaab, who was one of the candidates for the SWSS presidency.
Sheikh Robow, who defected to the Somali government side last August, was seized last week by security forces in Baidoa town, about 240km southwest of Mogadishu, after public disturbances, presumably ignited by his supporters.
Mr Gesey also said: “I have no idea why my government decided to detain Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali.”
The Somali Interior ministry in October issued a statement, banning Sheikh Robow from holding a public office, but gave not reason for the order.
The ministry, however, stated that despite Sheikh Robow abandoning the Al-Shabaab, the Interpol had placed restrictions on his movements and financial transactions.
Sheikh Robow’s arrest and transfer to Mogadishu sparked violent street protests that lasted for three days in Baidoa town, causing the deaths of over 15 people, including a regional legislator.
The SWSS presidential election is scheduled for Wednesday in Baidoa, with a dozen candidates in contention.