As soon as Mosul was liberated in July 2017, the Ninewa council moved against Governor Nufal Hamadi al-Akub. It took four months, but Akub was eventually removed from office. Similar situations have played out in other provinces that were once occupied by the Islamic State where politicians have decided to settle their scores after liberation. The problem is that these local officials should be restoring governance and rebuilding Ninewa, but instead are vying for power.
Four days after Mosul was freed a faction of the Ninewa council announced it wanted to force Governor Akub out. On July 14, the Nahda bloc said that it wanted to dismiss Akub on corruption charges. There were also Ninewa parliamentarians who wanted the governor out. Former Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi was named as a possible successor a few days later. Some of the councilman making the move were also aligned with former Governor Atheel Nujafi who wanted to return to power.
On November 1, Akub had it out with his opponents. First, the council voted him out. Akub claimed the session was illegal because it was not held in Mosul. He then had a tribal Hashd come to the council building in Mosul and ordered them to arrest any politician that voted him out. The Ninewa council tried to move on without him, but no successor has been picked yet. One councilman told the media that has left the province in disarray.
The problem with this political squabbling is that it is coming at the expense of running Ninewa, which was just freed from the hands of the Islamic State. Half of Mosul for example is destroyed and there is no plan to rebuild it. There is also no unified security network in the governorate. In Mosul alone, there are around 30 different forces, mostly tribal Hashd that are beholden to politicians. Anbar went through a similar experience where the council there spent months getting rid of the governor instead of rebuilding. Rather than dealing with more pressing issues, the political class is trying to settle scores and get rid of its enemies.
Baghdad Post, “Former defense minister tapped for Nineveh governorship,” 7/19/17
Bas News, “Nineveh Governor Sacked over Corruption,” 11/1/17
Iraq News Network, “Source: Political moves to oust the governor of Ninewa,” 7/31/17
Al Maalomah, “A deputy from Ninewa reveals the nomination for new governor,” 11/13/17
- “Governor of Ninewa: All those who accuse me of corruption were lying to me during my administration,” 8/3/17
- “A member of the Ninewa Council speaks about chaos in the province and calls for a speedy naming of governor,” 11/11/17
- “The Ninewa Council expects to oust the governor during his first session of questioning in parliament,” 10/3/17
Al Mada, “Daesh members appear in Mosul 5 months after liberation,” 11/14/17
Shafaaq News, “The governor of Ninewa resorted to military option to respond to his dismissal,” 11/2/17
Sotaliraq, “Member of the Ninewa Council: Akub faction of the National Renaissance Coalition,” 7/14/17
UN Human Settlements Program, “Planning Prospects for the Reconstruction and Recovery of Mosul Discussed with Key Partners,” 10/23/17