New Day in Ethiopia!
Congratulations to all who love our country!
How we got here?
What it means?
Where we should go from here and how?
I hope we will look back and say this is (yesterday) day is the day, the nature of Ethiopian politics has changed.
The change we are observing is something unimaginable only few weeks or months ago.
It is the proof of Peoples’ Power.
I want to share my thoughts about this historic moment, the courageous Leaders of OPDO who forced TPLF to surrender its grip on power. Acting as the only rational, and grown up party in the collation EPRDF, demanded and cornered the TPLF.
OPDO has continued proving itself as a formidable organization that can shape the future of Ethiopian politics.
TPLF which has ruled the country for over 25 years with has faced unbelievable resistance and challenge for the first time.
Finally, the TPLF had to accept the terms and conditions put forward by OPDO, instead of dictating what should be done.
In that sense, the days of TPLF’s monopoly power is over.
How we got here?
First of all, the changes did not come free. Hundreds and thousands of people have made the ultimate sacrifices (gave their precious life for this to happen). Tens of thousands have languished in prisons and tortured. Even to this day, thousands are suffering in prisons across the country. Thanks to for theirsacrifices, now we started seeing changes. And we should not forget their place in history and also help.
Few words, this unimaginable turn around has galvanized by non-stopping resistance, desire for change and better future that displayed by Ethiopian people, especially the youth in Oromia.
For some, this resistance to TPLF’s absolute power started 2 and half years ago. For other, it has started, in 1991 G.C. (1983 E.C. when TPLF came to power). Thousands of innocent Oromos have payed the price.
What makes two and half years ago different is, the Youth of Oromia, Keerroo took up the lead in fight for change. Historically, Keerroos—the young and able body and mind, play a vital role in Oromo culture. Took the responsibility of stopping the humiliation of Oromos in their own country and reverse the marginalization of Oromos in Ethiopian economic and political process.
The unyielding peaceful pressure and demand for change has emboldened the new OPDO leaders to demand for change. It seems the new OPDO leadership is in sync with the population as they can observe, the demands are real and nothing except genuine reform will calm it.
For TPLF—who seem to be out of touch, they still think they can do minor nominal changes and keep the status quo by force.Example it the latest State of Emergency and the opposition to it from the Members of Parliaments from Oromia.
What does it mean?
In the past Oromo politics has been characterized by struggle for Independence (whether that characterization is real or perception, it didn’t matter).
Among non-Oromos that characterization has led to mistrust and suspicion.
For Oromos, it meant lack of focus and disagreement.
Now, in more than a generation (over the last 27 years), the new generation of OPDO leadership made the case for Ethiopia Unity than any other political party (governing and opposition parties included).
They reaffirmed the will of majority of Oromos, who believe in ownership of the country. Oromia is Ethiopia, Ethiopia is Oromia and there is no Ethiopia without Oromia. Literally, Oromia is a center piece of Ethiopia.
It’s the lack of this undeniable truth, and purposeful attempt to deny this truth that kept the nation in never-ending conflicts and destitution.
For those of you who worried about the Unity of the country, you should be happy with the election of Dr. Abiy and the new generation of OPDO leadership. They articulated the case for Unity, in a way that we haven’t seen in a very long time.
For Oromos who have been marginalized and exploited for very long, time has come to own and lead this country forward from the complicated and traumatic history.
For the Ethiopians, it is time to build a unified front to build a new, better country that can entertain and work for all of us.
Politics should not be a Zero-Sum-Game.
We can build a Win-Win politics, politics aimed to strengthening our unity without scarifying our cultural and linguistic identities.
Where do we go from here and how?
While, we you can celebrate the achievements thus far. The unthinkable change in leadership at the top should filter down and produce measurable changes.
The struggle has just started. The demand for real change and accountable (shared)
I want to say one thing very openly: People didn’t die for an Oromo (OPDO) to be elected Prime Minister of Ethiopia. People died and are dying for the system to change.
People died and dying to gain basic democratic and human rights. freedom of expression, freedom to organize, to see an independent and strong institutions such as courts, media, electoral commission.
We should remain vigilant because this is a crucial time that could go either way. Keeping the pressure up and demanding the real changes to come is crucial. We don’t want to make this opening a missed opportunity.
The first action should be a warning message for the new government.
Business as usual is died and done.
If they are thinking about nominal changes of personnel to calm down the people and keep status quo or do a bare minimumchange, that would mean again they donot and would not understand what is going on.
Not only people are hungry for change, but also, they want to see the changes happen quickly.
The new leadership has very short honeymoon period if there is any at all. The new leadership can blame their party’s unwillingness and inability to use several opportunities to reform and reinvent itself to cop up with time and the demands of the people.
For the New Prime Minister to be
Scrap the State of Emergency right away and start fresh. Please, please let’s not start your tenure with the implementation of unnecessary, outrageous, suffocating and unconstitutional measure undertaken by forces inside your party (TPLF) who wanted to keep the status quo and increase their grip to power.
If you are truly the change, scrap the State of Emergency and start fresh. I recommend that scrapping the State of Emergencyshould be your first action as Prime Minister.
Implementing the State of emergency that more than half of your party members (MPs from Oromia) rejected will tarnish your legitimacy. It makes it hard for you to do pretty much anything as you will be suspected of being a staunch for TPLF (TPLF loyalist).
Even if there is a genuine need for State of Emergency, you can directly communication with Ethiopian people. As long as you are honest and transparent, the people will give and scarify anything you could ask.
But earn the trust of Ethiopia people. Earn the Trust of the people.
Ethiopian people are dying to have a leader they can trust. I believe, removing the State of Emergency is one bold move you could take day one and earn trust.
Mr. Prime Minster, start fresh. The Ethiopian people have been hungry for fresh start. It will even forgive your party for the crimes it has committed for more than a quarter of a century.
We are looking forward; please show us you are that leader we have been waiting for.
The Mr. Prime Minster to be, the daunting job in front of you is to exercise the full power of your office to the best of your knowledge.
I am aware of the forces that could challenge you and sometimesyou could find things frustrating but surrounding yourself with capable individuals is very important. The Office you are about to hold, has power that can transform the country (even the region). Be the leader that puts the country first than personal gains and favors
For the young leaders across the country, the daunting job in front of you is to exercise the full power of your offices to the best of your knowledge. Grab this opportunity to write history. Instead of business as usual, put you communities first. Prove that it is doable.
For Mr. Lemma Megersa, the President of Oromia Region, your bold leadership, courage and determination has made your party, OPDO, the hope that the whole country has been waiting for.
For the first time in a generation you have cultivated the sense of Ethiopian Unity that we have never seen. No wonder you are called “ye Ethiopia Mussie.” Your determination to put the will of your people, the changes and reforms they needed and demanded ahead of your own personal political ambitious is truly astonishing.
Ethiopia needs strong OPDO and strong Oromia.
I believe, right now your leadership is needed in Oromia more than any other place. I want you to finish the reforms you started in the region. You can make Oromia a showcase of reform and progress. Cleansing the region from inefficiency, corruption, and incompetent administration. Moving to a federal government office might seem personally fulfilling but for the changes you have been fighting for, staying in Oromia is better.
With changes at federal level, you can accomplish a lot of changes in Oromo in short period of time. You can show the whole country how things can be done when you care for the people and serve the people.
If you leave Oromia, the gains you have made could stall or reverse.
Special message for Keeroo. The courage, determination and leadership you showed has started paying fruit. You have imposed unyielding pressure on the governing party to acknowledge business as usual is unacceptable.
The demand for change has to amplify. The changes should be real and quick. In addition to the changes at Federal level, the changes should come at all level of government administration. Oromia should be free of corruption. Oromia should be served by competent and accountable leadership.
Desalegn Tefera (Desu )