by Nagessa Oddo Dube
Taye Dendea is arrested this morning for defying the State of Emergency and for his sheer bravery to speak against the heinous command-post massacre in Moyale last Saturday. Taye’s arrest was the third time and he was arrested twice in the past and served ten years of imprisonment in Ethiopian gulags. It took, as the result, 16 years for Taye to graduate from the law school.
Taye and I know each other since 2002. We met at Addis Ababa University, Law school. Being in the same dormitory with Taye in 2003 gave me an opportunity to know the man and the spirit named Taye in a detailed fashion. We became intimate friends during the 2004 Oromo students’ movement in the AAU. Later, I was also arrested for three years with Taye that gave me the privilege to learn about Taye in every aspect possible.
Taye was a great nationalist, a heroic freedom fighter, a true humanist, a brave man and a brilliant leader with indomitable spirit all the time. A genius student he was we popularly referred to him as ‘Taye the Veto’ in the law school. There was no argument, including the ones of the teachers, that withstood his counter-argument. Since he was, naturally, Mr-Win-Every-Argument, Taye was so famous among my batch. Taye had also the habit of raising his two index fingers up in the air during the argument. That habit earned him the nickname the genius with ‘double antennae’.
To shorten my remarks, I can witness three things about Taye:
1. Taye is a man of truth and principle. He does what he believes in. He was neither for money nor for fame. He doesn’t care about his position (power). For him, a position is nothing if it should not be used as a tool for advancing the cause of his people.
2. Taye is courageous beyond description. He is a brave man who neither has fear nor death is his list of words.
3. Taye loves his people. He doesn’t discriminate anyone and does not like discrimination. He has no gosummaa, naannummaa or amantummaa. He is the extraordinary guy and his arrest never arrest his struggle and spirit. Given his courage and resilience, he would survive this third imprisonment and his people will free him.
He was known by some of famous sayings:
* “Oromoon waan woliin dhabe malee waan irratti wol dhabe hin qabu!”
* “Qeerroon hin rakkate malee rakkoo uume hin qabu.”
Taye is a hero for all of us and we have to fight for him. What happened to Taye will happen to Lemma Megersa unless he speaks against the injustice happening against his people and arrested OPDOs