By Selam Adugna – MN
Looking in the rear mirror of the political vehicle, the view of the political scenery of Ethiopia, the various journeys it took and the path it followed were not desirable and to be ashamed of. But they will always be included in history books of the nation as warning for the future generations and the leaders coming out among them to avoid if possible. The last 88 years of Ethiopian politics and its leadership were dominated by the ironclad ruling of three men, Haile Selassie, Mengistu Haile Mariam, and Meles Zenawi. There were intermittent leaderships of few unnoticeable men to the exception of Haile Mariam Desalegn. I consider Haile Mariam Desalegn neither strong nor unnoticeable but executor of the wishes and wants of the factional collective powerful gang of EPRDF dominated by bantuism embracing clique of TPLF. One good thing that history can always remember Haile Mariam Desalegn for showing courage to resign instead of insisting to stay in power. That is commendable because we don’t have an instance of that kind of minimal courage exhibited by our previous leaders. Two were forced out and one had to die. It is pathetic not to be in sync with what the people want. Should Haile Selassie and Mengistu be forced out and Melees must die to feel the pain of the people they aspired to lead? They never gave the opportunity to Ethiopian people to accept, admire, and say to them that WE ARE WITH HIM.
The three dominant leaders preceding the current Prime Minister, Dr. Ably Ahmed, weren’t exemplary for good governance and leadership. Haile Selassie ruled the nation of Ethiopia for almost four and half decades as emperor after engaging in palace coup d’état. Though the Ethiopian people were fed up with Haile Selassie and ready for change, they never wished for a group of individuals to seize power by force. But the nonexistence of a well organized and well established political parties created a political vacuum and the military exploited the situation to instill Mengistu Haile Mariam and his murderous posse in power after internal frictions, sabotages, killings, and eliminations of his antagonists and opponents in the military. As equal citizens, people wanted equal participation in political process through dialogues and conversations to contribute positively and honestly in the unity and development of their own shared nation. But the undemocratic Derg didn’t have the ears to listen and the attitude to consider the wishes of the Ethiopian people. Derg resorted to ugly and vicious violence against the people that it wanted to lead. Mengistu became a ruler instead of a leader so that the people started to ask if the members of the dictatorial Derg genuine Ethiopian brothers or aliens wrapped up in Ethiopianization because Ethiopians never experienced the kind of atrocity and killings that Derg perpetuated. The viciousness and cruelty of the Derg were very hard to grasp. Derg never realized that it had constitutional obligation and duty to protect the people of the nation by staying apolitical. But Ethiopians hoped what went during Derg’s seventeen years of terror of reign would never repeat itself. Ethiopians dreamed of peace, love, unity, tranquility, equality, democracy, and all the shining rays of light that the sun can emit. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! That was in our walking dreams. History started to repeat itself in 1990 -1991. The name and the personnel changed but the game remained as scary as it was for previous seventeen years and sometimes worse than. Derg was replaced by abominable EPRDF. Mengistu chickened and fled out of the country and Meles became the ruler surrounded by his posse of greedy humanoids lacking morality, humility, humanity, empathy and sympathy. The suffering of the people continued. Jailing & Killings were deterrent factor for those who desperately demanded for their basic human rights, equality, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, equal opportunity in economic prosperity, right to live in any part of the nation just as Ethiopians without discrimination based on the origin of their locality or faith. What EPRDF did to the fabric of unity was poking holes of Bantuism by establishing language-based zones which are very detrimental, and we are witnessing negative effects of this devilish political maneuver. It is pathetic on the part of Mengistu and Meles not to give the chance to the kind people of Ethiopia to stand up with them, to admire them, and to sound the beautiful expressive chant that says, “WE ARE WITH HIM”.
Now a new day has dawned on Ethiopia even though it came from the political entity that has tormented the people of Ethiopia for the last twenty-seven years. I don’t care whether we keep the name EPRDF or not. In fact, it doesn’t bother me a bit if it stays forever in political arena of Ethiopia as a party that reforms itself for the good of the nation. What matters is the attitude and intentions of its members. Organization is a compilation of people. It is easier to define the works or actions or performances of the individual participants in an organization collectively rather individually because a political organization functions as a single entity. We may blame the members for their participation in an organization that lacks righteousness but when we fight and condemn it, we focus on it as a collective entity. So, the person in charge of the Premiership currently is the product of this awful organization and he is doing an amazing job worthy of praise by trying to bring together the fragmented pieces of the nation held by cracking rings of chain of unity. He is fixing it carefully by soldering the cracked rings of the chain of unity. We must give him the chance by affording him our unwavering support to accomplish what we prayed for so many years without dwelling on mundane issues such as change of names. Our focus should be how to stay on the course of DEMOCRATIC REFORM & BUILDING OUR NATIONAL UNITY by assuring this new young reformer that WE ARE WITH HIM. Disenchanted Ethiopians should avoid crying on spilled milk but to keep the milk safely in stronger jar or container using the right lid.
Dr. Ably Ahmed is teaching all of us the virtue of patience to listen to each other rather than talking over each other. He is showing us the best way of healing our emotional &spiritual pains endured for so long from cruelty of our own brothers and sisters by letting bygone be bygone. Though he isn’t a medical doctor, he is proving to be a great healer of a great injustice by diagnosing that our nation suffered and is suffering from man-made malaise called hatred and he has devised the treatment to cure the nation. His prescription is the concoction of forgiveness and apology laced with streak of love, humility, humanity, empathy and sympathy for our fellow human beings. This prescription doesn’t cost anyone anything because we all have in abundance within us. It just needs unbiased willingness to be given and to be received by victims and perpetrators. Before we receive forgiveness, we should be willing to forgive those who pained us. Before we ask for apology, we should be sure that we are more than ready to grant apology to those who caused us hurt. I am sure that this is the teaching that Dr. Ably Ahmed wants all Ethiopians to practice if Ethiopians sincerely believe in rebuilding their country to its past mythical glory with the new commitment towards collective love, peace, unity, and advancement as one nation. In spirit of this new attitude, all Ethiopians should embrace forgiveness and apology as our new wheels of forward progress to heal our emotional and spiritual wounds if we all believe that WE ARE WITH HIM.
If human beings exist on this earth, we shouldn’t be naïve to expect a perfect peaceful world without conflict and disagreement. But we have the power to control the intensity or absolutely eliminate them by choosing to engage in constructive positive discourse. That should be our chosen course to embark on our new journey to national healing if we believe that WE ARE WITH HIM.
The road that Dr. Ably Ahmed & the new generation of leaders designed towards national reconciliation and unity shouldn’t be a cake walk. It will be treacherous and winding one. We saw the sign of the slippery slope journey on June 23, 2018 by destructive bombing at the peaceful rally of support to the new Prime Minister and his infant administration. This shows that the powers of darkness will never rest in peace and attempt to resurrect their evil heads to sabotage the peaceful march of togetherness and reconciliation. This social and political calamity will always hover over our nation like rain carrying clouds in the sky not knowing when it pours. We shouldn’t deny its existence in the horizon by not losing sight of its reality, so we should always be ready to stomp its head when it attempts to rise if we believe that WE ARE WITH HIM.
We all realize the intentions of the June 23, 2018 bombing at the peaceful rally of appreciation and support. The plotters intended to assassinate the new promising, dynamic, and articulate Prime Minister, to bring mayhem in the Capital City, to switch off the lights of hope and tranquility that are shining on our nation after 44 dark and gloomy years, and to undermine the democratic initiatives that are being implemented. Those powers of darkness can conspire, plot, organize, and attempt to reverse the direction of changes to that failed old mud pit of stagnant system that failed the good people of Ethiopia. But their agenda of darkness will never see a day of light if we believe that WE ARE WITH HIM.
The newborn administration of this young Prime Minister can blossom if we come together through understanding each other that first we all are human beings before being localized or grouped into tribes or ethnicities. Since our source is one and the same, we must work strongly on our similarities which are many than our differences to fight the agents of evil to achieve our goal if we believe that WE ARE WITH HIM. Let us not flinch an inch and not fear the challenges being posed at every step of our march towards Democracy if we truly believe that WE ARE WITH HIM.
WE ARE WITHHIM in this journey of democratization of our nation despite the bombs and propagandas of negativity. Lives are lost by the terroristic acts of those cowards hidden in rat holes, but the Ethiopian people will be unfazed and won’t retreat from fighting back fiercely against dark forces under the leadership of Dr. Ably Ahmed because we believe that he will keep his promises to Ethiopian people for us to say, “WE ARE WITH HIM”.
So, bombs blast, people die, people wounded, the wounds heal, the tranquility reemerges, life gets back to its normality, and a new day dawn on us again because WE ARE WITH HIM.
I wish our wounded sisters and brothers a quick full recovery, and my thoughts and prayers go to the families who lost their loved ones and indebted to care for their wounded family members and friends. Let God put the souls of the fallen sisters and brothers on his right side with the Angels.
In wish the new Prime Minister, Dr. Ably Ahmed all the health and success in guiding our nation to a better place because he is with the people and the people are paying back by BEING WITH HIM. So, my Ethiopian sisters and brothers, I AM WITH HIM. ARE YOU WITH HIM? If so, please spread the chant WE ARE WITH HIM.
GOD BLESS ETHIOPIA, ETHIOPIANS, & Dr. ABIY AHMED & THE REST OF SINCERE REFORMERS WHO ARE MAKING HISTORY THAN CHANGING HISTORY!!!