Oromo Trust and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Betrayal
By Worku Burayu (Ph.D.)
Oromo Sabakoo: “You trusted Abiy Ahmed and had faithful to him:” you called him a son of Abbaa Gadaa, an Oromo hero, and an angel given from God etc. The love and impression you had for him, the life price you paid to rescue him can’t be described fully in this short article. “He was nothing short of your everything.” I have never heard, however, when Abiy Ahmed called himself an Oromo person, or a son of Abbaa Gadaa, or I have never observed his sympathy to the Oromo people. On the contrary, he promotes institution that demoralize the Oromo identity and the Abba Gadaa structure.
So, this time you’re feeling betrayed. Abiy Ahmed, a person you trust, you care about, perhaps even love, has broken the bonds of trust and done something that cuts deep at your heart. He has totally betrayed Oromia and Oromos. The successes you have achieved so far through your bitter struggle are tearing apart, eroded one by one.
Let’s see what our people feelings look like. Don’t take me wrong: This is not a scientific research; it is just informal information gathering.
One of the most surprising information indicated that significant numbers of Oromos “feel betrayed by Abiy Ahmed.” I contacted many Oromos from all walks of life in marketplace, business centers, recreational places, health institutions, government and private offices, temporary shelters and etc. These are investors, students, farmers, teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, office workers and many others. It included persons who know me or who don’t or whom I know and whom I don’t. Language of communication was Afaan Oromo. In Adama, around mid-July 2019, 70% of the persons I contacted said they felt betrayed. Earlier of that month, I recorded 95% in Nekemte, 88% in Ambo, 85% in Bedele, 65% in Finfinne, and 60% in Asela. The list goes on and on and on. I tried to get 4 men and one woman from Gujii. All of them think in that way. From Borana 4 out of 5, I contacted felt the same way. About 4% of the persons I contacted were OPDO members, and 50% of them felt that way. Surprisingly, people who don’t know me frankly expressed their feelings, and all of them felt that way. I contacted four men from Agaro, Jimma from where Abiy was born. Three out of our (75%) felt the same way. Those Oromo who evicted from their land (Eastern Oromia) and temporarily sheltered at Adama felt (100%) the same way.
More than enough has been said about the positive reform measures that Abiy Ahmed’s administration introduced. It is long overdue for Oromos to rethink about the so-called the present “Oromo led” EPRDF Governing body. As there is no a drop of water to drink where ditches of contaminated water are everywhere, there is no a genuine answer where there are a lot of false answers. It is a Vicious Circle: EPRDF under the PM Abiy Ahmed is turning Oromia into a bloodbath. The wellbeing of many Oromo farmers, students, investors, particularly QEERROO and QAARREE in various parts of Oromia is a serious concern to Oromos, a year after the alleged “change.” Still more than two million Oromos have been internally displaced, many daily killed, and others overfull in prison.
Blind supporters of Abiy’s administration, insensible OPDO members and beneficiary activists tend to view any criticism against Abiy’s government as a form of “disloyalty of the change.” They wanted us to believe that the crisis in Ethiopia in general and in Oromia in particular, in terms of security, democracy, social and economic issues are unavoidable aspects of the reform process, nothing else. A few legatees seem to buy into that thinking. On the contrary, the old fox (Group of Gimbot-7), unity by force camp in the modern era, who are advising PM Abiy Ahmed and its party, seemingly mastering control over most of the Menelik Palace (governance structure view). This same group has creating unprecedented security issue in Ethiopia, but these individuals are still rubbing shoulders with Abiy Ahmed.
Although the change is the result of primarily Oromo struggle, there is now a growing condemnation, rightly, that prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s unitary support base is developing a sense of entitlement and political privilege everywhere in the country, to the extent they go to eradicate Afaan Oromo and impose unreceptive language to the Oromo people. One example is the so called new “Ethiopian Education Roadmap.” We already know: “Abiy Ahmed is a betrayal of the change.” “His Majesty Abiy Ahmed” with his friend Birhanu Negga is working day and night to destroy Oromo Identity and the Oromia’s View.
Trust in Abiy’s administration is eroded not only in Oromia but also in Sidama, Wolita, Tigray and other regions. You are already betrayed by the person who you trust most. Betrayal is possibly the most damaging loss a person can experience. Abiy already violating your trust in him by doing harm to you, neglecting your cause, and giving deaf hear to address your concern. He betrayed you because he lies to you, insults you, and hurts you by putting his own self-interest, the dominance of “Abesha” group over you by exercising his domination power and disseminates his hegemonic ideas. He wishes to exercise cultural supremacy through domination of a culturally diverse society and wants to manipulate the culture of Oromo society- Oromo values, beliefs, explanations, perceptions, and languages. He imposed, his “Medemer Ethiopianview” becomes the accepted social, cultural and political norm.
It is essential to get a shared understanding of what happened: PM Abiy Ahmed ignored and deceived deliberately the cause that took more than 6000 QEERROO BILISUMMAA ROMOO lives: How?
1. There have been unrevealed and secret arrests of peoples of Oromia and Sidama within this past six months. Thousands of Oromos in Western and Southern Oromia have been exposed to homelessness when Abiy’s Command Post burn the houses, put thousands into prison, and kill indiscriminately. There has been an estimated 20000 Oromo political prisoners currently in Ethiopia (Abiy Ahmed called them as “Shifta”). Out of these numbers, 1/3rd are languishing in Sankalle, Ambo police training center, less than 5 km away from Ambo towns, West Shoa Zone. Many more thousands are suffering in Tollay military Camp, and in the underground and unknown places. It is the recent memory that many prisoners in Ethiopia released as the outcome of the QEERRO BILISUMMAA OROMOO struggle, but only to be replaced by Oromo political prisoners as the outcome of Abiy Ahmed administration. The well recognized experience Abiy Ahmed excellent at it is hunting secretly Oromo nationalists until they get killed.
2. Abiy trying to develop significant Truism Center in the North, including Lalibela and other attractions in King Palaces. I commend that. Attraction centers in the Western Oromia, however, are full of prisons. For instance, built by the King of Wolega in the 1870s, the Kumsa Moroda Palace has overcrowded by more than 200 Oromo political prisoners (they are not Shifta). Dhugassa Mengesha is one of the 200 hardworking civilians suffered under Abiy government (EPRDF) in that Palace. The Palace sits 1km north of the Wollega Museum become a hell where heinous crime happens on political prisoners. Let me ask you the PM: Why you deceive Oromos? Are the two young brothers, Iyyaasuu and Lalisaa Qanaate both less than 18 years old who were murdered in their home while they were participating coffee ceremony with their parents in the small-town Hinde, Ebantu by your Command Post without wrongdoing “Shifta?” Are the more than 15 youths in prison from the same Hinde town and 44 from the neighboring district Shifta? The more than 20000 Civilians Oromos who are suffering under your order without doing any crime, are not Shifta. Many individuals like Dhugassa Mengesha who not only hard-working men and women are but also a creator of jobs for many people, are not Shifta.
3. The primary cause of intimacy between Getachew Asefa and Abiy Ahmed for the long period of time was rooted on getting rid of Oromo intellectuals and freedom fighters like Legesse Wogii. The present unholy marriage between OPDO and Gimbot-7, particularly the relationship of Abiy with Berihanu & Andargachew is to eradicate Oroomummaa and Sabbonummaa, nothing else. It has been more than six years of synchronized work between the two groups to implement this objective.
4. Oromo concern and questions are not addressed: Presently, it is clear that a considerable number of people who initially supported Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has lost faith in his administration. Issues like Finfinne, Afaan Oromo, and self-determination never addressed. These create another layer of skepticism towards prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration. In fact, there is no sign that his administration would introduce fundamental structural reform that would promote Afaan Oromo as one of the official languages, or that heighten Finfinne position as the nucleolus parts of Oromia, or to promote peace and mitigate conflicts. On the contrary, he promotes institution that demoralize the Oromo identity.
5. False promise: Oromos fed up with unattainable, time buying, and full of sabotage promises. Here is what Oromo clearly should know- The longer Abiy stays on the position, the more likely the Afaan Oromoo is to stop functioning even as a working language of Oromia. The longer ODP goes at present pace, the more likely the interest of Oromo is tearing. For more information, please read:
(1) http://ayyaantuu.org/king-of-kings-prime-minister-abiy-ahmeds-ambition-in-the-21st-century/ (2) http://ayyaantuu.org/why-oromo-democratic-party-odp-officials-lie-when-they-dont-need-to/