Based on the recent ODP meeting in Adama, we can see there is a growing conflict between ODP members its leadership.

Forwarded by unanimous

Based on the recent ODP meeting in Adama, we can see there is a growing conflict between ODP members its leadership.

Majority members don’t approve joining EPP. The 9 members of ODP’s central committee members are disproportionately divided on supporting the dissolution of the old party OPDO/ODP and the creation of the new party, EPP. Seven of the nine members of ODP central committee members are either half-Oromos, or totally non-Oromos.

They support EPP. This created big shift between Lema and Abiy but many elders and Abbaa Gadas are talking to Abiy to reconcile him with Abiy. If Lema agrees with Abiy following the Jarsoli (elder) mediators, we don’t know the basis because he doesn’t accept EPP. Identity politics and Amhara domination has become a major issue in ODP. It is totally dominated by anti-Oromo sentiment.

Dr. Abiy and President Shimelis were brought up by their Amhara mothers, whereas Adisu Arega changed his grandfather’s name to an Oromo name, Kitessa, just to serve in OPDO. Alemu Sime is fully Amhara from the South. The only Oromo on both his father and mother’s side, Lema Megersa, is opposed to the creation of EPP. Lema has been isolated from the committee and he is refusing the pressure to resign.

It is very clear that the pro-Amhara side of the ODP who are mostly half Oromos or not Oromos have controlled the power, and they enjoy full-support of the Amharas. When support is not available, Abiy and his team buy it with money. They bribed Oromo artists, from Hacalu to Caala Bultum.

They also paid hundreds of Qerros, professors, and civil servants. Abiy has complete files on corrupted officials such as Takele Uma. When Takele tried to support Lema, Abiy called him to his office and showed him pictures and corrupting files. Many of the old OPDO members have crimes they hide, and they are very scared of leaving their posts.

EPP is still unpopular in Oromia. But there are preparations to force its acceptance on the people. 15,000 security officers are being trained in Mojo, Bilatte, and Sandafa to detain anti-EPP activists and make sure votes are stolen and given to EPP. If popular opposition becomes strong, armed conflict will be provoked to cancel the votes and postpone for up to four years.

Preparations are also underway for armed offensive against WBO in January. Large number of civilian spies have been dispatched to study locations and personalities.
During a recent meeting in Mekelle, a TPLF official who admitted the brutality of pervious TPLF leaders also told an OLF sympathizer jokingly that “Abba Dula who killed Nadhi Gammada and Dr. Abiy who tortured hundreds of Oromos will never leave their offices peacefully.” Note that this is the first TPLF official who leaked information about the death of Nadhi. In fact, he told the person that there are videos of Kuma and Abba Dula shooting known Oromo heroes. That is why they never left OPDO. TPLF forced them to kill Oromo heroes to gain their obedience for life. They will never betray the TPLF, he said. Abba Dula was making peace with TPLF even after TPLF was practically defeated.

With Dr. Marara and Jawar now in Abiy’s camp after being promised offices, the Oromo revolution is completely reversed. It is a shame that Marara and Jawar accepted such an offer from Abiy. Together with OLF, they were hopes of our people. The gaaddisa which Lema, Jawar, etc. lead is now hopeless/useless. For now, we don’t know where Lema stands, but he is silent even on the things he sees as very wrong. He sees/ talks to very few people. The recently acquired voice recognition machine acquired by Abiy has made everyone in the government silent. People like xxx who talked to me frequently are completely avoiding me recently. They don’t have confidence in the technology even when texting using WhatsApp. The fear is really worse than Meles’ years. Here are a few of the major things that happened recently.

1. Jawar is expected to announce his decision to join Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) within few days

After Jawar’s return from a tour in north America, we were told that Dr. Ahmed called him for a meeting in the PM’s office. Jawar went to the Bete Mengist to meet the PM. According to a person close to Jawar, the election was the main topic. Other topics such as the role of EPP, Lema’s complain about EPP, Marara’s weaknesses, OLF’s rise in popularity, etc. were also discussed. In the end, Dr. Ahmed proposed that Jawar joins the OFC party to support Marara. According to an informant close to Dr. Ahmed, Jawar’s response was prompt, telling Abiy that he was considering the same. Abiy also promised Jawar that he will be the President of Oromia. Jawar accepted the opportunity. Ahmed also told Jawar that he will offer Marara a Ministerial position. Jawar was unsure if Marara will agree. But both agreed that this deal will be better for Marara than losing it all to the OLF. Abiy and Jawar agreed. Jawar is expected to announce his decision to join OFC within few days. Dr. Ahmed is already facing strong opposition from his inside advisers for promoting Jawar to a national prominence. Some are strongly opposed to this new deal. But Dr. Ahmd promised them that Jawar will not last in his new role, and that he needs to calm Jawar to bring him down. Jawar probably is already working on a backup plan, perhaps making another deal with the OLF.

2. Prof. Marara Gudina has been offered ministerial post

Few days after meeting with Jawar, Dr. Abiy also met Dr. Marara. He informed Marara that Jawar will join him and support him to compete for a seat in the Federal parliament. Marara likely knew about the deal directly from Jawar who called Marara to tell him as if it is his own offer. Dr. Marara has mentioned about the deal to his members, informing them “walumaan hojjennaa fakkaata”, meaning we will work with Abiy. Marara is so happy about the newly promised office that his colleagues say his demeanor has changed since. Some at the top of OFC party leaders also complain that this is a sell-out of the Oromo people. Marara’s party survived the intrigue of TPLF takeover when OLF members joined his party and helped him register as a party again. His party members may have to accept or object his move to betray the OLF and work with his former enemy, OPDO with a new name, EPP.

3. Dr. Abiy decided to postpone the upcoming elections if the deals with Jawar and Marara fail

Preparation to conduct the elections are underway to make sure EPP will win. Abiy and his security are working on the detailed plans of making sure EPP will win. Universities will be closed around the election time, opposition leaders will be detained, any Qerro protest will be immediately crushed by force, no elections will take place in areas with strong support for OLF, etc. If the deals fail or details of this preparation including talks with Jawar and Marara are leaked, Abiy will move the elections for 6 months to up to a year or even more. So, publishing this note may lead to canceling the elections, but we chose it is better to publish regardless.

4. OLF plans for projected unrest

With depleted funding, many of its cadres still in jail, having popular but not well organized support, facing even stronger opposition with Marara and Jawar on Abiy’s side, the OLF is headed for uncharted territories. It is afraid of taking to TPLF and Amhara parties for fear of displeasure by its constituents. But Dr. Abiy is talking even to the TPLF party leaders recruiting and promising them offices. Some of OLF’s leaders are tilting back towards armed struggle, but most will likely stay in Finfinne and fight through the unfriendly atmosphere that will come after elections. The situation will probably boost the will for Oromo armed struggle, adding popularity to the fighting commanders, Maro, Golicha, etc.

If Dr. Abiy steals the votes by force, Qerro may go back and block the roads, starting another round of unrest. But some also criticize the OLF for failing to reach a consensus with Marara and Jawar. The two can still remain friendly to the OLF even if they are promised high government offices, because they don’t know if Abiy will definitely keep his words. The problem with both Marara and Jawar is that neither have firm political commitment, and they also can change their stands very quickly.

Dábessá Gemelal