Obbo Lemma Megersa: Time to Walk the Walk or Cease and Desist

Your Excellency Obbo Lemma Megersa: Time to Walk the Walk or Cease and Desist

By Abbaa Ormaa

Lemma Megersa
“Yaa Waaqayyo nabaasi balaa Waayyaannee jalaa!” Lamaa Magarsaa

Politics is a game of give and take when done fair and right. All parties involved negotiate to safeguard the interests and safety of their constituents. Unfortunately, Ethiopian politics has always been filled with winner take-all and abuse-the-rest attitude. TPLF created teams of players in the name of OPDO, APDM, and so on to play for Tigray and TPLF under their watchful eyes. A new generation of leaders has arrived and started to question their supremacy and abuse. They seem to be shocked and throwing tantrum at the fact that the tide is turning against them and the very idea of challenge to their throne. As a result TPLF is desperately running back to its old play book of accusing the victim, the Oromo people with the help of Abdi Mohamud Omar (president of Somalia regional state). TPLF is engaged in blackmail and fabrication of lies to accuse the challengers and deceive the Ethiopian people and the international community. A handpicked Tigrayan “reporters” were flown to Jijiga to spread lies against the Oromo people and the challengers. The fact that the displaced and distressed people called Abadula Gemada and Getachew Negery by name says everything for what it is. When you are displaced and mourning, the last things you do is finger point some 800 miles away and call by name. This is a reminiscent of similar drama in Bedeno: desperate to force the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) from the transitional government, TPLF fabricated and gathered dead bodies that it massacred, most likely Oromos, and blamed OLF. If it was not for its horror, it would have won them an Oscar! The Ethiopian people, especially the people of Somalia who are equally victim of Abdi Mohamud Omar and TPLF, must send a clear message that fool me once shame on you and fool me twice shame on me.

Lemma Megersa has touched nerve with the Ethiopian people for standing up against this destructive racist force. He is the clear leader of this challenge to the TPLF corrupts.  But so far it has been talk the talk. Still today the more than 600,000 Oromos are without shelter and adequate food and basic medical cares; more than 65,000 children are without schools; the TPLF’s Janjaweed Liyu Police continues to terrorize and kill Oromos; H/Mariam Desalgne continues to disrespect Oromo lives; the Agaz still occupy Oromia doing their killing rituals, terrorizing people and raping women. For Oromos and the Qeerroo the unanswered question is that when Lemma and his OPDO are to walk the walk or it is just talk the talk. As they say talk is cheap.

Lemma’s voice of reason and rationale did not come free or with TPLF’s blessing. It is because of the sacrifices paid by the blood and bones of Qeerroo.  The blood and bones of thousands of Qerroos are still fresh on the streets of Oromia and college campuses. Thousands are still being tortured and abused in the darkness of TPLF prisons. Bekele Gerba and Dr. Merera Gudina along with thousands of prisoners of conscious are in jail denied of their basic rights.

Whether we like it or not we all are going to live in the horn of Africa in one form or another. Eventually our interests and well-being are enter-wind. Very few Oromos have problem with the geographical Ethiopia, even though most Oromos will not go as far as saying it is an addiction. Addiction to anything enslaves once soul and not preferable. The problem with Ethiopia is the injustices that took place to make it one and subsequent to that; the system that treated a proud people as inferior and subjected them to exploitation to no end; the old oppressive and racist system that still lingers around and some are fighting to sustain it. We all should support people’s aspiration to be free and live as they choose. Societies have collective rights to speak in their language, develop their culture, and decide collectively how they choose to live.

The irony today is the Amhara-elites are in tune with Lemma’s firm stand against the TPLF supremacy and the good intended collaboration initiated by OPDO with other peoples of Ethiopia especially the Amhara. Yet the Amhara-elites are campaigning to erase all the gains that have been gained by the blood and bones of the oppressed peoples and what Lemma is advocating for true democracy and true federalism.

The dream of Amhara-chauvinist is to dismantle the federal system and what has been achieved so far by nations and nationalities and replace it with that old prison of nations and nationalities. The so called “Vision Ethiopia”’s number one vision is exactly this. For example, the upcoming conference in Washington D.C. under the title “Federalism in Ethiopia” is evidence to their effort to discredit nations and nationalities using their language and developing their culture. The argument is ethnic federalism is bad for Ethiopia and that they attribute all the problems over the last 26 years to ethnic federalism. What they don’t want to admit is the Ethiopian constitution and a true federalism never took off the ground under the TPLF regime. What has been practiced is the establishment of a new supremacy of the Tigrayans than theirs. For them the issue is why not US. They created their OPDO in Lencoo Lata and Dr. Doma Nego and also other ethnic groups. The truth is ethnic federalism has not given a chance in Ethiopia. Evidence suggests that Lemma and his group are advocating for a true federalism in Ethiopia and the implementation of the constitution as intended. The Amhara-elites wants to have it both ways. On one hand they praise Lemma to no end and on the other hand oppose what he stands for.  Ethiopia’s problem goes far back before TPLF when Ethiopia was ruled in a centralized way during the Emperor and the Derg regimes. Why blame Ethnic federalism when the root problem is and has been as summed up by Walelign Mekonnen is that “Ethiopia is a prison of Nations and Nationalities”?  Haya jibo satamehagne blagne!

The Oromo people must be vigilant of the formation of power in Ethiopia and evaluate and re-evaluate where they stack in this formation. They will not have any excuse to let history repeats itself and once again waste the blood and bones of Qeerroo and the millions who sacrificed their lives for freedom.

The choice for the Oromo people and specially Qeerroo is clear. Risk going back and allow the TPLF to reconstitute, purge and become even much dangerous to all peoples of Ethiopia or finish the job now regardless spineless OPDO “aderbys”. The price of going back will be leaving generations of Oromos to become slaves to the new maters by the name of Tigray and erase Oromia from the map of the Horn of Africa. This is not a choice the generation Qubbee would and should make! You have now earned the right to defend yourself and maintain your peace with any means available. For the Oromos it is now the right to survive.  You led the struggle so far and changed the minds of some OPDOs. But your struggle and resistance continue regardless of whether they give-in to their master or not!

In my opinion, having self-determination is a confidence builder for Oromo people and any system to come thereafter will have a strong foundation and will last.  Restricting this right will do the opposite. No society should be restricted by external or internal forces from exercising their God given right!



  1. Yes, OPDO leaders need to do more but others are also expected to do more by using the current opportunity. Blaming OPDO and its leaders is not good enough. In other words, the weakness of others at this opportune time is also amazing. All are cheap talkers.

  2. Totally agree; a lasting solution to Ethiopia’s political problems is the implementation of a true federalism system where each nation and nationality’s rights are respected and the rule of law is upheld. Going back to the bad old days of Xaqilay Gizat and Kifle Hager cannot and should not work! Oromia and the other states as entities in the federal system are here to stay. We cannot go back but look forward to the formation of a true federal system where leaders in the states and at the federal level are democratically elected.

  3. yes, the oromos should push forward because waiting for others at this time does not pay off.The struggle has been begun by the oromos, the amaras came after, then now i the waynes are being weak, for me the oromos should push regardless of the view of others.

  4. A wounded beast is more dangerous than the normal. The oromo proverb”Qeerransa eegee hinqaban;qaban immoo gadhinlakkisan” is equivalent to the first sentence. At this time the Ethiopian people in general and the Oromo people in particular need real and radical regime change. We are tired of bogus democracy, bogus promise, bogus election, and so and so forth. The struggle should continue unabated until real democracy is planted; corruption is eliminated; rule of law and order is respected; criminal elements of the regime are weep out and brought to justice.
    Any negotiation with the actors of the regime is futile attempt;given the history of TPLF. The regime is buying time; never give time for them.

  5. Bleming and counter bleming is not productive and bring any result. The OPDO and ANDM is on the right path to bring policy shange thus what is important to move foward is dupporting the leadership of those 2 organization to enhance change with EPRDF.

  6. I fully support the article which reflects my mind and all the above comments.
    I have had issues with our highly educated US-based friends who almost unanimously attribute all the sins of Ethiopia to the non-existent ethnic federalism, and not to TPLF. The way I interpret this is that they don’t recognize existence of ethnic groups as such and don’t really favor federalism itself either. The good news, the people on the ground are far ahead of them. Let them organize any conference they like. Nobody cares. The Oromo and others who seek real change must be very focused and intensify the struggle. Mass protests must move from Ambo and Bahr Dar to the 4 Kilo. OPDO and ANDM must purge pro regime elements from themselves. OPDO can not hope bring real change while likes of Werkineh Gebeyehu, Diriba Kuma, Kuma Damaksa, Girma Biru, and Muktar Kadir are still serving the genocidal regime in the name of Oromo. Same applies to ANDM.

    I firmly believe Oromia must postpone the Finfinne issue indefinitely until this regime changes. This is purely an issue between Oromians/Caffee Oromia and the people/Finfinne City Administration, not the “Federal” government who want to impose their interest on the people. Being built WITH and ON the blood and bones of the Oromo people, the “special interest” clause was actually a special insult to Oromo people by Meles Zenawi.
    I feel insulted when an intruder kicks me out of my home and offers to take some underwear which I left behind. I just want my house back which I am happy to share with anyone who respects the house rules. Technically, all Finfinne needs to do is: (1) pay her service taxes (water, power, land, etc.) exclusively to the service provider, i.e, the State of Oromia (which includes Finfinne herself), not to Abay Tsehaye and Sebhat Nega or any “federal” gang. (2) Afaan Oromo should be compulsory in ALL government schools starting from grade 1.
    (3) (This applies to all cities in Oromia), since the waters that enters Finfinne and other cities are potable (drinking water) and the air quality normally excellent the cities must make sure that the water/air that exits their city border is POTABLE/clean according to international norms and standards. There should be ZERO tolerance on this. How they do it is up to them.
    (4)Just like other capitals report to their states, Finfinnee should report to the State of Oromia, not the “federal” govt. or African Union. The State of Oromia has no interest or intention to harm its citizens in Finfinne (while the “Federal” government has a consistent history of crime against Oromians and others), there should be no concern about this.
    If Finfinne wants to maintain current status (or even opted for “independence” and the whole world recognized her), then the city would be deserted within a week, because her service tax to the rest of Oromia could skyrocket.
    None of these can be discussed with fairness while TPLF pulls the strings while committing genocide on the actual stakeholders. Thus, postponing is the right strategy by OPDO.

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