By Worku Gadissa, 

Lemmaa Afaan Dammaa

May 4, 2021 (Ayyaantuu) — This paper gives us an important glimpse into the leadership of previous Oromo President Obbo (Mr.) Lemma Megersa. “Lemmaa Afaan Dammaa” translated as honey in the mouth/tongue given because of his hollow and sweet rhetoric.

You are going to read what Obbo Lemma Megersa has accomplished, or not accomplished, during his leadership as President of Oromia Regional State. For those Lemma supporters who want him to stand again as president of Oromia or Prime Minister of Ethiopia, I want you to sit calmly, breathe deep, and enjoy reading with no fury or anger. I am sorry to hurt your feelings because I am not one those who dance and clap hands for Oromia or Ethiopian rulers whose lie, and deceptions are often wrapped around Ethiopiawenet. Most people, especially Oromos, have been swept along by emotion of nice rhetoric by charismatic leaders like Lemma Megersa and Abiy Ahmed. This article is written not to Obbo Lemma alone, but to all other Oromo leaders, past and present who served the interests of Nefxanyoch. Oromo political leaders previously serving TPLF and now Nafxanyaa, conveniently ignore or conceal facts for power and wealth and ignore their own people. Here are the names of a few popular examples:

Aba Dula Gamada (Minase W. Geiorgis) who said “ከኦነግ ይልቅ TPLF ይቀርበናል” (translation, we prefer TPLF than OLF)

Addisu Arega, another OPDO official said that the “Anoole war story written by Tesfaye Gabreab was a false history.” I do not think this is from ignorance bliss, but for selfish motivation to make happy the Nefxaynoch.

Fekadu Tesema, who said, “to catch fish you must dry the ocean”, meaning, kill all Oromos to win the fascistic war going in Oromia. Can you dry up ocean? Will Oromia ever run out of Oromos?

Another typical Oromo leader, Shimelis Abdissa, refused to unveil the monument erected at Ambo University of Hachalu Hundessa. On the official reopening event for the memorial monument, he was invited but declined to be at the ceremony.

Some say Aba Dula and Lemma are best men who served Oromia well. Others disagree, saying that both let down their people by serving the cruel and oppressive regime of TPLF and Nefxaynaa system of government.

Obbo Lemma Megersa Baherdar visit  

On November 4, 2017, OPDO President Lemma Megersa led a delegation of 250 Abaa Gadas and other Oromo Officials to Baherdar, the Amhara Regional Capital. The Amhara President Degu Andargachew met him and gave him a big welcome and an olive branch reception. The meeting went as expected and came as a big surprise for many observers. On the surface, the visit appeared to promote a solidarity and reconciliation between historically antagonistic societies, Oromo and Amhara people. Getachew Reda described the meeting of the two as “እሳትና ጭድ“, (fire and hay/grass).

There were scanty details available about any agreement made with Degu, but they tried to show a genuine unity and broader plan for a reconciliation process for the ugly history of the past. People had different reactions to the visit and asked questions like what was Lemma’s vision and mission and they also asked about the timing and scheme of the meeting.

First, both had no common political interests, but needed to work together to form a holly alliance against the common and powerful enemy, TPLF.

Second, Obbo Lemma went to Baherdar to show his loyalty and obedience, praising and honoring his Amhara masters. He tried ignoring past injustices, but genuine grievances happened especially during Menelik’s rule. He was deeply committed to emphasizing Ethiopiawenet because of his selfish ambitions.

There was great enthusiasm for the visit and Lemma received red carpet reception and was cheered and highly praised. He was given to wear the honorary traditional Amhara gown of white and red [“jano”].  Jano symbolizes the evil power of the empire system of government.  Jano gowns were also presented to Abiy Ahmed, Jawar Mohamed and Shameless Abdissa during their visits to Baherdar. A friend of mine said that often those wearing Janos were hypnotized by fake Ethiopiawenet. There is said to be a magic spell (አስማት) in jano, seducing a person so as to make a person act and think like Nefxanyaa.

Ethiopiawenet sus newu

Lemma’s “Famous Words” are more than clichés. An Amhara popular cliché is “ግደለዉ፣ ተገደልን” They attack, destroy, and kill and then cry foul as if they were attacked and killed by Oromos. Take for example the pre-planned recent war crime of genocide against the Wollo Oromo.

For more than a century Oromos have been incarcerated, marginalized, politically, economically, and culturally suppressed, and robbed of their lands. For the last three years, the Amharas have been leading the war of atrocity in Oromia, expanding their regional boundaries, burning homes, plundering properties, killing, and raping women. They are now using similar tactics in Tigray region.

“Ethiopiawenet Sus Newu” is a term that is loosely translated as,” Ethiopia as sprit.” On the surface the phrase seems harmless good spirit, however, the hidden meaning of Ethiopiawenet Sus Newu is a sarcasm that can be used in all political media realms as an inspirational phrase by Nefxanyaa groups. The speech shaped, helped, and formed a paradigm shift of Amhara’s hearts. One wonders why Obbo Lemma made the remark, but Amharas were delighted by his speech. Many however, are skeptical and suspicious of the speech as something designed to obscure, confuse, or even mislead the public. Typically, our words are an overflow of what is going on in our hearts. Most of his words were euphoric and incompatible with the real situation in the country. Lemma tried to please his hosts, but it feels like he was on a fool’s errand, like chasing a ghost, a ghost that is none, other than the Ethiopiawenet that suppressed and exploited Oromos for more than a generation.

With all the historical crimes and the real situation going on in Oromia, I wish to know what was going on inside of Lemma`s mind when he glorified Ethiopiawnet. Oromos do not hate Ethiopia, but Ethiopia hates Oromo.  Amharas have colonized, evicted Oromos from their lands, abolished culture, and language. Oromos are being suppressed and exploited and Amharas are ultimately trying to destroy the Orommuma identity, without any path for Oromos to be accepted as Ethiopians. Nowadays, malicious hate propaganda, defamation, false accusation, denial and twisting of historical facts are going on by Amharas against the Oromos. How about the fascist wars happening in Oromia, and the murdering, torturing, displacements and plundering by the Amhara Lyu Hayl in Wallaga, Western Showa, Beneshangul, Wollo Oromo region and many other places.

Last week as a celebration of Amhara imperialism, anti- Oromo demonstrations were held in major Amhara cities calling for “death to Orommuma”! What are the three main Amhara Imperialisms? They are Amhara superiority, racism, and religion.

Forget and Forgive

In another related sarcastic remark Lemma pardoned Amharas of all the crimes against the Oromo people for over a century. He tried to forgive and forget the past ugly history of injustices and crimes. Forgive and forget is a Biblical origin verse “if you forgive other people when they make sins against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you”.

Obbo Lemma wanted the Oromo people to be without those memories by pardoning injustices and the atrocities committed by Amharas toward the Oromo people. He told Oromos to not think or remember all atrocities and accommodate the suffering without any questions. Can we leave Menelik’s conquest, colonization, and injustices behind us? I do not believe you heal from the horrors and evils of Menelik and successive rulers of Ethiopia. You deal with it, cope with it, pledge to do better, you may try to forget old wounds but new wounds more rapidly accumulating than your ability to forget. The more you forgive and forget the more they are dedicated to make a concerted effort to destroy your identity. The situation in Oromia is getting worse. Our enemy is only increasing their appetite for more land grabbing, cultural colonization, imprisonment, torture, killing our people and finally forcing new wars in all frontiers of Oromia. In fact, it is worse than before, harsher, more evils, and there is no room to forgive and forget the enemy.

We Oromos must not forget our past for our past is our future. By treasuring the past, we shall boldly shape the future. As Albert Einstein said, “Learn from past/yesterday, live for today’s, hope for tomorrow.” We use the past to explain the present situation. Our ugly history is our present, because it is still with us.

It is hard to comprehend how an Oromo President able to praise, honor and forgive his enemy while heavy blows are still falling on us. Could it be for political popularity, greed, and self- promotion and have nothing with the cause of the Oromo people?

Why Not Forget The Past

Obbo Lemma went to Baherdar with 250 delegates to pay homage and ask for forgiveness and to    promote Amhara interest in Ethiopiawenet. Everyone wants to remember their history on a good note or bad. To make Amharas happy and at the same time bring himself greatness, Lemma boldly asked for a reconciliation process and the forgiveness of the colonial masters. Sometimes, apology is appropriate to all sane and sound minded people, but only if the receiving end accepts guilt and acts remorseful.

Most of the Oromo leaders have short memories of events over the last thirty years, and because of their short memories, they cannot learn from past experiences. It is mind boggling how many Oromo leaders, after seeing or learning all stories happened, go right back to follow the same pattern. Read again here “The perils of Negotiations with the Habesha Rulers” consisting of fourteen examples from Atse Yohannes IV to the return of OLF from Eritrea to Ethiopia. You can`t resolve any issue or engage in peace negotiations with Habesha, because they are not willing to compromise or help at all; in fact, attempting to deal with them gives them the opportunity to make your situation worse and may even cost your life.

Generally, negotiations or dialogue with Habesha is more costly and means subrogating or transferring your right. Any, sort of negotiation or dialogue with Nefxayna is dangerous and potentially fatal to Oromo causes. There is no gratitude, no appreciation from these people. Remember many of them came to Sheger or Oromia, with empty hands, penniless, and then robbed land from Oromo farmers by force and become prosperous by illegal means. Many of those living in Wallaga today and waging war, came as coffee pickers, as day laborers and others came as refugees and resettled there during the 1983 great famine in Tigray and Wallo. Today, the same people are ungrateful and supporting the Amhara Leyu Hayl fight against Oromos. We call them “የእናት ጡት ነካሾች”, translated as ungrateful and biting the hand that feeds them.

Let us ask ourselves honest questions and make a contrast between Oromo and Amhara and ask the following questions:

Who conquered who?
Who is ruling who?
Whose land is stolen?
Who is the oppressor, and who is oppressed?
Who leads racist prejudice and who is guilty of systemic racism?
Who is to blame for sowing racial hatred and ethical divisions?
Whose culture, language and history has been denied and demonized?
Who is to blame for lack of peace and stability and who causes crisis in the country?

All crisis and wars in Ethiopia have been rooted and created by the Amharas who wanted total assimilation, dominance, and destruction of Orommuma.

It is degrading for an Oromo leader to seek forgiveness from Abyssinians for their past cruelties and crimes against humanity. In fact, it should be vice versa, Abyssinians should have asked for forgiveness. Lemma knows that Oromos are the victims for one hundred fifty (150) years of exploitation and colonial suppression, and yet he asked for an apology and mercy “አባ ይማሩኝ”.  I have never seen or heard a single Amhara leader or individual sympathizes, regrets, or shows remorse for the crimes they have committed, and are still committing, against the Oromo people.   

What is Ethiopiawenet?

It might be a little out of our subject, but I want to have a moment to ask what Ethiopiawenet is?

Ethiopiawenet is the new nationalism, it is a poisonous idea because of its creation of superiority over others and hostility towards other nationalities in our country.

True ancient history describes Cush/Ethiopia as a country south of Egypt and west of Red Sea, known as Cush. And then it continues as the ancient kingdom of Nubia, extending from the Aswan Dam in Egypt to the junction of the Blue and White Niles, modern Sudan and beyond, but not as modern-day Ethiopia. (Cush was the Hebrew name, and the Greek name was Ethiopia.)  There was confusion with the re-naming of Ethiopia. It is difficult to assign an exact beginning to the name Ethiopia, but it was adopted in 1931, during Haile Silasse`s era.

When the International Bible Society translated the Bible into Amharic, they adopted Ethiopia instead of Cush. Since then, the Biblical Cush name was replaced and changed to Ethiopia. The Cush name appears 41 times in the Bible. The Oromos are the original and the largest group of Cushitic races. Because of their lies and deceptive politics, the Amhara Debtera historians wrote that Oromos came from Madagascar. You do hear some Amharas telling Oromos to “go back to Madagascar.” History clearly tells us that the Habasha or Amharas came from Yemen and settled in Northern Ethiopia. Let us make an agreement or arrangement that Amhara go back to Yemen and Oromos go back to Madagascar. It will be much harder for Amhara to live in Yemen as Christians than for Oromos to live in Madagascar.

The coin of Atse Yohannes IV bore a graven image of the “King of Abyssinia.” His signature stamp also bears the words, “King of Abyssinia”. Up until World War II and the Italian occupation, Ethiopia was known by the exonym Abyssinia. When Haile Selassie appeared to the League of Nations in Geneva, the whole world knew of Abyssinia, not Ethiopia.

So then, who deserves to be named Ethiopia, the Oromo or Amhara? I advise you to read and examine the Bible and the Oromo history of “Origin of Human History by Makonnen Abebe.”

 Umaanii Keenyaa Goftaa Keenya

Umaanii Keenyaa Goftaa Keenyaa is translated to mean “our people are our masters.” Obbo Lemma used often political slogan rhetoric for popularity and self-promotion, rather than serving people. Most people have been swept along by emotion from hearing such charismatic empty speeches and gave him “Lemmaa afaan dammaa” which means, honey in the mouth/tongue.

Lemma Megersa and Abiy Ahmed grew up with the EPRDF fascist regime and are a product of TPLF. One was the Security Head and Police Commissioner of Oromia and the other was Security Head, INSA of Ethiopia, both different sides of the same coin. Both played a big role of the building and support of TPLF power in Oromia. Abiy Ahmed used to say that “only death will separate him from Lemma”, and the reality is that Lemma is sacked and put under house arrest.

When Oromo farmers in Finfinnee were evicted from their land and forced to leave their homes, Lemma did nothing to stop land robbing. The Qeerroo movement brought down the fall of EPRDF and brought Lemma and Abiy to power. Both came to power from the sacrifice of 5,000 Qeerroo lives and the imprisonment of tens of thousands Oromos. Abiy called Qeerroo terrorists and regarded them as “mengaa” Both tried relentlessly to kill the aspirations and hopes of the Qerroo Movement. Both ambushed and hijacked the Qeerroo Revolution and worked relentlessly to destroy Orommuma. I never believed them from the very start, both guys are “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.

After the massacre of 700, at the Irreecha celebration in Bishoftu, Obo Lemma erected a memorial monument for those killed with an inscription on the monument “tragedy caused by accident”, signifying lack of guilt and denying any killing by the bullets from Agazi forces.  Apparently, for unknown reason, sometime later the monument was pulled down and destroyed. It shows that Lemma is a great deceiver, a double minded fraudulent person. It is a mystery why the monument was pulled down. As you read above, it goes in parallel with the refusal of Shimelis`s unveiling of Hachala’s monument in Ambo.

More than two million Oromo’s fled persecution in Harare, Bale, Borana and Wallaga. The proxy war carried out by the Somali Liyu Police, in collaboration with government forces, (Agazi Force) led to the displacement of these people.

While the Mai-kadra massacre and 60,000 Tigray refugees in Sudan were given massive media coverage, the Bishoftu massacre of 700 innocent civilians and more than two million displaced people in Oromia are ignored and forgotten.

As you probably noticed video posted online shows Abdi Ele in Jijiga.  Lemma was rather relaxed and smiling while Abdi was furious and pointing a finger at him, accusing him of starting the war first. I do not think Lemma condemned the war or made Abdi Elie account for the war of genocide against the Oromo people.

There is too much injustice going on in Oromia.  With more than two million people displaced nobody was found guilty nobody, faced accountability and no justice was served for the deaths, pain and suffering. All was forgotten and forgiven. Do you know that these displaced people are still living in deplorable conditions? They have been living since then in refugee camps made of corrugated steel sheets and makeshift tents in many towns and cities across Oromia. I don’t know if you remember, in Adama, in 2019, a refugee camp was attacked, burnt, a few men were killed, and many were injured after attacks by neighboring Nefxaynaa settlers.  It is so sad that these people are still living in these camps and the worst is that their camp was attacked by Nefxaynna settlers.

Lastly, I have a million-dollar advice for you with which I want to conclude: –

Do not be obsessed with Ethiopiawenet! Ethiopia wants to destroy Orommuma.

Obbo Lemma Megersa and others like him are trying to capture the imagination of our people, with their smart speeches and false promises. I argue with you to be beware of false leaders who use their positions to promote Nefxanyaa interests.

Finally, if you to take away nothing-less from this paper, let it be these: –

  • Please, always keep in mind, Oromo’s problems can`t be solved by negotiations or reconciliation. So do not enter into any negotiation or reconciliation settlement with Nefxanyaa. Unless you are hoping for a miracle, you can`t change the Nefxanyaa mind set about Oromo.
  • You must not be deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid to forgive and forget ugly past history. You must know that forgiveness will not solve your problems.
  • Until the Oromo people have freed themselves from fascistic Nefxaynaa rule, nobody has been given a mandate to act and represent Oromo people.
  • You have to be vigilant and guard yourself from false Oromo political leaders, like Obbo Lemma and new Gobenas. Today, Oromia is full of false leaders, activists, Aba Gadas and army generals who speak Afaan Oromoo and claim to have truth and clamor with enemy, but like wolves in sheep’s clothing they are working and waiting to destroy Orommuma from within. If we lose our freedom, it will be because of our enemies within, not because of external enemies.
  • We must determine to be ready, stand firm with WBO at all costs.