OMN: Oduu Amme: Dire dawa Ummata Ajjessa jiru, Iskandar Nagga fi Ermiyas Lagese, Akka tahe bekame jira

OMN: Oduu Amme: Dire dawa Ummata Ajjessa jiru, Iskandar Nagga fi Ermiyas Lagese, Akka tahe bekame jira

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  1. Ermias Legesse was OPDO official until he had completed the mission of destroying Oromo interests from within, and graduated into being accomplished anti-Oromo activist. Eskinder Nega was released from TPLF prison on the shoulder of Oromo youth (qeerroo and qarree), who sacrificed their lives to remove TPLF hegemony, and has been allowed to organise and lead deadly anti-Oromo gangs in Oromo cities, causing the loss of more Oromo lives. This has been happening on the watches of the Ethiopian government and the Oromia regional state government. The prime minister and other officials have been completely indifferent to the sufferings of the Oromo people. In fact, it seems that the Ethiopian government is following the old tactics of inflicting more sufferings to the Oromo people in order to silence dissenting voices. The current murders of Oromo university students in Amhara region and the continued sufferings of students who have escaped deaths is a clear evidence that the Oromo has not been represented in government, yet.

    We have heard that their are Oromo nationalists who have been suppressed within the OPDO/ODP ranks and file. If that is the case, these individuals must come out and speak for their people. I understand that they have lived in great fear for so long and they may not be sure of their abilities to challenge the anti-Oromo camp within ODP as well as outside their party. However, their great fears must have served them to be more determined to protect themselves and their people. Step into your fear and ride it towards achieving the objectives of the people you meant to serve. Middleton (2019) shares his practical experience of harnessing and using own fears effectively to achieve one’s objectives. He asserts that you can let fear ‘trample all over you, or you can put a harness on it and let it carry you forwards, blasting you unscathed through the finish line”.

    Other Oromo political parties also must evaluate their performances genuinely, and promote capable individuals to bridge the gaps and cure the disease of mediocrity, which has become chronic to the leadership, keeping them below the bench marks. Particularly, they have to be careful with who they put forward to debate with other political organizations on television and radio. Communication is crucial and I am confident that the great Oromo people are endowed with articulate individuals who can argue our just causes succinctly. Recently, I was saddened to watch an individual from a respected Oromo party being all over the place, instead of answering the questions put to them in a way that can advance Oromo causes. Hear me out! It is not enough to have a burning desire to say something about the sufferings of our people. There is a need to articulate the sufferings our people are subjected to. This requires the ability to seize opportunities and highlight issues that must be heard when one is given air time on TV or radio. Some Oromo parties must check their communication strategies and try to articulate their views whether they speak in affan Oromo or other languages. If they think that, for instance, someone struggles to put their points forward in Amharic, they must choose another panelist rather than helping opponents to score points although they do not speak to the truth. Mediocrity, no place for it in Oromo politics any more.

    Like any Oromo who is yearning to see the day when the great Oromo people are led by capable political leaders, I am holding my breath with huge hope that the decision by Jawar Mohammed to become a politician may strengthen the Oromo camp, and elevate the standards at which Oromo politics is conducted. I became aware of Jawar Mohammed for the first time when he was asked whether he was “an Oromo first or otherwise”, and answered assertively that he “was an Oromo before anything”. No hesitation; no cheating; he was true to himself; he was true to others, friends and foes alike. He has been consistent
    and have matured a lot since then. Other qeerroo and qarree who want to enter political life must follow in his foot step, and avoid mediocrity. Let me be clear, I have huge respect for all Oromo individuals who have sacrificed their personal comforts and contributed to the Oromo struggle. However, I am mentioning Jawar because I think that he exemplifies the fearless qeerroo and qarree, who have clearly understood Oromo and Ethiopian politics, and have the ability to articulate Oromo causes. In order to achieve anything, it is extremely essential to utilize people’s expertise where they contribute more. Oromo leaders must be clear on the need for strengthening their leadership qualities.

    Oromo political parties must work on developing communication skills of those tasked with participating in debates and TV/radio interviews. Spokespersons must be articulate, and be able to deliver intended messages to friends and foes alike. Mind you, one may be very intelligent and true nationalist with a heart that is bleeding for their people. Nevertheless, they must aim at communicating the Oromo truth articulately in order to advance the just cause. If they lack the skills to express themselves, putting them forward to debate or give interviews may undermine the genuine Oromo cause while the anti-Oromo disingenuous articulating fake cause get the ears of the audience.

    A recent performance of a person from a respected Oromo party on LTV programme took me back three decades, and brought tears to my eyes. I was in higher education in the late 1980s, and some of us were qeerroo, burning with the sufferings our people were subjected to. However, it was like being on lonely planet with no news of effective performances from Oromo political organizations said to have been operating from exile. A middle aged distant relative of mine, who returned from over seas after completing work assignments by a UN agency asked me to meet up for dinner. We talked almost about everything, from family issues to politics, and I seized the opportunity to throw a question which with deep in my heart to him. I asked “if he knew whether the Oromo struggle was advancing and why we were not hearing news of success”. I also added a challenging question; “why people like him who had the ability and necessary connections couldn’t help”. I observed him painfully struggling to answer my questions; he kept quite for a while and said, “Ijolleen waan himatan hin beekan”. Meaning, there was a problem with articulating the Oromo cause unambiguously. I was disappointed with his remarks since I did not grasp what he was trying to tell me although I could feel how painful it was for him to utter about the truth he knew. Many people were discouraged by the mediocrity that had plagued our camp. It took me twelve to thirteen years to understand my relative’s remark, and I had to be in exile being neutralized unable to contribute.

    Qeerroo and qarree conquered the curse of being subjugated to fears by inferiors leaving in fears, when they stood up in unison and paid ultimate price to advance the Oromo struggle. They showed great capability, discipline and civility in their protests, and helped to articulate the causes of our people. They removed TPLF from power and entrusted their gains to OPDO/ODP and paved ways for Oromo political parties to engage in politics among their people. The Oromo leaders should have filled the leadership gaps by capitalizing on the political maturity of qeerroo and qarree rather than staying in their comfort zones, as they have done for so long. While the recently announced agreement among Oromo political parties to act in unison in advancing Oromo cause is a welcome development, their abilities to perform at the highest standard is essential. They must open up leadership opportunities to qeerroo and qarree, and energize themselves so as to outshine the anti-Oromo camp.

    As Jawar Mohammed would say, “the Oromo people have truth and qeerroo and qarree who are capable of engaging with politics in a civilized way”. Oromo political party leaders and members, you have the Oromo truth in your hands and qeerroo and qarree behind you. Walk into your fears and pop all the fear bubbles in order to propel yourselves towards achieving freedom and justice to the great Oromo people.

    Truth, freedom and justice prevail!

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