The Oromo People Trust Promises Regardless of the Past Experience and History
By Tola Jilo, August 24, 2018
By virtue of being religious, the people of Oromia trust promises regardless of the past experiences and history. I frequently struggled to trust promises after they were broken and denounced in the past. Flip-flop is normal for politicians and in politics; and the deliverability of vague promises are uncertain. Could be due to our culture that when we hear religious words such as love, forgiveness; these words relate to us. To begin with, trust is suppose to be strength, but oftentimes used against us in the past. “Others” have taken our trusting relationship for granted to erase our history and culture. If there is anything we have learned from experience, it is to be cautious and extra vigilant about promises. We all are watching cautiously about the current changes in Ethiopia and the promises with suspicion until otherwise they are delivered. Oromo is in the phase of recuperation, learning from the past mistakes and experience, critically looking into the “pleasant words” and whether they were clear and real. But we make sure that no step back from our demand.
Let’s hope that as promised Ethiopia will be democratized and citizens will have the right to support and vote for the political party they share their values and represent them.
I hope that all Oromo political parties have political platform and distinct mandate that differentiate them from each other. If the day comes I may ask OPDO, OLF, and OFC – issues that determine identity including their perspectives of limitations to autonomy, their openion on Afaan Oromo as federal work language, special benefit Oromo should get from Finfine, and others.
The reason I am asking this question is, sometimes I am lost to understand the political platform of the Oromo parties. One example I would like to bring-up is about education reform which was brought up on media this week. Oromo has given sufficient time for Prime Minister Dr. Abiy and for President Dr. Lama for implementation of changes in regards to Afaan Oromo to become federal language, about the special benefit that Oromo should get from Finfine (Oromo land), and others. For the former, we received an answer yesterday which is a complete 1800 departure from Qeerroo’s demand. Here is where I get confused with the political platform whether OPDO did accept and support the decision to offer Amharic education in Oromia? If the answer is yes, what are they trying to gain for our people? Regardless of whoever is holding power, Oromo deserve respect and to be consulted for any legislative or policy matter that affect its identity. Our expectation was different – we were hoping that Oromo language will become federal work language and a mandatory subject to be educated elsewhere in Ethiopia!
Trust – Here is the trust question; as promised if we really are heading democratization and the majority rule, Oromo as the majority (38% of Ethiopia’s population), Afaan Oromo should be unconditionally qualify to become the federal work language. Still the outcome of this decision may determine the next chapter in Oromo politics and may determine election results in Oromia (if fair election will take place).
If anyone is questioning whether it matters to use Saba alphabets or Latin, the answer is simply yes it matters. Not only for technological advantage but also how the Oromo language is correctly documented in Qube and not in Saba (simple e.g. kuno versus kuunnoo). This word has only two Saba letters (Ku and no).
As we may head to election in less than two years, we may need to know the political platform of OPDO, OFC, OLF and others in regards to Oromo language, special benefit Oromo should get from Finfine, whether Finfine will be part of Oromia versus town administration of all Ethiopians, etc.