By Yilma Bekele
Once again life is giving our old country another chance. The stark choice in front of us is whether going back to what that has not worked before and giving it another try or learning from the past, observing how others in our situation dealt with the challenges currently facing us and managed to build a harmonious society. When you think about it, it is not rocket science. Others have done the heavy lifting for us. I fail to see the the amount of resistance some folks bring to the table on the mistaken belief that they could reinvent the wheel.
Our twenty seven years experiment of building a prosperous place based on the foundations of ethnicity and command economy has come to a crashing halt. Our Airbag (Team Lemma) was deployed to avoid total catastrophe. When some say ‘God is watching over Ethiopia’, they know what they are talking about. So today the discussion is how to get up, shake off the dust and chart a new road.
The folks that were driving the bus before the accident are insisting they could fine-tune their manual and take the wheel one more time. They are telling us that actually it was not them alone that was navigating before the accident and they can not take the blame by themselves. They forgot blaming others is not substitute for accepting responsibility. The fact that they wrote the manual and their assistants were following it with due diligence is glossed over. The lies about the double digit economic growth, the tall tales regarding the creation of inter ethnic harmony and cooperation that was shouted from the top of every mountain in a relentless manner that is now falling flat is not mentioned at all.
Woyane TPLF is the high priest of the wrecker cult. They specialize in destruction in all its forms. Watching what is unfolding about their gangster behavior has proven us right. Their eyes light up when they come face to face with negativity, dissent and conflict. Like Dracula needs blood to survive, Woyane welcomes chaos and impending doom to get motivation to rise up for the occasion. That is the reason their current enclave of Tigrai kilil has become a hotbed of activity. They do not want the people of Tigrai to catch their breath and stop and think. To Ethiopian leaders whoever, a thinking population is not something to cultivate. Our humiliated warlords are nothing but the current victims of Ethiopians waking up and moving to the next stage of their natural development. We have sidelined two and this is our third and last attempt.
It is after watching Chairman Dawud Ibsa’s press conference that I got confused about the choice in front of me. He was sitting in Addis Ababa and spoke of two armies and echoed winds of war and conflict. Calmly he threw a wrench in the progress we have made since getting rid of the virus Woyane. Why Comrade Dawd, why do you rain on our parade? Anyway he said there were intense battles in Western Oromia etc. etc. I have no reason to doubt him. But I have every reason to question his wisdom.
As the leader of one of the oldest assembly of freedom fighters (OLF) that stood up against injustice half a century ago, in my opinion he did not live up to the vision of the founders. He choose a short term gain instead of a long term benefit and that is placing one’s need ahead of the group welfare. It is a big mistake from a seasoned leader. Chairman Dawud Ibsa has given his life to the cause. He has been a member of OLF since his University days in Addis. He took his protest to a higher level and led his troops in all manner from military to diplomacy as necessary. He has been imprisoned and abused by the military regime. He has paid a price for his beliefs. He is not a newcomer to the struggle. Disparaging him is not appropriate or called for under the circumstances.
His press conference was difficult to assess. The only winners were the group he was fighting against. They are the ones that are echoing his press conference to show how Ethiopia is unstable because they are not in charge. That is what is perplexing. Chairman Dawd needs to evolve and adjust to the ways friends and partners are made in a time of peace and progress. There is no question he has many supporters and followers and all we ask him is to shepherd them for a winning cause that will improve real live to the village level. May I remind the Honorable leader that we have tried the ethnic path and it is a dead end.
All is not lost in Ethiopia. PM Abiy is riding the wave he created nine months ago and his chances of survival has increased considerably. His no nonsense attitude coupled with his sunny disposition are doing wonders to our country and people. We wish him long life and fortune. He is a maker in our book. What’s more, can anyone find me any clothing Dr. Abiy does not look good in? The Nehru jacket is my favorite.
Well he is not alone shining bright in good old Ethiopia. My leader, brother, Professor Berhanu Nega is adding value to our old way of life. He is teaching us the meaning of dedication to a cause and the ability to connect to people and move them to stand for freedom and dignity. It sounds simple doesn’t it. That’s what leaders do to us. They make us believe in ourselves and we do the rest since it was always within us to soar high when compelled to. Dr. Berhanu has done it all. A student activist, a freedom fighter, slayer of Woyane in a faceoff of election and the only legitimately elected Lord Mayor of Addis Abeba, founder of a successful opposition movement to Woyane, a university professor, an author are but a few of the accomplishments associated with him. How much do Ethiopian look up to our leader is a good question. I direct you to observe the pandamonium created in every major city to welcome him and his group upon their triumphant return to their motherland. He is back home doing what he does best, teaching by example.
Surrounded by the best and brightest like Andargachew, Ephrem, Aziz and many more his group is doing all they could to calm nerves and lower the temperature. He is focused on the task in front which is to build a good foundation for what lies ahead. It is party building time in Ethiopia and Woyane is not around to create clones, undermine leaders and make a farce of the process. Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 is one of the few that are ready to do the job without government subsidy, foreign umbrella and local Woyane collaborators. Ethiopia for Ethiopians by Ethiopians is the rallying cry. They are not running around the country to start fresh from scratch. That phase of the work has been anticipated a while back and today it is a matter of bringing them out from the shadows. There is nothing satisfactory other than seeing the young that have survived Woyane madness today taking their rightful place as future trustees of our beautiful land and people.
Dr. Berhanu and his comrades have not wavered from the principle of always upholding one nation under one flag that has been the bedrock of our existence. It has served us for hundreds of years and there is no reason trying to fix what is not broken. Just because we had a few maladjusted individuals that tried to tinker with the proven formula one have to be careful not to react negatively when it is tried again. We are aware that it is not a winning strategy to revive it back to life. Some of us have no problem letting them try. It is their right, they deserve to be heard. But for most Ethiopians it is not their cup of coffee. Let them learn by experience the foolishness of their labor. We have better things to do other than shadow boxing with yesterday’s ghost. What I know for sure is Dr. Abiy is going to have a heck of a challenge. Dr. Berhanu is an experienced, smart and formidable opponent. I believe this is a good thing to happen to our country. We are tired of fake elections and hundred percent victory. Dr. Berhanu and friends are in the forefront of the march of the makers.
We also have produced makers of a new kind. They are gracing our country with knowledge, expertise and the spirit of giving back without asking anything in return. They are the folks of Vision Ethiopia an organization dedicated to explaining how things work. They are Ethiopians of the highest caliber that have proven their worth by rising to the top in the field of their expertise in centers of higher learning in the west. Vision Ethiopia is organizing a conference in liberated Ethiopia. This is the seventh conference tackling the different issues that have been faced by our country. The idea is to invite experts in their field and give decision makers tools on smart solutions and the citizen a chance to have perspective to separate the wheat from the chaff.
The Addis Abeba conference to be held December 27 and 28 is an attempt to shine light on such burning questions as ‘Governance and institution building, legal and constitutional reform, Post conflict and Democracy building, the role of women, the state of the economy and the future, the role of the Diaspora in education and social media and software development among others will enjoy a healthy and empowering exchange of ideas. Conferences like this are harbinger of things to come now we have liberated our country from the jaws of doom and gloom Woyane. The conference have the blessings of PM Abiy and his team ushering the new era of respecting experts and knowledge based on science instead of voodoo, sorcery and personal feelings. The conference hopefully will attract the Ethiopian free media and show our people how civilized, informational and interesting knowledge can be. Vision Ethiopia is leading the festival of the makers. This is the best holiday season for Ethiopians every where. We are free.