By Dilwenberu Nega
Tigrai Onlne - July 12, 2014
“Andygate” — the new buzz word among Ethiopians in London to denote the babble and prattle surrounding Andy Tsiege - is very much alive and kicking despite the fact Ginbot 7’s “Andy the Dandy” is behind bars in an Ethiopian prison after having been deported from Yemen.
The manner and speed with which Andy’s ‘surgical removal’ was performed, speaks volumes of Ethiopia’s counter-terrorism capabilities and efficiencies, as well as of its exceptional diplomatic finesse. One is tempted to equate this intelligence feat with that of German Nazi SS Lieutenant Colonel Otto Adolf Eichmann’s capture in and deportation from Argentina by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service in 1960.
As far as the GoE is concerned Andygate is a done and dusted matter. The nation’s most wanted fugitive is back in prison. If there is any lingering doubt in the mind of political observers of Ethiopia, it is on whether or not Andy will be granted a retrial; given both his death sentences and life in prison were passed in absentia (in his absence).
It is, however, within G7’s leadership that there is an ongoing coordinated effort to ‘Mandelanise’ Andy by firing up Ethiopians abroad. Indeed, the aim and goal of G7’s much vaunted “Operation We all are Andargatchew Tsiege” are to convert young and politically lethargic Ethiopians into freedom fighters of Andy’s calibre. Incidentally, have you heard, as I attentively did, how G7 Chairman, Dr. Birhanu Nega, spoke so profusely of Andy’s “unimpeachable loyalty to the Movement for Freedom and Democracy” at ESAT’s 4th Birthday in Washington DC? The occasion also witnessed the instant Andynisation of the legendary comical activist, Tamagne Beyene, and of that notoriously partisan journalist, Abebe Gellaw.
What is in everyone’s mind today is: “What did Birhanu Nega say or do when he saw Andy evaporate into nothingness under the gaze of the very people for whom he had vowed to remain steadfast to his dying day?” To make matters worse, it is widely being rumoured that he was caught with a copious amount of vital information which the intelligence services must, surely view, as manna from heaven.
The site of a smiling Andy on ETV’s prime-time news, particularly what flowed out from that abode of lies of his, had left Ethiopians abroad stunned and insensible. Stated simply, the Andy Ginbot 7 had lionised had turned out to be a despicable bovine. Hence “Operation We all are Andargatchew Tsiege” is for all intents and purposes brain-dead. In London, where Andy had lived for close to a quarter of a century, and a metropolis widely regarded by G7 as its European power-base, less than sixty po-faced supporters held an anti-British Government vigil outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Nowhere around the world did as many as 300 supporters had turned up in support of G7’s attempt to lionise Andy. The Andy bubble has deflated, nudging hundreds of G7’s gung-ho supporters to flee into the Ethiopian political wilderness. A one time ‘high fibre’ G7 supporter quipped to me: “I have opted to remain a Ghandi, than to turn into an Andy!”
ESAT’s intensive spin doctoring had made people expect the impossible: the apparition of Nelson Mandela in Andargatchew Tsiege, but as it turned out Andy the Dandy is the very anti-thesis of Nelson Mandela. Never and nowhere did Nelson Mandela declare to South Africans and to the world-wide anti-apartheid movement:
“I am exhausted; I have had enough; I am at peace with myself.”
How could it be right then for the Secretary General of a so-called freedom and democracy movement to demonstrate to supporters such horrific act of cowardice, at a time when the Chairman of G7 is busy trying to convince Ethiopians “the struggle has reached a decisive phase”.
My observation is that G7 had known from the very start that its portrayal of Andy as Ethiopia’s Mandela would sooner or later, boomerang against the entire G7 edifice. Andy simply doesn’t have Mandelaism in his DNA; nor should G7 waste any more time, effort and money by attempting to genetically modify Andy into Mandela; for it is impossible to convert a sheep into a lion.