Ethiopian extremist motto is damn if do and damn if you do not
BY Andualem Yifru
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, Nov. 3, 2016
Observing the insanity within the extremist and diehard core of the Ethiopian diaspora regarding the deep renewal by the ruling party and the government, one cannot help but be tempted to put the right perspective against this ill oriented attitude of protesting against anything done by the government. That is the insanity I am referring to. This is the mindset to reject anything and everything from Addis Ababa. The culture of debate on the merits or demerits is nonexistent in that camp. In the past, this camp was bashing the government for appointing politician only for government offices at the expense of professionalism, which in most cases were unsubstantiated. However, as the prime minister said recently in the floors of the House, it is time to blend members of the cabinet both from politicians and professionals in the new line up of the cabinet.
As observed from the list, over half of the members are PHD holders, with very long experience in their respective field and undertook wealth of Reacher and academic works. The appointment of cabinet members to the ministerial positions was based on merit, commitment and competence. At the same time, representation based on competence and merit was given due considerations. Given the high profile and the track record of past performance, I would have expected commendation, majority of the population in the country did, for the PM for the serious endeavor he has put in to keep his party's promise to set the renewal in the right footing. It is disheartening to note the type of destructive comments coming from this irrational camp. I am not naive to expect differently from them but hoped against hope, at least something that sound reasonable would prevail. One should not expect miracles. I am wrong because I bet on the wrong breed of human beings. Instead of arguing their case based on merit, how can one possibly dismiss everything? Apparently, their attitude and practice, day in and day out illustrate that they are not interested in anything else but only in power, by hook or crook. When you bring the Oromo intellectuals in proportion to the demography of the Oromo people, they are quick to say they are not given high profile posts. When an Oromo is appointed to the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, now suddenly he is a Tigray speaking Oromiffa.
What else could insanity be than this? No one and, I repeat no one has a right to determine the identity of a person, than the person herself or himself. It is only sad to hear someone sitting in America or Europe determine the identity and belonging of someone who proudly identifies himself as an Oromo. Some of the extremists who could not substantiate their argument against the high profile of the new cabinet then rushed to hide in attacking the intelligence and military leadership. At a time, the public demand for merit, result and delivery, for those hate mongers, the target is on individuals rather than their proud service and result to this great nation. Any honest person should take a great pride in the manner in which our law enforcement institutions served, protected and secured these nations in a very hostile geopolitics.
No other security and military delivered and provided as a dedicated and super professional service in the continent as did our forces. Genuine and honest Ethiopians should adore this selfless service. Like any professional institutions attached to the sovereignty and safety and security of our nation, it is not the blood of individuals but the outstanding work and heavy sacrifices that is paid, should matter and count. I am not in any way suggesting that there should not change and succession in those institutions. For sure there should be but well planned, managed and orderly succession is imperative. For that matter this is not something one can do at the expense our national security. It requires careful handling. Of course, one sad thing here is that it is part of the hate campaign to focus on individuals because they are coming from Tigray community, one of the proud Ethiopian communities.
The other unproductive criticism is equating the appointment to the whole renewal process. That is wrong. The reform program is much broader and deeper than cabinet reshuffle. This was said in bold and clear terms by the state of the union address delivered by the president and reiterated by the PM when replying to questions from members of the house of peoples' representatives. For any genuine observer, it cannot be lost to appreciate the depth of the reform when the PM went on to say that it could go as far as changing some articles of the constitution, if necessary. Is there going to be any deeper renewal than this? For those in the hate camp what is important is not the depth of the reform but change of the system. If ambition blinds one, reality is of no consequence. The federal democratic system in Ethiopia is anchored on solid foundation, foundation that cannot be fractured by those who are out of this world. The legitimate demand of the people is not change of the system. Please listen the public, if your ears are open to listen. They have no quarrel with very federal system they fought for and willingly embraced.
Since the other camp's motto is damn if do and damn if you do not, one does not have waste time in engaging them. Government should just forge ahead with its renewal and reform programs.
No amount of lies will alter the truth. The grassroots engagement should be intensified and the new team should not waste any time to take the renewal forward. Accountability is key and government should put a clear procedure and system of accountability. As the PM put it rightly, the issue of good governance must not be seen as rocket science. It simply requires a committed, honest, dedicated and determined leader and civil service. Any leader from now on ward should ensure that his or her ministry is free from the vices of corruption, inefficiency and discriminatory, unfair and unjust service delivery. The parliament and the PM office should also make sure that all the legitimate public grievances are addressed in time and effectively. The public also has a duty to challenge those in government service that officials are paid by the tax payers and that they are there to serve them. The public should desist from buying free government service with money. Each and all must unit and fight for their rights. If united, we can help government win the war against corruption and rent seeking.