May 28, 1991 and the Speech which the Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed should have given
By Teodros Kiros ( Ph.D)
Tigrai Online, May 30, 2019
By any historical standards, May 28, 1991 was one of the greatest African revolutions. It was the day of light, after years of gloom and doom, terror, and pestilence, and perpetual hopelessness.
May 28, 1991 was a symbol of perpetual peace.
It was the day in which gallant Ethiopians led by TPLF in collaboration with progressive Ethiopians put an end to the tremors of barbarity perfected by the seemingly invincible machinery of the Derg. The invincibility of the Derg was crushed by the visibility of the heroic TPLF. The defeated remnants of the Derg have neither forgotten nor forgiven, as they are seeking a comeback.
The dark forces of tyranny were powerfully dismantled by the revolutionary activities of the people in concert, who said no to tyranny and yes to freedom, hope and prosperity.
All revolutions are propelled by hope. Their leaders make promises, dream possibilities, and give long lists of what would be done. These are ideals and ideas, which are not the same. The revolutionaries of 1991 were once promising student idealists, of which Mr. Meles Zenawi, our Prime Minister, was one. He and many of his compatriots promised, dreamt and gallantly fought to convert ideals into ideas, and chose the idea of revolutionary democracy for the Ethiopian people. This was a democracy meant to end class oppression, ethnic marginalization, and gender inequalities. They promised to go beyond the radical beginnings of the Derg, which also promised, equality and freedom, and popularized the program of land to the tiller. The EPRDF formed a coalition of the mosaic of Ethnicities and forged an original model of Ethiopianity as an orchestra of ethnicities. This original model of revolutionary democracy was welcomed by the Ethiopian people and a series of projects led by the Developmental State were heralded and nursed by inexperienced planners, developers and bureaucrats who tried to covert ideals into ideas, and in the process did much good and bad, but the good outweighed the bad.
The defeated dark forces of the Derg, however, have not forgotten. They are coming back in full force to revenge against Tegarus in particular. We progressive Ethiopians must resist these dark forces collectively, or else, Tegarus have no choice but to start A Third Woyanne.
The Prime Minister is wrong to speak about wounds, instead he could have addressed the good and the bad, objectively and fairly. After all, it is the EPRDF, which put him at the helm of power, to be its judicious voice and intelligent critic.
Sadly, his recent speech was deficient in both. He could have said that May 28th, like Adwa before it, is a symbol of triumph, verve and military genius which effectively combatted the children of darkness and gave us an Ethiopia with impressive infrastructure and cultural dignity to the previously marginalized Ethiopians by freeing them from internally generated forces of oppression.
May 28th, 1991, belongs to us Ethiopians. It is our duty to embrace the good and work on the bad. May 28th, is indeed a perpetual project of perfection, and not the day in which we compare wounds, but we embrace Ethiopian modernity as the work of the political imagination in concert with a moral compass.