(By Dr Tsegaye Ararssa)
I believe that OPDO's rhetoric of 'economic revolution' is nothing more than a strategy of distraction and of hijacking the political tremors brought about by Oromoprotests, which later became OromoRevolution.
Having lived through what we lived through, there is hardly a reason for us to expect OPDO to deliver on its promises. It has neither the will nor the capacity (and necessary autonomy) to do so. These deficiencies are constitutional; they are deliberately made to be incapable.
But even assuming that they have changed and that they are truly committed to implement what they say they will, are we going to be impressed? Absolutely not. After all, that is what they are always expected to do as a government. Were we expecting anything less from a group that claims to have won 100%of the votes, a party that has been in government for the last 26 years, a party that claimed to be the only genuine representative of the Oromo people?
If they have the best at heart for the Oromo, if they are in deed an Oromo Party, how come they discovered this "economic revolution" only after the entire Oromo public rejected them through a protest that lasted for over two years?
What were they thinking when they issued an urban development law that entrenches the master plan in late 2015? What were they thinking when they were leading the way to have thousands killed by the Agazi? Weren't they the ones who went house-to-house to arrest and incarcerate over 50, 000 Oromos in the last one year and a half alone?
If they are an Oromo party, how come they said it is not in the interest of the Oromo people to make Afaan Oromo the working language of Ethiopia? If they are an Oromo party, how come they insisted publicly, on record, in the midst of two political campaign debates (in 2010 and 2015), that making Afaan Oromo a federal working language is "harmful" to other peoples in Ethiopia, that it will be "an imposition" on others, that "the language is not developed enough," that "we should first teach the language to the other peoples of Ethiopia"? (Just whose rights and interests are they working to protect?)
If they are an Oromo party, why did they lie about the invasion by the Special Police of Abdi Illey? Why did they say Abdi Illey's invasion of Oromia is not a governmental act? (Just whose interest do they stand to advance?)
I understand that when their TPLF masters are in their own death throes, they press the PDOs hard to save themselves from the direct heat of the popular anger. The TPLF uses them as a shock absorber, a cushion. I understand that the OPDOs need a last chance to hang on to life. The so called "economic revolution" may be part of their quest for a life line. But why would they want us to give them a life line?
After all, it is the OPDO that put the Oromo people in the predicament they find themselves in today. The OPDO caused the problem. The OPDO IS the problem.
I refuse to be impressed by their "economic revolution" even if they make it happen. Because that is their job. That is their responsibility.
The demands of the #Oromoprotests are demands for social justice:
- 1. Demands for genuine political representation and voice;
- 2. Demands for recognition of identity and human dignity thereof;
- 3. Demands for equitable economic opportunities and (shared)sovereignty over their natural resources.
- 4. Demands for a free political self-expression as is appropriate in a free and open, democratic society where everyone expresses and actualizes her/his aspirations without fear and state terror.
Anything less, or anything else, is a distraction.