By Samuel Estefanous 05-07-18
A few days ago I found myself in a unique position of fielding ‘weird’ questions relative to the intriguing state of my “attitude” vis a vis the incumbent. You know why? Looks like I don’t speak EPRDF amarigna the right manner, at the right time and at the right place. I was like-you gotta be kidding me, are you still bottled up in that infamous loop?
The fact of the matter was- one more time- I felt like one of these army of unfortunate compatriots who had become persona none gratia in their own country.I am talking about the down trodden class of the constant lodgers. They don’t have a home to go to and they don’t have a country to call their own.
The good thing was it didn’t last long. I was given unlimited time to speak my mind to the delight of all present. Here is the icing on the cake-I was offered a sincere apology by no less person age than the Honorable ‘abo wonber’ of the meeting himself.
You see, after all the deep sea retreat to get ultimate cure from the fatalistic sense of alienation that has estranged EPRDF from the larger public, it looks like it is still having difficult time to weasel out of this assumption that if you aren’t with EPRDF you are against it.
Still it runs a parallel government. One is the de jure government hierarchy where folks like me are uncomfortably wedged being ever on tenterhooks liable to be accused of anything-not excepting treason- at the will and whim of any wily bored EPRDFite; and there is the party apparatchik where EPRDFites freely break and fix; fix and break; break and fix as they see it fit and with total impunity.
Again I must note there are rational voices among them. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened my copy of the Reporter Amharigna and read a major ‘Breaking News’ of all time-a draft bill is proposed by the FDRE Council of Ministers to keep the government structure free of the ‘party apparatchik’ .
Hallelujah-Hope prevailed one more time.
1-Revolutionary Democracy-an article of faith?
Recently, Aigaforum published a very interesting, disturbing and meticulously composed article in amarigna .አብዮታዊ ዴሞክራሲ እየተሸረሸረ ነው አብዮታዊ ዴሞክራሲን ማዳን ማለት ኢትዮጵያን ማዳን ማለት ነው-reads the title...
The writer of the article shows little, nah, zero tolerance towards anybody-who has the nerve and audacity to question Revolutionary Democracy. He is asking us to trust EPRDF with no question asked, with ears securely stuffed and eyes tightly shut. In plain words he told us-it is either EPRDF’s way or the highway.
It borders on the fanaticism side considering the fact that he is actually demanding leaders of the member parties of the Front to be paraded before the 8million strong ‘SERAWIT’ for an epic inquisition Spanish style for betraying the creed. Even middle age era Jesuits didn’t go to such length arguing the causes and truth of their faith the way he did about Revolutionary Democracy.
Under the banner of the creed, he’d declared, there is no way the Premier is offering the olive branch to the opposition, there is no way he is holding a warm dialogue with people who don’t sound like they are ‘comrades’, there is no way the Executive Council of EPRDF is entertaining non-conforming opinions, there is no way a member of the House of Peoples Representatives is opposing any motion tabled for discussion. You see, uncharacteristically the Executive Council of EPRDF had elected its leader with a majority vote not unanimously as usual, and remember the majority members of OPDO had objected the bill declaring state of emergency etc…these are the presumed existential threat to the Front, according to the writer.
At the most, he had explained, the margin of non-conformity should be 3% and even that has to be ‘reasonably explained’ as a technical error.
I strongly recommend every Ethiopian to read the article to understand EPRDF. It isn’t a hard nut to crack. It is lucid, consistent, simple and true to form. My compliments, Sir, I have always understood multi-party democracy has zero space to share with Revolutionary Democracy.
2-Blazing a fresh trail-well-done Dr.Abiy.
What makes a leader charismatic, iconic and a virtual paterfamilias? Anything but ideological finesse!That is where EPRDF breaks ranks with the people. Its ideological groundwork is cementedby an amalgam of Maoist Cultural Revolution, Albania’s hitherto famously reclusive socialism and North Korea’s unrealistic Juche-self-reliance-philosophy. The Individual person is just a number in the vortex of the Great Cause, according to the author of the previously mentioned article. An individual isn’t allowed to harbor an idea independently of the Party. That is almost seditious. My God, did I enjoy reading that article by Hidase! It felt like finally a scale has fallen off my eyes. In simple terms it is-an Orwellian Dictatorship-hadn’t the Constitution grossly imported the ideals of UDHR and clumsily grafted it on the Charter of the Front.
Now who in God’s good name faintly understands the meaning let alone reasonably relate himself to the ideals of Revolutionary Democracy? I mean EPRDF scholars themselves are at odds as to the real meaning of the philosophy questioning even the views of veteran ideologist like AboySebhat.
Does EPRDF expect us to go to College, study its ideology, earn a Ph. D. and become its genuine supporters or members? It actually tries to, you know, at BirrSheloko, Civil Service College, MZ Memorial, and the Front’s academy.
Dr.Abiy seems to have realized what Ethiopians want and best understand-the parching thirst (craving, in the words of Lemma) to securely belong to a common country! This is a simple, true, uncomplicated, natural interest of all people and they don’t need to go to College to understand the meaning and purpose of such an ideology.
That was all it takes to win the heart and minds of such ‘fanatical bigots’ like Prof Mesfin! You see, at close range may be the old sage isn’t a bigoted fanatic after all. May be, just maybe he is a warm spirited affectionate grandpa if we are generous and warm spirited enough to hear him out.
If you ask me-the fact that Dr.Abiy has won the support of the old Prof. is one of his stellar achievements.He won; if he did EPRDF won, too. But the said author found that in very bad taste. He kinda impressed us that Revolutionary Democracy doesn’t give free recognition to folks like professor Mesfin. Dr.Abiy is saying on the contrary!
Do you know the ‘acceptance speeches’ of most winning candidate in Western Democracies are addressed to those sections of the society who had voted against the winner? That is human excellence…try to serve best those whom you haven’t impressed or served least before. Don’t antagonize them. Don’t deny their ‘positive existence’.
Most important of all, when a young firebrand blazes a fresh trail let us help him DELIVER!
3-Rereading Bereket Simon
I have got this penchant to read ‘deep’ in to the making of an EPRDFite from a private citizen to a political missionary. In this regard Bereket Simon is one of the most unapologetic never say die core member. He is indeed EPRDF’s Rock of Gibraltar. His favorite catch phrase is “We EPRDFites…” In his book the Tale of Two Elections he talks about how the Front had tried to ‘audit’ itself after its phenomenal loss in the 2005 general election.
You aren’t gonna believe some of the ‘audit findings’-here is a sample. According to him, the reason some country folks spurned the Front was-it wouldn’t just let them be…making them work hard, making them earn better and making them live good when all ‘yehageregebere’ trying to do was have fun 24/7. And I was like either the cadre’s had duped the Front big time or country folks never tell EPRDF a wee bit of their true feelings. I was hoping the ‘audit finding’ would come up with something like-folks got unbreakable bond with their country that significantly belittles their ethnicity.
I believe in relative terms ‘Team Lemma’ had genuinely tried to audit EPRDF and had come up with the right finding quite unlike what AtoBereket Simon had told us in connection with the last major shakeup of the Front.
4-EPRDF-A Titanic Force to Reckon with
Though he had auditedEPRDF in a very unconvincing fashion, I think Ato Bereket had done a remarkably good job of auditing Kenejit. The one thing that stood towering above all is-kenejit’s amateurish and almost childish undermining of EPRDF.
Fellas, EPRDF is a force to reckon with and any opportunistic road map that tries to blindside it is gonna fail colossally‘cos it has got the will and capacity to recover fast. That is why we are pinning our hopes on Dr.Aby. Change EPRDF from within with near zero sacrifice.
5-Believing in Change
Change is inevitable. EPRDF cannot stand being the exception.