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Does Abiy have the gut for genuine change? Or is he saving his party?

Does Abiy have the gut for genuine change? Or is he saving his party?

Examining his public engagement.


(Serbessa K. ) May 14th,  2019.


The current Ethiopian prime minster Abiy Ahmed was a child soldier, intelligence officer and political operatives with in the TPLF led EPRDF regime. He is "considered" the most educated of Ethiopian leaders to assume Premiership position (Phd holder) in the last 40 years. He has a number of qualifications from less known educational institutions and it is hoped that his academic credentials are not questionable. Abiy is good orator and easily capture attention. He knows his audience well and speaks sweet words and behave (act) in manner no former leader behaved towards the audience.

Abiy came to national prominence in 2015 when he was appointed as minster for Science and Technology in Hailemariam cabinet where he served for a year. His name also came to get mentioned in 2016 and 2017 while working as deputy for Lemma Megerssa, the then Oromia region president. "Team Lemma" was/is the well known acronym for those who confronted TPLF with in EPRDF meetings. Abiy was one of the leaders with in “Team lemma".

In 2016-2018, the "Team Lemma" worked covertly in synergy with Oromo activists, politicians and professionals in Diaspora who convened secret meeting and came up with detailed strategies and plan how to achieve Oromo dominance in Ethiopia after TPLF led EPRDF regime is gone; and if that fails, how to secure an independent new country called "Oromia".

Following the resignation of PM Hailmariam Desalgne, Lemma handed over the OPDO chairmanship to Abiy.  Lemma was not able to run for premiership position as he was not member of Federal Parliament, but Abiy was. Abiy won the leadership in EPRDF following tactical vote by then OPDO and ANDM executive members which outsmarted TPLF. He assumed the Premiership with in few days.

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Compared to his colleagues, Abiy has gained undeserving applause and clap from Ethiopians and foreigners beyond his contribution or initiative towards the “reform” we see in Ethiopia. As the majority of Ethiopians were in desperate oppressive systems, any one who is in the front seat or announcer gets the attention for the “relief” measure the regime taken in terms of releasing prisoners, inviting political parties, making peace with Eritrea etc. All these measures were not  Abiy’s bold personal initiatives  but these were agreed and decided  by the executive members of EPRDF party he chairs. The EPRDF and Abiy didn’t want to bring these changes by themselves but the peaceful struggle of Ethiopians and especially the youth forced them to do so. It is survival means for the regime, a coping means! They have reached to stage the regime was to be flooded and be out of action by the popular uprising all over the country. The regime metamorphosis and reform itself to survive with those relief solutions. That is what happening in Ethiopia. It neither genuine nor radical change that the people aspired to achieve by dismantling the divide and rule of TPLF/EPRDF once and for all.

Had it not been for the relief measure the regime took, by these time TPLF/EPRDF would have been history and wouldn’t exist as the flood was to take them towards the hell. Once again vicious political circus presenting it self with sweet talk and do nothing approach.

Abiy took the lion share of the applause and credit though the real change agents are the Ethiopian youth. As we have noted, the public euphoria didn’t last long. What he preaches and what is the reality on the ground is different. Most of us trusted, believed what he preached and gave him support. He failed to use the public support he received in the early days of his regime for good and new Ethiopia. He failed to implement reconciliation, justice, forgiveness, people to people and political party’s dialogue for better Ethiopia. The true picture of PM Abiy and his regime is now visible. Under his watch, 4 millions of Ethiopians are displaced, thousands are killed and billions of property destroyed. Under his watch ethnic hate agenda and propaganda dominated Ethiopia; He rules the country in coordination with these agents.  Citizenship based political atmosphere is dissipated

The displacement and ethnic clash was never seen to this extent in modern Ethiopia even in 27 years of TPLF/EPRDF brutal regime.  Abiy and his friends facilitated and gave green light for armed OLF to reign in Ethiopia, cause terror and mayhem while disarming other oppositions. He didn't utter a single word naming OLF as culprit; instead he attributes all sins on TPLF.  Abiy changed the state structure for his sake and adulation instead of real, genuine and functioning organs.

People who observed Abiy Ahmed’s behaviour objectively in the last one year noted his two way of approach towards his audience. The sweet polite and street smart approach.

Abiy uses his street smart (ብልጣ ብልጥነት- አጉል አራዳናት) approach when he is confronted by potential opponents to make them his friend or induce fear among them. His silly jokes, too friendly approach, appeasement, sweet talk, disrespect, division   are some of his mischievous tools.   If you noted when he travelled to North America, he made Tamagne Beyne surrender to him by saying ( "Tamagne  didn't pick his phone when I call him", ስልክ ብደውል አልነሳ አለኝኮራብኝ፤ ጎንደሬ ስለሆነ ነው); he joked on Abebe Gelaw’s weight to look too friendly; he single handily selected Sisiay Agena as best journalist in ESAT  to divide the journalists. He outsmarted and bemused prolific writer Professor Al Marim that PM came to Los Angles mainly to see Al Mariam.  These people who are known in their Anti-EPRDF struggle easily surrendered to him.

When confronted by much smarter people like Eskinder Nega, he started to lose his temper, threatens war terror.  He has done similar things against the Ethiopian Medical doctors who politely confronted him morally, intellectually and professionally. As street smart, he used his approach of belittling, disrespecting and dividing them to induce fear and dissipate their non ethnic based peaceful humanitarian quest.

Unless confronted and forced towards good direction, Abiy could led the country potentially to painful disasters. He is developing benevolent narcissistic and megalomaniac traits as the days pass. He might lose his insight and send us to the usual or more dangerous era or abyss. We need to tell him the truth, confront him and treat his losing insight while standing for more human Ethiopia.

It is too trusting and foolishness to expect radical change from EPRDF; it is like expecting a bird chick from Serpent's egg. Either EPRDF should committee suicide or get diluted by other political parties in meaningful way to result in lasting change that would offer opportunity for new political transition towards inclusive democratic beginning.

Do we have any other alternatives? Will the country get to civil war if Abiy resigns?  Will the military fulfil its responsibility to save the country from disintegration? Abiy and EPRDF should be forced by peaceful civil uprising and demonstration to form genuine transitional government which comprise all stake holders with mandate to stabilise the country, organise genuine reconciliation, justice and forgiveness and dialogue among Ethiopian people and political organisation. All stake holders’ transitional government can be tasked for genuine radical changes like changing the Constitution of TPLF/EPRDF tear the TPLF made up ethnic politics and pseudo federal system and transit to democratic governance and society where citizens and group right are fully respected.

It is going to be up to the people, specially the youth and all stake holders to define our future. Otherwise it is gone be another uphill and suffering for indefinite time.   It is an extreme negligence to leave the fate of our country in one man or his cliques.

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