When an era passes and replaced by another the tyrannized awaits with hope and eagerness that it might bring with it something new. If there were no stagnation to expect that would be proper. The end of July has come to be known for a long time as a period when Oromo Diaspora migrates for Jila or pilgrimage. All have agenda to deliberate on in separate groups. But they did not in the spirit of Oromummaa create a platform where they could unify what they have whispered separately. There are also individuals who do not belong to any group but come to visit relatives, find a partner and to hear what is to be told. The question of this article is directed to those who came in groups. All come calling the name of that great people the Oromo. But at the end each go back putting its resolution in own bag without creating a forum where all groups could all coordinate their findings. What about this year?
They were OLF and OSA that used to play the pivotal role in the history of this Jila. That means political and study ventures. With time passing OLF could not maintain its unity. After several schisms recently organizations claiming the same name appeared on the stage. It did not stop there; despite the existence of thousands of Oromo elders one of them dragged the other to alien court. The conflict that started in the political organization soon crossed to the study association as well. An open conflict happened. But the association neither referred it to Oromoo elders for arbitration as tradition demands nor did it take appropriate measure to save the situation. As a result shunning each other and lose of trust kept on advancing. Ignoring problems raised by some seniors and not giving timely decision has led to problems talked about at present.
Since then all meetings and guests invited to address started to be looked up on with suspicion. Questions what did they contribute to Oromo cause and what is their opinion about the Ethiopian empire started to be raised. Coincidentally some of them who not only got a platform but also got praise were buddies of the Habashaa and never staid neutral to independence of Oromiyaa. Under the circumstance left and right should have been balanced. Instead of assessing the criticism and giving explanation to members it is preferred to continue on the beaten road. Basic principle was attacked unless treated it cannot heal easily. OSA is very important to the nation. Working together of our scholars will save us time, money and energy. Now the overall situation is confusing. The problem is within Oromo movement. The external invaded only after an opening is made from inside.
Those who are said to meet in groups include political organizations, civic organizations, religious organizations, youth associations and likewise soccer clubs. All come forming its assembly in its own way. This time their numbers are growing. The pivotal position of OLF and OSA mentioned above is becoming history. In most cases there are no new created but old ones split into functions but for ULFO. The problems they have internally and between them are stunting the growth of ULFO. When the first split occurred those attending the Jila did not question why it so happened. None were worried until it happened to them. Whether we like it or not we are one body what infect a part will contaminate the whole.
To scatter seeds is simple. Had it been told to collect back it would take considerable time and energy. That is why those who broadcast seeds carefully select ahead of time and get ready good seeds. It is not to regret later. Leaving the cause that created the first schism without rectification is starting to relapse into all past pains. Unless it is attained fast it is not going to stop. The split could even go down up to seniors and juniors in a family. Keeping quite so much we have remained without identifying our illness. The enemy is pushing us so that we get ashamed of the name Oromo itself and never meet again under it. Before we are disabled to call this name and come for meetings there is no alternative to earnest struggle. This year each group could help at least by putting the difficult situation in Oromoo movement as an item of its agenda.
Many people are going to meet these days. Each will pass resolutions from its own corner. Come it in whatever direction with what ever thought this Jila belongs to the Oromo. What ever concerns it concerns its entire people. It is only when those that move with this name and one kaayyoo exchange information that they realize the evil that is creeping into one. We have seen how error in one affects the other. For this reason why not all of them or their representatives come together in their traditional way and ask for Waaqaa and mother earth to bestow mercy upon them? Why don’t they bring all problems to the open and assess together? If they have included in their agenda why don’t they come with their suggestions? Our problem is within us. We cannot blame any one for it. Absolution comes by cleansing oneself. Even if much cannot be accomplished at least one will have something to tell others.
Be it blessing, mercy or curse we make at the Jila place are made being conscious of our Oromummaa, so concerns every body. The infected parts have to be treated before they contaminate the whole. For this reason responsible citizens must rethink about it. A life of peace and equality free of fear and threat can be attained only under free Oromiyaa. It is essential that people understand each other as human being. It is not only lip service but if we have to sincerely believe that Oromummaa is something that binds us, make us love each other and prompt us to die for each other. Otherwise we have nothing to talk in common. We have to agree on what we wish for our country without reservation. Let alone with compatriots we have nothing to discuss with aliens who do not believe in our right to national self determination. Together, with one voice, we have to tell the world unequivocally what we want and our commitment and determination to achieve it. Otherwise we are being considered as someone who does not know what one wants.
Oromummaa is greater than each Oromo. One who is guided with selfish needs would reach no where. It would be perishing together. We shall establish independent Oromiya with Oromummaa. For this reason, before asking what is in for oneself it is better to know that every thing can come after establishing her. If there is an Oromo who has a mission to destroy Oromo unity he has to know that he is destroying himself in life and in death. It is said bite turning to the alien and swallow turning to your relatives. For the alien all living Oromoo is a potential enemy. If not for the time being, it will not be considerate for any one. If not to defame oneself, being a quisling had never benefited any body. To reassess ones stand demands courage. There are among our own those who seeing our weakness deserted us for the seeming advantage the enemy gives. Some know the evil it perpetrates on their people.
Others never saw the abyss beyond but only calculated the benefit. For this reason we have to define together the minimum standard for relations we should have with the colonizer or all other powers. This will help us not to hide behind ignorance. We might have grafted ourselves to strong trees away from our habitat but this cannot save our posterity from being looked upon as parasites. Above all spiritual satisfaction cannot be achieved when original roots are in danger.
As individuals it is not hard to run errand to wherever required for a morsel. But to live as a member of a nation with pride demands sacrifice. This message is directed to those who can dare with no doubt say clearly any where in public I am not Habashaa, I am an Oromo. It is said, “A timid gets impregnated by her brother”. One like her is an obstacle to Oromummaa. This message is also sent with the conviction that all who are gathering in the name of Oromo are those who want independent and free Oromiyaa to be realized. It is assuming that they believe the right to national self determination is an inalienable human right.
If change can not be made in this year’s Jila at least counseling can begin. Otherwise to observe silently when dispersal is aimed at Oromo we shall be answerable before Waaqaa and the coming generation. Hence it is essential to device means that could help the Oromo unite its concerns and see beyond its outlook that is being pushed to narrow down. This could happen only if we show commitment and determination based on good faith for our cause. If our energy and thought are geared towards one goal the time it takes to meet and deliberate in our own country will not be far off. For now to wrap up this year’s Jila with better awareness of the common concern could pave the way for the future. For this reason it should not be concluded only by getting together in ones corners and murmuring to each other, as if nothing were happening around them. So far it has passed with silence, what about now? Will Jila participants in one voice raise hue and cry? No one can stop them if they have the will. Those who are not participating are waiting with raised ears. Blessed are those who take the initiative for the good cause.
To get rid of obstacles of Oromo Movement is the duty of all Oromoo
Long live independent and free Oromiya!
Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our forefathers!
Ibsaa Guutama is a member of the generation that drew the first Political program of the OLF.