The Oromo have come so far enduring abuses and conspiracies by occupiers and allies to erase from their minds Oromummaa, divide them physically and mentally and make them lifeless zombies of some far-off archeological nation in a fairy tale. But Oromo politico social system was stronger than occupiers could deal with and so survived all the ordeals and fought back as one strong force they have to reckon with. But every era they do not stop trying to denigrate Oromummaa. And every era rejuvenated Oromo force faces them. Oromo freedom fighters have Kaayyoo or objective they have to fulfil. The goal is to realize the right of nations to national self-determination up to and including independence. For true freedom fighters there is no compromise on the Kaayyoo but on how to reach there, the tactics. They have drawn a road map towards that end. This road map requires cooperation of all nations, nationalities and peoples to be of use. To those that say Oromummaa is degrading this big nation to village level, Oromo freedom fighters have said not village level but even better to reduce it to house level rather than taking alien identity.
It is trying compromising on the Kaayyoo by some whom their guts have betrayed them that is delaying the inevitable victory. It is more challenging when the protagonist leading enemy camp is an Oromo. It is easier for him to hide his true intention and appeal to national weaknesses which the alien cannot discover easily. That is how many nationals have entered into trap set by aliens. Even the Grand Goobana was not able to extinguish the fire of freedom from Oromo heart but his treacherous act boomeranged and destroyed him. Oromo must beware of spells cast by dabtaraas to magnify only the minute good side of the bad. Let those in power friends or foes understand that no group or individual can decide for the peoples Oromo included, except the peoples themselves. The best a transitional government could do is facilitate for them to practice that right. Transitional government is not expected to act like permanent unless with intention of betraying one’s mission.
With struggle of more than a hundred years heirs of the occupation force have first accepted that Ethiopia is composed of nations, nationalities and peoples giving up the theory of one people, one culture, one language. It took seventeen years to accept a federal system and draw a constitution Proclamation No 1/1995. The task remaining is implementing it, which was delayed by betrayal of TPLF/EPRDF cadres. Some simpletons seem to forget the process and sacrifices it took to reach here. There are reactionary forces that want to revoke this gain of the oppressed and take them back to out of date Nafxanyaa colonial system. But they are not stronger than their predecessors to reverse the fast-moving wheel of history; the peoples have defeated even those. However, that they can extend suffering of the people should not be overlooked. Freedom fighters accept no less than rights enumerated in the constitution and will continue their fight until they are implemented. The name calling and humiliating campaigns against the Oromo by some Amharic speakers on social media and others is disturbing and despicable to ears of any decent human beings.
There are also occasions when weapon stockpiles were exposed, it seems in preparation for the comeback. They forgot that guns were able to force oppressors to come to negotiation tables not stopping liberation of the oppressed. With guns or without guns the oppressed have shown their determination to bring peace as well as stand against any power that tries to violet their rights. The Oromo say, “Qaban qabaa hin guuttuu gaddhiisan bakkee guuttii” (If you grasp them, they don’t fill one’s grip, if you release them, they are all over the field). When Oromo go distances for peace and reconciliation taking it for cowardice would be a great mistake. The arms they put down after fifty years could be picked up at any time if the threat on their nationhood arises. Making empty noises and name callings cannot stop that.
Nature has made people in the region neighbors, position nobody can alter. It has also given them different cultures, traditions and languages. Instead of going against nature, it would be better if they try to make the best out of it for mutual benefit. The new relations envisaged by the constitution maintains this natural balance. For those that crossed boundary and tried to control neighbors pulling back might create inconvenience politically, economically and socially. Good neighbors always help each other in rehabilitation and ameliorate the inconveniences. It only requires equality, the willingness to form new relations, mutual understanding of each other’s interest based on democratic principles. But trying to maintain the status quo ante would only extend suffering of all parties. History, culture and heroes of Ethiopia are not Oromo’s. Therefore, when talking of common heritage better to talk about geography, climate natural environment and history of the black race and the world; not to offend others. Swallowing this truth will create understand among all.
Whatever have so far gone between the oppressed and the used to be oppressors, if not possible to forget must be forgiven. There are significant numbers of descendants of Nafxanyaa warriors and those migrated with them engaged in different trades in the old colonies. To solve any problem peculiar to them there are several precedents to be emulated in the world. Those remnants of the past are targets for Nafxanyaa system hopeful who do not want them integrate with natives but take them as enemies, to use them in own struggle to comeback. The choice is theirs, to join the society they were born, brought up and benefited from or fight for a country most of them have never seen. old Ethiopia is not coming back; they have to join in building a new democratic union in which equality of all peoples, freedom and justice is practiced.
Oromo youths have said “Oromiyaa belong to the Oromo”. That means life, resources and land will be governed according to Oromiyaa law. In the same way Habashaa youth should be able to say Abyssinia belongs to the Habashaa and so every other nations and nationalities also claim their belongings. Good to remember the saying, “Trying to get what is up on the raft, she dropped what was in armpit”. Then only can they unite in confederation, federation or live as good neighbors. Then only can they develop their region and defend the rights of black people together. Together they form the federal government and bestow on it the power they want. They do not stay as sovereign states because federal government willed. Understanding this is believing in superiority of the peoples. Raising arms or diatribe against fellow Africans will only give advantage for third parties’
infiltration. For all purposes, it is essential to force whoever is concerned to implement the constitution.
Peoples in the empire had never been given the opportunity to decide for themselves but the crooks of society had been taking advantage of them. Those were the ones praised as being brave, uniting, patriotic, fathers of the poor, God sent etc. That period must now be over. Individual and nations have gained higher level of political consciousness. Sovereignty of the people has to be established and only those they elect run state affairs. Whoever may be praised should be for services they offer and deeds they perform in the name of the people. Peoples have no problem in overcoming their differences but for the crooks among them. The solution is getting out imposters from in between, and discuss people to people directly or through genuine representatives on how to implement the constitution. Otherwise it will be putting the region at mercy of powermongers that distort history to satisfy their greed for power.
Dirty politics is safuu (unethical) in Oromo political practice. When used by the enemy against them it rather invigorates them to push their struggle to the finish faster rather than wasting time by responding in kind. Calling names against a people is hooliganism by any standard. In modern times governments come to power by election of some sort. Even the dictatorial EPRDF government came to power through fraudulent election, where one party won 100% of the votes. Such governments use election as demonstration of legitimacy to third parties. They have constitution as center piece for decorative purposes not as part of the real menu. The present government of Ethiopia is a remnant of that fraudulent election and not responsible to the people by making. In its initial phase it was responsible to TPLF. Now it is a collection of Frankenstein monsters that spare not even their maker.
An Oromo force for the first time entered a covenant with Habashaa force in 1991 July, which led to the present constitution. In this constitution, sovereignty of nations, nationalities and peoples are recognized. When the PM said rule of law will be respected and “We will imprison after investigation, not investigate after imprisoning” it won him an accolade and all believed he could deliver what he said. He was taken as center of power and his word inviolable by him or his subordinates. But arbitrariness is becoming mark of his government. For example, just this week we heard report that there were police harassment beatings, arsenal and evictions in northern Shawaa, Eastern Harargee, Gindhir, Naqamte and Buunnoo in the same period without any court authority. Photographs also came out of overcrowded Jaatoo Prison in Naqamtee. Is it some sort of anarchy or disparate move of his PP? Is it facilitating for COVID 19 to take care of the best of body and mind of Oromo? If not those with evil mind no one should interfere in people’s life when Corona is knocking at every door.
For long time Oromo land is being invaded in Karrayyuu, Walloo, Finfinnee and other parts. We hear only people fending off the enemy while their state government remained neutral. That obviously raises the question whose government it is? Oromo’s or Oromo adversaries’? No one can
convince the Oromo that the present government is not alien or alien tradition influenced. It is believed that the constitution is supreme law of the land. But it is observed that power is used by government against the people not vis versa. A simple example is the Sidaamaa referendum. The absolute majority “yes” vote of the people is not yet implemented. There is not constitutional provision that allows any body to hold it. This government like its predecessors of distant past thinks it is above the law. This concurs with beliefs of Nafxanyaa system hopefuls which takes only central government is sovereign. And the sovereign is above every thing on earth.
Thus, Oromiyaa seems under covert rule of forces they had overthrown long ago that people are intentionally left without protection. That indicates absence of legitimate government and center of political power in the empire to be referred to. The law is there not only to protect citizens against citizens but also government against people. The Oromo practiced it way before the Magna Carta. Now alien government is using unlawful excessive power and daily harassing the people. Therefore, there is no reason to expect people to pay taxes and have allegiance to the government. It is just like an outlaw imposing its will by power of the gun. It was the same situation more than three hundred years ago that forced the American colonies to use the slogan “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” as a battle cry. All the ingredients of rebellion for Magna Carta and the American revolution exists in empire but for Oromo temperament. When the moment is up and it explodes no one can be able to control the result.
It is regrettable to see an old democracy, Oromiyaa regressing to such situation in the 21st century. It is also regrettable that there are those Oromo that endure the humiliation from purposely manipulated disinformation or incurable defect and stay loyal to oppressors when their people are suffering for demanding their legitimate rights. This suffering has come being mitigated by struggle of gallant sons and daughters and prayer to Waaq by believers. Oromo struggle is not only against the occupying enemy but also collaborators that are helping the enemy to sustain its power over the Oromo people. Goobana Daaccee has served them as a model like the Norwegian renowned Vidkun Quisling became a word to express world collaborators.
Ten decades ago, my father named his two dogs Tajjabaa and Koondhabu (Mark my words and I will not lose mine), implying he will get back what was rightfully his. Today Oromo don’t need inuendo to say that; they have made it an open slogan, “Oromiyaa belongs to Oromo!”. The problem of Ethiopian empire can get solution only if Habashaa people and those that were their colonies have similar understanding on how the empire was formed. It would be enough to remember that a hundred years ago there were republics like Sidaamaa, Oromo etc. and kingdoms like Wala’ita, Habashaa, Kaficho etc. Those were independent peoples with own history, culture, political and economic systems and tradition. If that is accepted by all, time will not be wasted on unproductive bickering but directly go to discuss on what should be done to narrow their differences. Those that think they are smarter than past politicians and theoreticians and try to ruin what were achieved so far towards answering peoples’ fundamental questions should know they have no competence even
to understand them. They need to be told to stay in their line before they are humiliated and despised. Those that breached people’s trust need to reexamine their conscience.
It seems no nation or nationalities previously colonized have claim against each other. But the Habashaa in particular, the Amaaraa claim all lands of the colonies belonged to the empire from time immemorial and they are the only legitimate political power at the center. Because the first Nafxanyaa brainwashed their children with that, big and small, learned and not learned are unable to accept otherwise. That is self-deceit. Even if that had been true, it is universally accepted that all peoples have the right to national self-determination. For Oromo, according to Gadaa principle all peoples are equal though could be different in wealth, color and creed; anyone who creates inequality is a transgressing criminal. They do not believe in what the English philosopher Hobbes says, “Homo homini lupus” (Man is wolf for man). For this reason, they should not give up on Amharic speaking Nafxanyaa system hopefuls but wish they would at a point realize that they are remaining on wrong side of history.
Tumult cannot stop the wheel of history, but trying to stop it could cause great devastation. Therefore, it is good for all to stop making noises and start to listen to each other. Though it may take time every one will get back whatever is rightfully ones by hook or crook. Therefore, it will be beneficial to give up what belongs to others and get back to take care of what belongs to one and start discussing on what they should do to help each other? If each manage matters in own boundary, respect each other’s sovereignty and interest, as members of democratically federated union or good neighbors, together they can have unfathomable labor market, never depleting source of food, indomitable common defense force and can leave behind peace, stability and happiness for their posterity.
As starting point all have the Ethiopian constitution. No one will give up what belongs to oneself as before however the other wishes. While colliding with each other from ignorance and narrow mindedness, African siblings could lose all they have to foreigners helped by sly collaborators. If they had realized their worth from COVID 19 threat, they will not exchange respecting and understanding each other with anything else. Facing Corona was despairing; it is only the faith we have in cooperation of our neighbors and fellow human beings, that kept our hopes kindling for survival of our kinds. That should encourage discussion to overcome out differences while saving that faith in our neighbors for any future disaster. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu.
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 fore parents!