By Tibebe Birihan
After a good fresh start when taking the helm a year and half ago, PM Abiy seemed to be destined to unify and pacify the country tormented by TPLF looting gangs for close to 30 years. Those who thought he was the answer to their prayers elevated him to the status of sainthood. They took him as a savior and the man to lead them to the Promised Land. A year and half later, things do seem not as rosy as once thought.
His reluctance to decisively deliver a blowing punch to the bleeding TPLF nose at the outset coupled with his invitations of unsavory ethnic opportunists to the country is now setting the stage for a bloody confrontation. His unwittingly appointing diehard ethnic cadres to the detrimental positions in the federal structure and, sidelining those who served as stepping stone for his ascent is now compounding the problems that he has to deal with. His anger and agitation against the “Balderas” movement and his haste in declaring as a coup what transpired in Bahirdar, further fuels the perception of him as having antipathy to the genuine Ethiopianist blocks.
While he is practically doing everything possible to transfer power to the hands of his ethnic party, his base unfortunately is embroiled with what he has to say as the leader of the country. They are vying to hear hatful and condescending speech targeting the Amara people for the base’s ephemeral pleasure like Meles Zenawi habitually used to do.
The Jawarian Qerros are now emboldened by the frequent tolerance and inaction exhibited by the security establishments while they criminally break the rule of law. They seem to think that they are the only ones who have the rights to do anything without accountability and often times get away with it. This must have created the impression in the mobs mentality that they can go even further to claim the helm and bestow it on their imagined true leader, aka Jawar. One can clearly conclude these intentions after observing the down down Abiy slogans and the burnings of his Medemer books at every gatherings of the mob that calls itself Qerro.
The PM frequently makes the case that democracy is messy and we, as a country are trying to emerge from the past authoritarian and dictatorial rules there by, tolerance is needed. However, one could easily argue against these premises by simply pointing the facts how his administration is dealing with other civic movements in the country, Balderas being the primary case in point. His administration also goes out of its way to apprehend members of NAMA by desperately trying to relate them to the unfortunate event of June 15th in Bahir Dar.
Suffice to say, the PM is now facing a formidable egoistic foe that is never to be satisfied short of replacing him. The opposition from the Oromo base against the PM is so intense and wide that it won’t be an easy task to do business as usual. What seems to be fueling the anger against the PM by his base is the discharging of the duties and responsibilities by the PM as the leader of the country, which seems to be going against the Oromo first manta of the ethnic extremists. These inherent contradictions are created by the very structural problems that the country is said to have been federalized. One can’t satisfy two masters at the same time with same degree of loyalty. This vexed question of maintaining equilibrium is never the true objective of those who crafted such a system
The prime minister could have balanced the influence of the leaders of the Qerro movement by equally and practically empowering the Ethiopianist forces. These forces are huge in following but mostly silent and shying away from the limelight. The constant and unrelenting campaigns against these forces by the TPLF regime and the extreme ethnic zealots have created the appearance that such forces are relegated to irrelevance. The PM could still not only orally but practically show his stand with Ethiopia and for Ethiopia in such a way by creating the level field for such forces to operate freely and democratically. Short of that, PM Abiy is now becoming the victim of his own making.
The writer could be reach at @firstname.lastname@example.org