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The evolving OPDO

Postby Wimi » 27 Sep 2012, 11:11

By Jawar Mohammed

The OPDO central committee that met this past week failed to elect a replacement for its ailing party chairman and president of Oromia, Alemayehu Atomsa. It is the second time that such an attempt to elect a new leader has been adjourned without success. During the first round that took place mid-August in Adama, the TPLF attempted to impose Aster Mamo. But she failed to garner even one third of the vote. The boiling confrontation was halted when Meles’ death was announced.

Still, the TPLF brought Mamo to sit in the EPRDF executive committee meeting with the aim of boosting her stature, even though she is not one of the nine that represent the OPDO in the 36 member EPRDF executive committee. Her and Workneh Gebeyehu’s ( Federal police commissioner) presence at that meeting without been officially delegated by OPDO, was seen as a direct affront to the leadership for their resistance two weeks earlier. The TPLF has often masterminded who could represent the OPDO in the coalition, but never has directly promoted someone to the EPRDF CC without at least symbolic and official endorsement by the parent party. Therefore, this blatant act was seen as deeply offensive, even by those in the OPDO who held reconciliatory tone towards the TPLF during the previous meeting in Adama.

The attack on the OPDO was intensified during the runup to the election to fill the seats vacated by Meles. Bereket Simon’s office purposely spread rumors alleging that the OPDO had been withholding Hailemariam’s appointment, while the truth was that the OPDO raised no objection because they were quite certain that appointment of Hailemariam Desalegn and Demeke Mekonnen was a done deal. Moreover, the TPLF began encouraging selected individuals, particularly Kuma, to compete against Hailemariam –- which was contrary to the OPDO’s collective decision to stay out. Having convinced members of the rest of the coalition to vote for the two, the TPLF was setting up the OPDO for sure defeat and the humiliation of its key leaders (the EPRDF CC is made up of 180 members, therefore even had all of the OPDO voted in favour of their candidate and won over some sympathizers from other parties, they would still have been outvoted).

Nevertheless, after Kuma was forced to withdraw due to intense protest by the OPDO, Azeb Mesfin, Meles’ widow, suddenly nominated Sufian Ahmed, who had no clue what was happening. Although Bereket Simon refrained from publicly naming the third candidate that lost to Hailemariam and Demeke, he immediately ‘leaked’ it to his friends, who announced to the world that Sufian was the loser with a mere five votes out of 180.

Therefore, this repeated and blatant act was seen as deeply offensive even by those OPDO leaders who held a reconciliatory tone towards the TPLF during the previous meeting in Adama. Moreover, the absence of any Oromo from among the five top executive posts (prime minister, deputy prime minister, defense, foreign and economy) infuriated restless mid-level leadership of the OPDO that still feels resentment over the 2010 mass purge.

During this second round of meetings, the TPLF, through Kuma Demeksa, once again pushed Aster Mamo to be accepted as chief of the OPDO. Yet after five days of meeting, the ‘mediators’ failed to convince the 51 member OPDO central committee to accept the candidate prefered by the TPLF. On the third and fourth day, on their way home from the meeting, vocal members of the central committee were harassed and roughed up by TPLF security personnel that attempted to intimidate them into submission. However, this seems to have backfired, as the proposed candidate was overwhelmingly rejected.

Asked why there was so much opposition to Aster, some members of the Central Committee are quick to emphasize that their issue is not with her candidacy but with the manner in which the TPLF has been pushing to impose her. They say that had it not been for the TPLF’s interference, she could have been one of the top contenders for the post.

The younger and zonal level cadres who make up the bulk of the 51 member OPDO Central Committee are insisting, with greater determination, to bring back Abadula. We shall recall that two years ago, these groups ferociously fought against the removal of Abadula, leading to the arrests of some 120 of them, right from the conference hall by the Agazi commando. The TPLF does not want Abadula because he has become a unifying figure for the emerging generation Oromo technocrats that are sick and tired of interference and domination by TPLF. Therefore, during the first round, the TPLF members argued that Abadula is not eligible to retake chairmanship of the OPDO because he participated in the armed struggle. But this argument fell flat after Abay Woldu, who took part in armed struggle, was elected to leadership of the TPLF.

Failing to break this gridlock, Bereket’s office writes this press release that blames external forces, namely the OLF for the problem. The objective is clear. It is to scare the resisting OPDO leaders into submission and to throw them to jail if they continue to resist.

As noted in my previous article:

By nominating Abadula and refusing to endorse TPLF’s choice, the senior leadership is attempting to assert institutional independence. TPLF could still install its favored candidate, but it will have to do so not through cooperation of the senior leadership as in the past, but rather by using force to crush this organizational dissent -– in the process showing its ugly face.

That ugly face is already showing with the ongoing physical assault and verbal intimidation of key members of the OPDO central committee. This is likely to be followed with another round of purge and imprisonment. But for TPLF, the days of bullying individual leaders to induce collective submission of OPDO seems to be quickly slipping away.

The current development indicates that the OPDO is now capable of resisting TPLF interference, but have not built the necessary capability to assert its own will. It has evolved from spineless puppet into a restless junior partner. But it has yet to become a fully independent party capable of advancing the interest of its constituency. This evolutionary step might seem small, but it is a giant leap for the OPDO and a significant development for Ethiopia’s power politics.

Source: ... -ethiopia/

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby Guyyaasaa » 27 Sep 2012, 12:05

The CC of OPDO will resume its meetings again starting from Sept 29, 2012. As usual the TPLF will continue to try to impose its will on them and I hope the brave and courageous members of the CC of OPDO will continue resisting the imposition. No doubt, at the end of the day TPLF might resort to force and start another round of purging and incarcirating the leaders of the resistance movement within the organization but it is a fight worth the sacrifice. The sacrifice is a down payment for their eventual and inevitable liberation from their current humiliating subservience to the TPLF. Freedom is not free. The Oromo people must stand by the side of the OPDO whenever they show some spine to assert their independence. However, they need to be told that the support of the Oromo people is conditional; namely, you show spine, we shower support. In other words, no spine, no support.
Happy Irreechaa!!!

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby Guest1 » 27 Sep 2012, 13:00

Jawar stop making a mountain out of a mole hill. You want oromo to fight for your inter-party problems? Is Abadula OLF in disguise like ?

There is nothing called Independent unless you are talking about secession. As a federal state their power is limited. Federal state will interfere has the ultimate power.

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby Know this » 27 Sep 2012, 13:05

Workneh Gebeyehu is not Oromo - he is from tirgre/eriterean family (his parents were living in Shashemene when I knew this). So, workneh could be the next leader of OPDO

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby Oromo Stud 4bett fut » 27 Sep 2012, 13:44

I like how Johar is becoming a leading analyst on Oromo and East Africa issue. As you may see even Ethio Review post his article. The argument you made on this article is very strong and acceptable, it is the issue affect our brothers and sisters at home. The stronger OPDO the better of are Oromo people. Likes of Abba Dula, who stood for Oromo people are moved from their post and are given other duties. The TPLF never like the idea of STRONG Oromo leaders like: Hassan Ali, they push them till they leave. Now we at least saw some strength in the current youth.
Viva la Oromo Students.
Haters will no matter hate you, keep on hatting.
Oromo’s are the next strong power coming. We could only go forward not back ward.

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby OPDO man » 27 Sep 2012, 14:30

Guest1 your tone of communication is very predictable. can you explain the relations between regional state and federal government in more detail. Does it give the power to TPLF to elect representatives for the member parties within EPRDF? Are you trying to imply that TPLF has the power to impose what ever it wants in the name of Federal Government?

Your thone will only contributes to the widening of the conflict within EPRDF. We shall see who will benefit the most from this conflict.

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby Yuhun » 27 Sep 2012, 19:14

I have yet to see a strong oromo party or a hero from oromia. OPDO, OLF bla bla ... all the oromos are worthless ... they are the majorities in number in Ethiopia, but they have always been a minority in the Ethiopian poletics, they are good at complaining but acheive nothing. They are cowards, they have always been puppets to the powerful. Can you imagin that one of their member to get only 5 votes for the PM post. Can you imagin that while they are the majority in population, no oromo is in the top key positions. Can you imagin that no oromo led ethiopia in its history. They are the majority and their region is the bread basket of Ethiopia, but it is the TPLF who is in charge of the politics and the economy. The OPDO's are satisfied to feed themselves with the leftovers of the TPLF, be it power or material wealth. Oromo people wake up wake up, stop complaining, you need to have guts to make a difference in the Ethiopian politics. Numbers without guts are nothing. Look at the TPLF they are 6% of the Ethiopian population, but they have been controling over 90% of the Ethiopian power and wealth.

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby esatumeta » 27 Sep 2012, 20:57

We all need to be innovative. What OPDO is reportedly doing is great and it is a step in the right direction. A thousand miles journey begins with one step as the chinese say. Likewise, the journey to freedom begins with small resistances here and there. Remember Rosa Parks. All she did was refusing to vacate her seat on a bus for a white man. By insisting to remain seated, she stood up for the whole black race. Her refusal set in motion avalanches of resistances that culminated in the freedom of the black people. In a related development, ESAT has resumed trial TV transmissions to Ethiopia to reach the Ethiopian people. Good job ESAT. Keep up the good job. You are making progress. You are winning the air war with the TPLF. Now the momentum is with us. The TPLF is clearly losing it. We are making big strides in setting the agenda and controlling the message. One who controls the message wins the war. We will leave no stone unturned to reach the Ethiopian people. We have to strive not only to be the voice of the voiceless Ethiopian people but also to become their trusted source and number one choice for credible information. ESAT is earning the trust of the Ethiopian people at a very breathtaking speed. ESAT is empowering and uniting our people. ESAT has become a source of hope for the Ethiopian people and a repository of nightmares for the TPLF and its surrogates. If there is one thing that keeps Bereket Simon and all the TPLF ringleaders awake at night, it is ESAT. If there is one thing that makes the late dictator Meles roll in his grave not far from his former office, it is ESAT. The TPLF and some of their hirelings have been making relentless efforts to provide us with free unsolicited advice to go to the jungle, just like what they did, if we want freedom. We are saying no, thanks no. We know what we need to do. The world has changed a lot. You may not need the tools of the past to get things done today. Why would you need to take up a hatchet for something you can get done with a scalpel? There is a chinese adage: do not take up a hatchet to remove a fly. ESAT is the way. ESAT has to consider transmitting in Afaan Oromoo and other languages of Ethiopia too.

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby tumata » 27 Sep 2012, 22:57

Dear Mohamed,

It has been a while now since your articles, comments and debates have given me sense. It really gives sense. I believe others also have got same feeling. You are an emerging young man who is endowed with God given talent and withdom for people as a whole. You are also special and dear species for people that you always represent. My motive is not that you should represent a particular group or people. But your effective and genuine debate can attract all foes and frieds alike. I am sure, may be without you knowing, you have already cultivated enough support around you because many are proud of you.

For those who may try to associate you with ehnicity, that is okay. It is open secret. As long as the truth is with you fight for them. But Mohamed's fight is a fight to avoid what had happend to him, not to repeat same [deleted]. Two mistakes do not make a right. But if war is eminent, Mohamed knows how to combat it and he is not alone. You try to mess with Mohamed means, you playing with a ticking bomb in your hand. It is better that all of us behave in a civilized manner and respect each other and when possible unite, or agree to disagree. We should not present ourselves with the attitude of bad old days. We should learn from history. Mind you if one of us is not free all of us is not free. Bravo Jowar! Go, Go Jowar!

Re: The evolving OPDO

Postby Kibrom » 28 Sep 2012, 04:27

Guest1 wrote:Jawar stop making a mountain out of a mole hill. You want oromo to fight for your inter-party problems? Is Abadula OLF in disguise like ?

There is nothing called Independent unless you are talking about secession. As a federal state their power is limited. Federal state will interfere has the ultimate power.

'Jauar :- 'Neftegna-OPDO is sub-set of Neftegna-EPRDF, instead of playing the victim card about history, why don't you fight the real neftegna from oromo tribe?? OPDO and Tigres are real neftegnas that you saw in your life time. Face the real enemy and stop living in illussion. Die or kill Tigres'

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