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Ethiopians have no spare country!

Ethiopians have no spare country!

Ethiopia, the beloved motherland of all Ethiopians, is seriously ill. It goes without saying that a mother’s sickness worries its children out of their mind for they have no other mother. Ethiopia is a home, a refuge for all Ethiopians regardless of ethnic background, faith, political persuasion, gender, wealth or station in life. It’s a sanctuary not only for citizens who live on its land, but also for those who come from its womb and are living elsewhere due to the circumstances of life. As such Ethiopians owe the obligation to cherish and protect our one and only home, to do everything within our power to deliver it from the menacing threat it currently is faced with. Otherwise, the consequences will be grim for each and every one of us.

As a multicultural nation, the views expressed on the political, economic and social spheres in Ethiopia are quite diverse. Ethiopians have long co-existed in peace and harmony thanks to the respect and tolerance they have for each other. Nowadays, though, citizens who truly have the country’s interest at heart are frustrated and deeply troubled in equal measure by the alarming developments presently rocking it. Attempts to incite internecine conflicts between people that epitomize mutual love and solidarity are becoming all too common. True, Ethiopia is still beset with a raft of centuries-old challenges which have not been properly dealt with to date. These problems are proving to be boons to know-it-all “activists” and political hacks to further their evil agenda. Given the gravity of the predicament we are confronted with, it’s incumbent on all of us to engage in a constructive dialogue and cooperation in the quest to find a durable solution.

To make matters worse major homework which Ethiopia did not address in time are being exacerbated by a new set of problems cropping up daily, threatening to push the country over the precipice. When Ethiopia began to undertake political reforms some 18 months ago many had hoped that these homework would be tended to, the yoke of oppression citizens had been living under would be lifted and thereby empower citizens to play a decisive role in the affairs of the country. Although the reforms initially inspired hope in Ethiopians across the board, unfortunately the proliferation of individuals and groups spewing vitriolic rhetoric has made us apprehensive of the future. Ethiopians have tolerated the turmoil roiling their nation out of a belief that problems are bound to arise here and there during a transition period and that things will eventually get better. Sadly, things are getting decidedly worse though. Elements harboring sinister motives are leaving no stone unturned, including fueling sectarian violence between communities that have stood by each other through the good times and bad times, to undermine the values on which Ethiopianism is founded. Inasmuch as the broadening of the democratic space, albeit to a limited extent, has paved the way for the free flow of ideas, it has provided vile forces with an opportunity to create additional homework for the country.

Most politicians are derailing the change underway by continuing to engage in mutual lambasting or instigating intercommunal conflicts instead of generating solutions on how to extricate Ethiopia from the quagmire it finds itself in. Actually no constructive idea can ever come from such politicians and their ilk as they ascended to power by and large through shortcuts, not on the strength of their merit or qualification. They are adept at self-aggrandizing and portraying themselves as change agents so that they are not deprived of the perks they are used to; they brazenly abuse the office they hold in order to consolidate their hold on to power and advance their selfish interest; totally oblivious to the fact that political power should be used to serve the public, they have no qualms about playing Russian roulette with the country rather than tackling the homework awaiting it; and the politics of hatred and provocation they practice is leading the public down a dangerous path. As a nation a plethora of testing challenges are staring us right in the face. Creating more problems while we have not made inroad into the homework we need to deal with promptly is extremely irresponsible.

From now on things cannot and must not be allowed to continue like this. Unprincipled politicians pushing a divisive and discredited narrative need to be told in no uncertain terms that enough is enough. Similarly, conflict entrepreneurs destabilizing the country by fomenting violence on social media and other platforms ought to be stopped in their tracks before they wreak greater havoc. Ethiopia is at a crossroads the likes of which it has rarely faced before. As such its sons and daughters owe the obligation to ensure that it successfully navigates this difficult time and soar to greater heights. Just as someone suffering from a liver condition takes care not to drink to excess, Ethiopians must not play fire with our one and only home. After all we don’t have a spare country!