Bucking the will of the people a doomed endeavor!
Having ushered New Year at the beginning of the week it is important that the first order of business on the morrow of the celebrations be the tackling of issues of critical national importance. Ethiopians from all walks of life aspire for peace, a constitutional system anchored in equality and justice for all, and a democratic, prosperous and inclusive nation. This necessitates a political interaction which ensures mutual respect, tolerance, solidarity, constructive and open dialogue and the enrichment of shared values that help forestall conflicts and thereby strengthen national unity. Ethiopia is endowed with considerable natural resources, a wonderful climate as well as a morally upstanding and far-sighted people. It’s painful to see such blessing sullied, whether maliciously or inadvertently, by misdeeds whichirreparably damage the strong bond that binds them together.
Politicians and other actors in the political arena need always be mindful of the fact supreme authority resides in the people. As such they must safeguard the public from decisions which harm its interest. Unfortunately, decisions which lead to the unnecessary death, injury and displacement of citizens and the destruction of the country’s resources abound. The ongoing internecine conflict along some areas abutting the border between the Oromia and Ethiopia Somali regions is a crisis which needs to be immediately put under control. No amount of misunderstanding should have led to the killing of scores among the brotherly people of the two regions given they have lived together peacefully for centuries. It’s incumbent on local leaders and regional administration officials on both sides to make use of customary dispute resolution mechanisms to forgive one other and bring about a lasting reconciliation instead of adding fuel to fire. This is the only way the will of the public can be respected.
The great people of Ethiopia have co-existed harmoniously for millennia primarily because the common values underpinning their unity are stronger than what divides them. This is not something an exaggeration or a jingoistic warbling. Contrary to what some may claim Ethiopians have never been guilty of fratricidal strife. In fact they have time and again demonstrated a united front in paying the ultimate price to defend the sovereignty of their beloved country from the aggression of European colonialists. Their timeless exploits inspired not only the anti-colonial struggle of black people in Africa and beyond but also the Pan-Africa movement. Isn’t it a disgrace then to see a people who have such a proud history harbor mutual ill will? Their will should always be respected.
Irrespective of which side of the political spectrum they are on, all stakeholders in the political process is duty-bound to take due care when they conduct themselves. A nation can survive insofar as it is at peace with itself. The people of Ethiopia crave freedom, justice, equality and prosperity. They must be allowed to exercise their sovereign power, to install in or vote out of office at their pleasure. This first and foremost requires the willingness to listen to and respect each other’s views. The tone of the country’s political engagement should not be set by self-serving forces so that it is conducted in a manner that facilitates honest dialogue. Democracy cannot take root through vicious contests aimed solely at assuming political power as they are destined to wreak nothing but havoc. A political discourse which is neither people-centered nor rational can only have dire consequences. The anti-Ethiopia campaign being waged on social media by the lackeys of Ethiopia’s enemies must particularly be strategically defeated by citizens of all stripes for such actions run counter to the will of the people.
Ethiopia is fortunate to have millions of citizens who are committed to devoting their knowledge, money, time and energy to advance its cause. The country needs now more than ever before citizens who are prepared to pay the necessary sacrifice for such hallowed purposes as nurturing generations and extricating compatriots from the clutches of poverty and backwardness. Even as critical thinkers who are not afraid to point out to the powers that be the errors of their ways and urge them to make a course correction those who are driven by the enrichment of themselves and their ilk, do not care an iota about the welfare of the country and its people, and have no qualms about inciting people to violence must be brought to justice. This cannot be achieved by paying lip service to the importance of the idea. It calls for the upholding of the rule of law, respect for constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms as well as a broadening of the political space.
It is imperative to defend Ethiopia’s cherished status as a home to all Africans and maintain the reputation it enjoys on the continental and global stage. It’s paradoxical for a people who embody a living legacy that has set a pioneering example to be at each other’s throat. In a country of some 76 nations and nationalities it is of the essence to avert the occurrence of mistrust, which is liable to provide its sworn enemies with an opening to sow discord and undermine the remarkable solidarity exhibited by its people. Committing acts which sully the nation’s history and land it in a hole it cannot dig itself out of is an unforgivable crime. As a matter of fact it is obligatory to maintain the graciousness, farsightedness, forgiveness and patriotism that have kept Ethiopia together to this day, to build a culture of openness, dialogue and give-and-take. Gnashing one’s teeth did no good to undo the political crises that shattered certain Middle East countries. Lessons should be drawn from the failings of these states that gave rise to the death, displacement and suffering of millions across the region. Citizens who truly love their country very well know this. But those harboring evil motives could not care less. The masses though want love and forgiveness above anything else. That is why bucking the will of the people is a doomed endeavor.