Displaying levelheadedness in challenging times!
Displaying a modicum of levelheadedness is critical in ensuring that various forms of interactions between individuals to groups and nations are conducted in an orderly fashion and mutually advantageous to all sides. The conspicuous absence of willingness to engage in a sober discourse and consultation by the political elites and the animosity they harbor to each other has afflicted Ethiopia’s political landscape for decades now. The eruption of conflicts between adjoining regional states that have led to deaths and displacement are primarily attributable to the inability to undertake dialogues with a sober mind. Bullheadedness only serves to inflame emotions and violence.
The sporadic skirmishes that have taken place between the Oromia and Ethiopia Somali regional states should have been decisively dealt with by now. Had the border between the two been jointly demarcated immediately following the referendum held over a decade ago and open discussions were held on forerstalling the recurrence of conflict, the recent deadly clashes that resulted in fatalities and the displacement of tens of thousands could have been entirely avoided. If peace and political stability is to be restored to the affected areas it is compulsory to learn from past mistakes and particularly to refrain from exchanging incendiary rhetoric. As we have said time and again the people of Ethiopia have stuck together for millennia through thick and thin thanks to their farsightedness and preservation of shared values; they have passionately defended the unity and sovereignty of their beloved country despite enduring unimaginable ordeals. Such a proud people need to have their solidarity safeguarded. They certainly do not deserve to suffer from destructive feuds that have dire consequences.
The sole guarantee to the survival of present-day Ethiopia is to forge national unity which is grounded in respect for the diversity of its people. This calls for a demonstration of patriotism by the government and the public at large. It is imperative to develop a culture of frank debates and exchange of ideas so that Ethiopians from all corners of the country are to live in peace, harmony, love, equality and prosperity. They should not allow political differences to prevent them from holding talks on issues of common interest. a society may be considered to be civilized insofar as it accommodates differences. After all the time when some were “more equal than others” is long gone. If Ethiopia is to be delivered from the devastation that hatred, strife, wickedness and brutality are liable to engender cooler minds have to prevail.
Ethiopia is home to some 76 nations and nationalities which have distinct languages, traditions and interests. The constitution of Ethiopia, which laid down the federal system of government the country is governed under, embodies a number of fundamental human and democratic rights including the right to self-rule, to learn and be adjudicated in one’s native tongue as well as to advance one’s language and culture. Ethiopians need to develop a culture of abiding by the rule of law in cognizance of the fact that the constitution contains self-corrective mechanisms. Upholding the rights enshrined under the supreme law of the land plays a vital role in terms of making constructive dialogues and consultations a norm. It also helps in creating a generation that is not incited to violence, as happened during the violent protests of 2015 and 2016, but rather is inquisitive. Therefore, coupled with obeying and enforcing the constitution it is of the essence to demonstrate levelheadedness to guarantee durable stability.
Each and every citizen has a stake in the fate of his country. It’s in the interest of the country to have a culture of holding critical debates on national issues including what form of government the country should follow. The public is the ultimate arbiter in championing an alternative from among the menu of ideas that were freely expressed. Where freedom of expression is exercised to the fullest extent with level head voters will be empowered to install in or kick out of office a government at their pleasure. It would be instrumental in strengthening the rule of law, transparency and accountability as well. This in turn would go a long way towards mounting an effective campaign against maladministration and corruption, thereby expediting the equitable allocation of resources and bolstering national unity.
The people of Ethiopia aspire above anything else for freedom, prosperity, enduring peace stability and a democratic system underpinned by social justice and the rule of law. Such a system requires of the government, political parties, civil society and religious organizations, higher education institutions the media, elders, women, the youth as well as other segments of the public to commit themselves to sober-headed dialogues and consultations. And every effort must be made to avert the flare-up of conflicts in any part of the country, instill a culture of dialogue and consultation, and set an example to the current crop of generation. Citizens from all walks of life bear the responsibility to see to it that no loss of life, displacement, property damage and generally instability occurs due to senseless skirmishes. It’s of the utmost importance to supplant exclusionary and hegemonic attitudes with a mentality which fosters inclusiveness and dialogue. That is why Ethiopians are duty-bound to display levelheadedness individually and collectively in seeking solutions to the plethora of challenges the country is facing during a period it finds itself at a crossroads.