Restoring the record. (A. Alemayehu)
Following the recent Islamic Oromo genocide on Christian Ethiopians and the genocidal calls of Oromo Extremists for the murder of innocent Amhara/ Orthodox civilians, the debate as to Abiy’s ethnic identity is raging. Just as Obama was forced to publicly refute Trump’s attack of his American birth, PM Abiy was forced to address this ridiculous ethnic identity charge in public.
When Abiy took office as prime minister of Ethiopia just over 2 years ago, Western writers and journalists intentionally or through ignorance, described him as the first Ethiopian Prime Minister / Head of State of Oromo extraction. This blatant lie has not been rebuffed and has, therefore, misled millions. In fact, this false assertion has been repeated many times over the last two years. When one can verify the inaccuracy of this claim by just checking widely available resources, the enormousness of the error gets even more magnified. One begins to wander if it is an erroneous statement or a malicious claim. Without needing to do a lot of research, just looking at Wikipedia and doing a little fact checking, one can see Abiy Ahmed is actually the 7th Ethiopian Prime Minister of Oromo extraction.
Wikipedia includes 13 names of people who held the position as President of Council of Ministers, Prime Minister etc. in modern Ethiopia. Of those listed, 7 were of prominent Oromo parentage. Please see table below.
|1.||Habtegiorgis Dinegde||(President of Council of Minsters)||Oromo|
|2.||Teferi Mekonen*||(President of Council of Minsters, as Regent)||Son of Mekkonnen H/Mikael Gudisa (Oromo)
|3.||Abebe Aregai **||(President of Council of Minsters)||Grandson of Ras Gobena Dachie (Oromo)|
|4.||Endalkachew Mekonnen***||(Prime Minister)||Grandson of Ras Mengesha Atikem (Oromo)
|5.||Mikael Imiru ***||(Prime Minister)||Grandson of Ras Mengesha Atikem (Oromo)
|6.||Tesfaye Dinka||(Prime Minster)
|7.||Abiy Ahmed||(Prime Minster)||Oromo|
List of Oromo Prime Ministers of Ethiopia****
*Ras Mekonnen, Tefri’s father was a famous a Selale/Doba Oromo general and administrator. Teferi Mekonnen is H.I.M. Haile Selassie’s name before crowning. Teferi’s maternal grandfather was also a Muslim Wollo Oromo.
**Abebe Aregai’s grandfather is the renowned Oromo General Ras Gobena Dachie who is also grandfather to PM Mikael Imiru’s mother **Endalkachew and Mikeal Imiru share Atikem (Atikemi) (a Gojjam/Wellega Oromo). Atikem means where are you from? In Oromiffa. ****In an ancient country like Ethiopia, it is only reasonable to accept that most people have multiple identities. Someone’s being Oromo does not exclude their having other ethnic identities.
If we scan the same historical period for a listing of Ethiopian Heads of State, we will find that out of the 7 Heads of State, 4 had prominent Oromo ancestry. Thus Iyasu, Haile Selassie, Mengistu and Abiy Ahmed were all born to Oromo fathers.
However, if people can deny the Oromo identity of Abiy Ahmed today, it should not be surprising to see them strip the Oromo heritage of political personages of yesterday.
Such misrepresentation is harmful to the history of the gallant Oromo people, the history of Ethiopia and the history of Africans all over the world. The myopic projects of politicians to dwarf the giants of yesterday will only create a defeated, hateful generation suffering from an undeserved inferiority complex. The Oromo have dominated Ethiopian politics for the last four hundred years. The Oromo have been instrumental in the defeat of colonial forces at Adwa. Oromo intellectuals and military personnel were at the forefront of the Ethiopian Revolution. Oromo individuals have broken so many world records and do not need your false history. Abiy Ahmed is the first Oromo, first Ethiopian and first East African to win the Nobel Peace Prize. However, Abiy Ahmed is not the first Oromo prime minster or head of state of Ethiopia.