Recently, I read an article written by Asfaw Regasa which is an open letter to professor Alemayehu Gebre Mariam. I also read many articles by the same writer, whom I believe is a very dedicated and well-educated Ethiopian who wrote exceptionally constructive viewpoints for our country’s glaring issues with conceivable solutions. I commended Asfaw Regasa on his bold approach to write about Ethiopia’s current affair.
Yet, on this open letter to Professor Alemayehu Gebre Mariam, I scratched my head as to why Asfaw Regasa went too far to question professor Al’s integrity that he is passionately supporting the current prime minister of Ethiopia. He was also trying to raise doubt on Professor Al’s honesty and question professor Al’s motive why he doesn’t write with the same width and breadth about the current prime minister as he does with the late Meles Zenawi. I believe, professor Alemayehu has every right to adore and admire whomever he wants, and I will leave this to the respected professor to answer as he sees fit and defend his position.
In my opinion, almost all Ethiopian citizens believe that education is a best tool ever created to develop and enhance maturity of consciousness, perception and acumen of all humans who gets a chance to fulfill their quest for enlightenment. As a result, majority of Ethiopian poor farmers, who still uses two oxen to till their land paid dearly to educate their sons and daughters and greets their well-educated young with all respect and reverence.
Unfortunately, most who consider themselves as literate are not as insightful as many of us think that they are when it comes to politics. Those who thinks that they are on the know are the ones who created confusion and misery for Ethiopia and Ethiopians. People could pursue their academic study or other discipline and be graduated from some academia with one or more degrees. Those same people who studied basic algebra as 1 plus 1 equals 2 theory in their school day may not consent to a Boolean algebra or binary mathematics which is commonly called duality. Boolean laws are obtained by changing every AND to OR and every OR to AND alternatively. i.e. all 1 s and 0 s. This is the basic mathematics theory which creates our modern computer system that we all enjoy seeing the world as a small village today. Contrary to most of our cultured elites’ belief, one plus one may not always be two as there are hundreds of reasons and moving parts that refute one plus one equals two theory in politics.
If one chooses to be a politician, he should minimize the number of disgruntled people from his constituency at any cost or in other words the leader of a nation should bend backwards to appease the electorate. This is where, one plus one is not equaling to two argument. There might be a very few politicians who could be remembered fairly in history, that they talk the truth to their people, solve most problems that were there when they took office and work hard to fulfill the citizen’s demand in seeking justice, equality, democracy and fair distribution of wealth within a limited terms that they’ve been elected for the office that they held or when they grab power the African way, by all means necessary.
Again, one plus one equals two approach is disastrous or a political suicide for any politician who are on the drive seats at this volatile world. One could argue that they should mean what they say or at least be in the right direction, but the truth of the matter is that we witnessed, year in and year out in any given geographical locations that they are the same old the same old, and it is disgusting. We, as a people need to have the quest for a silver bullet for all our issues? Yes. Do we need to fight for having a better politician? Sure, we do! but how, is the question I would like to ask those who think that they are concerned for the wellbeing of their people and country.
From my perspective, politics is a process and it has been always choosing the lesser of two evils, so I suggest not to be vile opposition figures and nasty detractors all the time to every politician who is there to work. We don’t have to be venomous to any leader who is working to the advancement of unity integration and prosperity of the nation as we used to be for Meles Zenawi, and Mengistu Hailemariam. We don’t need to be in a pause mode and oppose everything regardless. Do our adversaries who are working day and night to create havoc in Ethiopia see our fight as a blessing? Of course, they do and are more than happy to see this fight every single day. Or do we think that opposing everything will make us look a better educated? No, I don’t think so!!
The educated ones are those with unfathomable wisdom who always see things in its entirety and suggest a workable solution. One should show his level of education by analyzing a situation, seeking alternatives and examine the pros and cons, considering peace and safety of the people and see eminent dangers at hindsight and show the way out or be part of a solution rather than being a barking opposition that seeks attention in every instance. As the saying goes, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness”. Everyone from the street can talk about the gloom and doom of a nation and complain all day along, but our educated ones should select their words and should not attack dignity of their fellow citizens who are trying to deliver but hand-tied. Instead, they should show us a way out from the depth of a hole that we all are in. It is easy to seat afar and complain without trying to understand the complexity of leading a nation of 105 million plus with tens of thousands of different mind-boggling issues. As we all could understand, cumulative distressed situation that all Ethiopians are living day in day out could not be fixed in months and years. Or if someone thinks bad mouthing and condemning the siting prime minister might be a boost for him to deliver a magic bullet to resolve all issues at once, that is deplorable to say the least.
Sky is near for those who sat is one of Ethiopian adage. Currently, our situation goes from the subsistence farming, to eight million citizens who needs world’s food assistance, to the scarcity of clean drinking water, lack of health institutions, lack of a quality education, to an old and broken infrastructure, to inflation, to the mounting debt of the country and shortage of hard currency, to the 70 % of the population which is under the age of 35 with no future, wide spread of lawlessness and concern of disintegration as a country… etc. I want my respected fellow Ethiopians, to look again deep into a Boolean algebra theory and I will conclude my writing by saying the aged, but a beautiful aphorism practiced in northern part of our country and in Arabian Peninsula. “If my brother and my cousin are fighting each other, I stood by my brother even though my brother is at fault. If my cousin and a stranger are fighting each other, I stood by my cousin even though my cousin is at fault. This is a proven experimental bridge to a society and a Boolean algebra to me. If your opposition to one entity enhances and boost your adversary, it is better not to be a cannon fodder to hit your own home turf. We should not be an echo chamber for Woyane, OMN, Tigray online fake and hate news propaganda machine and disseminate hateful information about the prime minister who is doing his best to Ethiopia and we don’t have to be played on their hand to infuriate us, creating a wedge among us and see from afar how effective they become to disintegrate this nation.
There is no truth in politics, no permanent enemy or permanent friends, but there is permanent interest. So, as they say, you don’t need to throw the baby with the bath water. If you have concerns about the fate of your country, praise in public and criticize in private and address it to the right place. Unlike TPLF regime, there are many open channels these days. Besides, there is a third dimension called time factor for everything in the world. In other words, if your vicious attack to the current prime minster emboldens woyane, and OLF, and consequently that causes a civil unrest, weakens and disintegrate your beloved country, you become a short sighted looser who works day and night for your demise. Please don’t shoot your leg.
As an educated person we always have a choice and we shouldn’t let our emotions blind our judgment. Ones we feel that we are clear from danger, then we have time and peaceful land where we can stand, confront and question our captain and we could ask him then, why you chose this route which causes us a relatively big loss, why you do that at this time, why you prefer to act this way…. if we, the people are not getting a worthwhile answer, then we will vote him out thru the ballot box. This is a process that we need to learn and educate our people. Don’t look far, if you turn around you will see the best constitution written ever and practiced for more than 229 years and considered as an envy of the world. Look at 45, more than half of the population believes that he is unfit for the highest office in the land, a disastrous and horrible leader in the history of this nation, but if we are fair and law-abiding citizen, and if we trust in the rule of law, we wait, go out and vote. Help our people, organize and create a society that could help changing the world to be a better place.
Yohannes E. Temesgen.
September 7, 2019
I can be reached at: [email protected]