Ethiopia: Rallying behind the sentiment that has the upper hand

August 14, 2018 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

Reuters photo

 

By

Alem Hailu G/Kristos

 

 

Single alone, a stick could be easily broken. But if a set of sticks are tied up together for sure they will withstand a shear stress. This was a piece of advice given by a family head the peace of whose home was disturbed by wranglings among siblings.

 

S/he was showcasing how unity is a source of strength. If siblings get locked in fracases, they could easily buckle under external strain. They could not join hearts and heads to put down one’s foot when coerced by the diabolical who want to exploit the family feud to meet own selfish motives. There is also an Amharic adage which runs “A hyena could squeeze through the burrow a pet dog made in the fence!

 

By the same token, when citizens join forces as witnessed in numerous showdowns attended by invasion-reversal historic chapters of Ethiopia, they could emerge with flying colors. In this ultra-modern age the showdowns or hurdles may appear in the guise of penury with which the country has to lock horns inexorably. Lifting millions out of economic morass and allowing them to stride along the road of prosperity and tranquillity presupposes to sit down around a horse-shoe table to iron out bones of contention with a cool head thereby to fast track the country’s developmental thrust.

 

As opposed to this well established winning formula “United we stand divide we fall!” sowing the seed of discord was made a point for years to subtly thwart social fabrics even if there were attempts and window dressings towards democratization. Though the frontier of the political terrain was a bit expanded, this good gesture had been suffering a setback after the 2005 election in which a broad-array of political outlooks, which benefit the country a lot, were tabled for discussion. Diverse policy directives that won a go ahead by the highest slice of the citizenry bubbled up to the surface to deepen the political consciousness of Ethiopians.

 

Outsmarted by political parties that upheld views that won better credence, the incumbent, before reform, opted to chase out leaders of these parties. Dishing out anti-terrorist laws, it was hot on their heels dabbing them terrorists out to rob the peace of the country. To ram home its intentions, it was exploiting the media whose teeth it tacitly stripped. Not a few of the prosecuted sought political asylum abroad. Innumerable were detained. What a downslide of democracy! Desperate, there were some who zoomed their eyes to armed struggle. Religious leaders too were not immune from the hassle.

 

It is against this backdrop, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed openly asked for apologies to mend wrong turns. The call was not too late as Ethiopians’ hearts are close to forgiveness and love.

 

Following the call for peace and reconciliation, leaders of various parties, who were harboring umbrage, are willing to come back home to give Ethiopia’s democracy a kiss of life. Currently, over 70 political parties are found in the country. The policy options they offer could help take the country to a higher level of success.

 

Experts advise that the parties that do not have many differences could emerge more robust if they amalgamate. In a bid to stand shoulder high while they vie for a parliamentary seat in a red-hot competition they could come up with policies that fine-tune with the country’s march towards Renaissance and the heartbeat of citizens—unity, peace, development justice and fair distribution of wealth.

 

At this moment in time when the country is weeding out the wild oats sown by the self-seeking failing to add up and uphold unity is suffering a lapse. So setting aside minor differences and interests it sure is good all political parties and citizens at large make a confluence with the ‘Ethiopia First’ sentiment that has taken the upper hand.

 

 

 

 

Alem Hailu G/Kristos

A published poet, novelist, editor, translator of masterpieces, literary critic, playwright and journalist from Ethiopia. M.A holder in literature, Addis Ababa University.

Looking for a traditional publisher of a collection of poems. My novel: ‘Hope from the debris of hopelessness’.

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