Taye Kebede 09-29-16
Before 25 years Ethiopian nation, nationalities and people of Ethiopia were able to pass the FDRE constitution that guaranteed their human and democratic rights without any reservations through their consent and wishes. And as it is known, the fact that the annual celebration of nation, nationalities and people day falls on this fateful day is to pay respect to it. After the covenant of the Ethiopian nation, nationalities and people, which is the constitution, was ratified and enacted, our country is able to move in a correct developmental path and enter a new historical chapter.
Our country which used to be called a prison of nation and nationalities, now have turned into a home where the rights of its people is respected, have a bright development and growth prospect and where equality and justice reigns on its land. Thus, the nation and nationalities culture, history and language which used to be taken as an example of backwardness and inferiority, courtesy of the centrist iron-rule system, it has now transformed to being part of the country’s most attracting appeal and positive image.
The tolerance tradition which various religion followers of our country’s national, nationalities and people are known for is going strong, being revitalized more than ever. These historical, cultural and spiritual values of ours have reached a place where they can play their own role in our developmental activities on top of bestowing additional pride on our country.
And more than anything else, Ethiopia’s nation, nationalities and people now have found the chance to participate fully on any national issues; fully changing those old days where they were forced to live secluded from their country’s political, economic and social affairs.
Through this, they have been able to hugely liven our country’s and people aspiration for development and growth. The whole nation, nationalities and people are moving in rapid development path by enjoying and exercising their rights to protect their sustainable benefits. The federal governmental system that’s being built in our country is playing an important role in strengthening our country’s and people unity, peace and development. The building process of this new system is tested through time and founded to be beneficial and helpful.
The Federal system that was set up not only diffused the threat of our country’s disintegration, but it also gave a guarantee for an iron-clad unity that’s based on consent between the people. In general, the constitution Ethiopia’s nation, nationalities and people ratified on December 8 after winning the long and bitter struggle and after deliberating on it thoroughly, not only fully answered their age-old demands it also gave a guarantee to the sustainability and success of their future common agenda.
Therefore, the day the FDRE constitution is ratified is being celebrated every year with huge celebrations. This is also because the people have a very strong bond with the constitution. Let see this in detail. First of all, the country’s nation, nationalities and people are the owners of the constitution. Not only the constitution, but the people are also the one that postulated the government’s structure. And this clearly inscribed on the constitution.
The fact that the previous regimes were not people-driven was evident by the state of their constitutions. Not only did they not inscribe basic issues that would benefit the public, the ones that got to be written were nothing more than an ink on a paper. Thus, the people didn’t know the objective and meaning of the constitutions except that they are documents the rulers’ uses for their own advantage. And it wasn’t inclusive of all nation and nationalities.
And this made the army to be used to elongate the regimes’ time in power with elites from very few nationalities to have a prominent role in the institution, instead of protecting the country’s and the peoples’ sovereignty. In addition, it was prison were citizens were forced to enter instead of through their consent.
Secondly, our people want the constitution to be protected from any internal and external anti-peace forces. As the constitution is of the Ethiopian nation, nationalities and people, the responsibility to protect it from any threats falls on all nation, nationalities and people of Ethiopia.
The fact of the matter is, every citizen must make protecting the constitutional order in an organized manner its every day job, and has also the responsibility to be first in line when a threat casts it shadow on it. This is also because the growth and transformation plan is garnering results and reaching to new heights.
Thirdly, our people are not only the protector of the constitution, but also the beneficiary of it. As I have tried to mention it earlier, the FDRE constitution has answered Ethiopia’s nation, nationalities and people age old demands, while also giving a guarantee of long lasting peace, development, and democracy.
Since the constitution was enacted after getting ratified, our country and people have done hugely successful works in various sectors. And in order to sustain these and record new achievements, currently our country and the whole people are exerting their effort in a committed manner.
With it, our country’s poverty and backwardness image has changed in a very short span o time, and the process is going strong. The development we garner in every sector benefits our people at every level. Obviously, the fact our people are benefitting hastens our country’s development.
In general, the FDRE constitution not only smudges off Ethiopia’s nation, nationalities and people past bad history, but it has brightened up their future prospects. The constitution has enabled for a single political community that’s based on mutual consent to be created in our country.
Here it’s helpful to mention our great leader Ato Meles Zenawi’s one time comment about the federal system. Our great leader had said, “The constitution is the culmination of our peoples’ years of struggle. It is by taking this popular struggle into account that the constitution was ratified. Ethiopian tradition means the sum of all Ethiopian peoples’ tradition. Ethiopian language is the sum of all of the peoples’ language. And Ethiopian history means the sum of all the people’s history. And this history is hosted along with its difference best in the federal system.” Further the great leader underlined the fact that adhering to federalism is the only option for the country.
No one can deny that the economic development the country recorded by the work of its people is because of the constitutional system. Of course, the democratic federalism has played a vital role in Ethiopia’s rapid and sustainable development, as attested by many international institutions. So, Ethiopia’s handling of diversity can be a benchmark to other countries. These successes of the country’s federal system are gained because the FDRE constitution answered previous regime’s unreturned demands of identity and ethnicity. Shortly, we can say that FDRE constitution is an Umbrella of Ethiopia’s Nation, Nationalities and Peoples.