Federal and Regional Higher Officials;
Religious fathers and patriots;
Invited guests; and
Residents of Adwa and its surroundings.
On behalf of myself and Tigray Regional State, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you and say congratulations for the 123rd victory of Adwa.
We feel glad while celebrating the victory day under the theme, ‘Victory of Adwa: A living fingerprint to our unity in diversity.’
The grand victory has become the source of a lot of lessons, which has national, continental and international significances. It obviously indicates our strength and determination against foreign influences and intimidations. The victory of Adwa also witnesses our commitment for any sacrifices to the freedom and sovereignty of Ethiopia.
It is also possible to consider the victory of Adwa as a living witness for the possibility of overcoming any challenge and gain an imaginable and incredible victory if people come together irrespective of religion, race, identity and other social segmentations.
The victory of Adwa is owed to the consolidated direct or indirect contribution of all Ethiopians irrespective of their differences. It is a magnificent lesson for the impossibility of controlling people by amassing weapon. If there is public oriented military devoted to its responsibility, the unity and participation of the entire people as well as good leadership, victory is inevitable even having rearward weapons.
The victories at Gundet, Gurae, Dogali, Ambalaje, and Mekelle paved the ways and contributed a remarkable role for the final victory of Adwa. These victories should be considered as added victories. We are indebted a noticeable respect to our valorous forefathers and mothers who sacrificed their lives for sovereignty of our country and that proud history will be commemorated forever.
The victory of Adwa not only washed away the colonial chauvinist thinking but also realized hope of freedom to all black people who were under colony at that time particularly to the subjugated and oppressed African people.
Your Excellency President!
It is so crucial to take a lesson from the Wuchale Treaty that caused the war of Adwa. Treaties and agreements made with other countries should be conducted with high care. We have to notice that incorporating words in the treaties could lead to war apart from impacting the country in various aspects. We shouldn’t sign agreements carelessly in a hasty way. The Wuchale Treaty could teach us that any agreement has to be signed with care and with the participation of all concerned parts.
During the colonial era, world powerful countries took their dividends of African countries and introduced their own direct rule. The current system, unlike the previous one, of colonizing countries is an indirect approach through loans and other agreements that could influence their freedom and sovereignty. Comprehending the indirect colonizing system and the impact of such rushed treaties to our country’s sovereignty; we have to join hands to defend foreign powers’ intimidation so as to maintain the country’s freedom and sovereignty and pass it over to the coming generation.
Due to the country’s topography, all intruders who had attempted to conquer Ethiopia came via the Tigray route. Hence, they faced the first challenges from the people of Tigray. This was also a reality in case of the Adwa. Although the victory of Adwa belongs to all Ethiopians, the people of Tigray conducted a series of battle in different parts of Tigray before the war in Adwa. Therefore, the sacrifice paid by the people of Tigray was so remarkable. Not only the people but also the mountains and irregularities of the landscape contributed to that victory.
The people of Tigray sacrificed a lot to maintain their country’s dignity and sovereignty so that they deserve respect for their dedications and sacrifices. That noble loyalty and allied remarkable achievement should be maintained and passed to the next generation.
In fact, the people of Tigray paid a severe forfeit not only to defend foreign invaders but also sacrificed to uproot the dictatorial system that had deprived the rights of nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia. They, in collaboration with other democratic groups, have put in a democratic system that ensured freedom and equality to all nations, nationalities and peoples. Moreover, they managed to establish the federal system that offered a wide space where all citizens participate in their country’s affairs.
Though it is not something magical, most of the victories of our country in general and that of Tigray in particular took place in February. In fact, this has to be left to scholars and researchers to investigate why that had happened so and teach us.
Honourable president of the FDRE!
Although this grand victory is the source of a lot of lessons, we have not properly used it yet. This proud signal of the freedom of Ethiopians, Africans and all black people worldwide has to be studied, maintained and introduced well. It is crucial to exert an unreserved effort to register the victory of Adwa in UNESCO and develop the area where the conquerors faced shameful defeats so as to make it tourist destination.
Although it began previously, currently Africans and other people have designed to conduct researches and will use it for teaching purposes. They have been making tangible efforts to set up the Pan African University. This university, unlike other universities in the country, will mainly focus on conducting researches on the victory of Adwa and related issues.
Therefore, it will be a unique university and will serve continental as well as international researchers. Although the university will be constructed by the collaboration of all Africans and black people around the world, Ethiopian nations, nationalities and peoples need to be actively engaged in it.
Therefore, the Tigray Regional State decided to contribute 250 million birr in cash and kind until the construction will be completed. Besides, the region from top to lower levels will collaborate in building the museum of the university. The support of the region will continue even after the university starts it regular tasks.
It is my honour to express my appreciation to all scholars, officials and others who have been participating in the process of the construction of Pan African University.
I would like to remind you that while commemorating the 123rd anniversary of the victory of Adwa to remember the valour of our forefathers and mothers, we should not forget to come together and consolidate our efforts against foreign bullying. We have to work together in ensuring and maintaining peace as well as in playing our roles in poverty alleviation schemes.
Finally, I would like to thank to Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Administration of Tigray Central Zone, the people and City Administration of Adwa for their wholehearted efforts for the colourful celebration of this noteworthy victory.
Honour to Martyrs!
Adwa remains being black peoples’ victory!