Haile Tessema 08-25-20
Despite the people of Tigrai’s discontent with the TPLF Government that ruled the region with a heavy hand for 29 years and counting, PM Abiy’s Prosperity Party (P.P.) has not been able to make a break through in Tigrai. And the simplistic “all Tegaru think and act the same” stereotyping does not answer why that has become the case. After all, it’s to be recalled that – similar to everywhere else in Ethiopia– there was an overwhelming support for Abiy Ahmed in Tigrai during his ascension to power, particularly following his official visit to Mekelle.
A lot has been said on the PM’s failure in bringing Tigrai into the fold of his much-hyped reform. His unguarded speeches, misguided policies and selective obsession with certain former EPRDF officials of Tigraian origin, particularly Getachew Assefa, not to mention his unholy matrimony with Issaias Afeworki of Eritrea, are often identified as culprits.
However, what is often left unsaid or at least not to the degree that it should is the PM’s preference to surround himself with anti-Tigrai hatemongers as gate keepers & cheer leaders and its subsequent impact on the Tigraian psyche. To that end, this opinion piece would identify three vicious Tigrain haters and bashers who, through the PM’s neglect by design, ended up undermining his position as a leader of all Ethiopians.
ESAT – The Ethiopian Satellite Television & Radio is a self-proclaimed “nonprofit and independent media outlet established to primarily promote free press, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law”. Yet, ESAT is nothing but a political propaganda machine that biasedly takes one side to relentlessly attack another. ESAT is known for breaking all media norms, rules and common decency in spreading its mission and commission of bigotry against Tegaru.
ESAT is on record for outrageously depicting the political antagonism in the country as one that is between Ethiopians and Tegarusas opposed to competing political interests, there by calling on the former supposed 95 million majority to rise and crash the latter 5 million minorities.
Even after the fight against EPRDF has been won resulting in the retreat of TPLF leaders to Tigrai, the PM’s men on ESAT, SisayAgena and Mesay Mekonen (the former absurdly received admiration as a symbol of professional journalism from none other than Abiy) haven’t stopped their baseless linking of every political crisis and crime to Tigrai thus making sure the hate against Tegaru lives and thrives.
It’s worth noting here that ESAT has now become an unofficial mouthpiece of the PMO on par with ETV and Walta.
Alemayehu G. Mariam, better known as Al Mariam, a professor of political science at California State University. As someone who studied and has lived in the U.S. for long, Prof. Al Mariam portrays himself as a scholar who stands up against racial inequality in the U.S; and is often heard voicing his support for African-American causes. Unfortunately, when it comes to his country of origin, he’s a divisive personknown to subtly spread his hate against Tegaru.
In fact, that subtlety gave way to blatant hate or the approval of it recently. In his August 03, 2020 post, Prof. Aelmayehu wrote, “All Ethiopians have a moral duty to help their brothers and sisters in Tigray free themselves from the TPLF yoke. We must help all progressive forces seeking to bring freedom, democracy and human rights to the people of Tigray”. How thoughtful of him if it were genuine.
On the contrary, nearly two weeks later, on Aug. 16, the professor offended many Tegaru (no doubt Oromos as well) when he tweeted in bold letters, “TADIOS TANTU-- SPEAKING TRUTH TO ANYONE WHO CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH. TADIOS DOES NOT MINCE WORDS!”
To those who do not know Tadios Tantu, he is a wannabe revisionist historian who restlessly spews hate against Tegaru, Oromo and other ethnic groups, while exalting the Amahra in his countless writings and interviews. Nevertheless, not too many people take Tadios seriously because, for one thing, he’s dismissed as a self-hating man who doesn’t spare even his own ethnic group, the Wolaita, from vilification. For another, he is a sickly looking elderly man with one foot in the grave, hence not worth holding accountable for his despicable statements.
So, it’s this kind of man that is absurdly being puffed up as truth teller by Prof. Al Mariam for sheer vanity that the Amhara happened to be glorified at the expense of other ethnic groups. However, anyone, particularly someone who preaches Ethiopian unity would denounce, at least not approve of, hatemonger Tadios Tantu.
Prof. Al Mariam is believed to be an informal advisor and confidant of Abiy Ahmed, and some would say no surprise there.
Seyoum Teshome: Social media’s hater-in-chief has no qualms about his ethnic resentment of anything Tigrai and Tegaru. In a country where there is justice and the rule of law impartially applies, Seyoum would be charged with hate speech and defamation long ago.
Seyoum’s hate speeches against Tegaru are too many to keep track of. In fact, Seyoum doesn’t hesitate to attack even those serving in the Abiy govt. as long as they happen to be of Tigraian origin. During the June 2018 bomb blast in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square, for instance, Seyoum was quick to accuse Dr. Arkebe Oqubay as part of the bomb plot without presenting a shred of evidence to back his allegation (which he removed from his fb page after already sowing his seed of hate and suspicion).
Tewolde Gebremariam, the Ethiopian Airlines General Manager, is still at his position because his knowledge, skills and experience is needed by the Abiy govt. Regrettably, Tewolde has become Seyoum’s punching bag at every opportunity.
Zadig Abraha, a rising rookie politician during the EPRDF regime abandoned his party to eventually make a switch to P.P., and is now reportedly a Minister in charge of democratization. Yet, in the eyes of Seyoum, Zadig is anything but a Woyane mole placed to spy for TPLF.
Seyoum, who boasts as a defender of PM and his reform agenda blatantly, alleges that there is a mole in Abiy’s cabinet without substantiating it, and without any fear of reprimand.
Lilay Hailemariam’s resentment towards his former political party TPLF and its leaders is clearly evident. But notgood enough to convince the Tigraian hater. For Seyoum, Lilay is not just a suspect to keep an eye on, but rather a definite TPLF Spy.
Moreover, Seyoum questioned Tewodros Tsegaye’s loyalty to Ethiopia despite the fact that the journalist is well-known for his patriotism as a staunch advocate of Ethiopian unity. He also called for an arrest warrant against Dr. Debretsion for the President of Tigrai’s apparent refusal to hand-in Getachew. The list goes on.
It seems Seyoum has become a one-man media who perhaps is granted an attack dog status by the PM or his henchmen.
Surrounded by these types of unleashed attack dogs, it makes one wonder, how could PM Abiy and his backers expect to win the hearts and minds of Tegaru? Furthermore, can’t Abiy see how hard he is making it for his subordinates such as Dr. Abraham Belay, Zadig Abraha, Nebiyu Sihul Michael, et al.? Or is it that he just doesn’t give a damn?
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