Ethiopia’s democratic process has taken one small step forward last week. Activists from the Oromo
community in Ethiopia have started a well organized campaign against Bedele Beer owner for becoming the main sponsor of the upcoming tour of Teddy Afro. The campaign started when Teddy Afro known for his infatuation with past emperors was quoted glamorizing Atse Minilk’s conquest and his expansion of Ethiopia towards south where many of the Oromo community lived. It is said Atse Minilk army was very harsh against the Oromo people and other communities in the area. Many argue, Atse Minilk – partially from the Oromo ethnic himself, harsh treatment of the people was not unique since most of the feudal emperors before him were also harsh to the Amhara, Tigreans and the Afars.
In the West when people get frustrated with certain companies act they usually start a boycott campaign to punish the company where it hurts. This has been a very known and effective tool in many of the well established democratic countries. Unlike the old days where Ethiopians always turn a simply disagreement in to a quarrel of zero sum game outcome, this time, the Oromo activists are using a proven tool to make their voice heard. We say amen to this, but what about you?
Also, we were taken back when we heard after coming this far in the democratic process and after building the strong foundation of the new federal democratic Ethiopia, the Orormia regional government has given a go ahead to build a museum somewhere in Arrsi that will hold a controversial statue. The statue is said to represent Atse Minilk’s atrocities against women. We think this is not what Ethiopians need to bring forth at this point in time. Now is the time to forgive and move on against the common enemy we have that is poverty.
Never mind about the veracity of the history behind the statue. We do not need to go that far to find out of our brutal emperors and governments before. We have the Mengistu Hailemariam government with a much more horrific stories. The question is why was OPDO not persuasive enough to ask the locals to focus on the current issue than the past? We understand some of the dysfunctional opposition infatuation with emperors of the past! At times it is irritating but why fall for their trap? These oppositions are left over’s of the last supper that was served some 22 years ago! Can’t we forget them and move on? Have Your say!!