The question many Ethiopians ask is who is Abiy Ahmed, wasn’t he a loyal servant of Tigray People’s Liberation Front /TPLF, and part of the swamp he is now claiming to be draining?
For 27 yrs of the tenure of TPLF rule, they had made a number of historic mistakes; the major one was that TPLF grossly abused the federalism that they are now claiming to be defending and instead they devolved Tigray hegemony to all other parts of Ethiopia.
Let us also mention some of their positive sides, in the past three decades, TPLF has overseen Ethiopia developing and becoming the fastest growing economic hub in the region. During their tenure, Ethiopia’s economy experienced strong, broad-based growth averaging 9.8% a year from 2008/09 to 2018; Ethiopia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rebounded to 9% in 2018. The persistent higher economic growth brought with it positive trends in poverty reduction in both urban and rural areas. According to the World Bank, the share of the population living below the national poverty line decreased from 30% in 2011 to 24% in 2017.
Nevertheless, Abiy Ahmed erratic leadership coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic shock, the worst locust invasion in decades, Political disruption, associated with social unrest and now the War he declared against TPLF is negatively leading to the increased price of basic foods, rising unemployment, the slowdown in economic growth, increase in poverty and taking the country to the brink of prolonged civil war.
Notwithstanding, when OPDO and ADM who were TPLF allies united in defeating the TPLF within EPRDF a party that they dominated for 27 years, TPLF accepted the defeat and benevolently handed over the power to OPDO led by Abiy Ahmed.
All over a sudden, in two years, Abiy instead of carefully leading the country during the transitional period he has dismantled EPRDF, the very party that brought him to power, and turned it into a single unitary party (PP) under his centralised command.
To the surprise of many Ethiopians, Abiy while using the Coronavirus as a pretext, he unilaterally delayed the elections indefinitely and started arresting all the influential Oromo politicians. Abiy brutally crackdown the Oromo protests whilst he killed hundreds of innocent people s and arresting thousands of Oromo civilians. The highest number ever killed in one instance in recent history.
To make the matter worse, Abiy has now started an aimless war against the TPLF which he sees as the last adversary to his rule. The war he declared against TPLF is not about saving the country from disintegration as he claims but it is part of efforts that he wants to realise the dream of his mother of him being the 7th king of Ethiopia and to complete the legacy of Menelik whom he sees as his role model by rebuilding what he calls modern Ethiopia with strong unitary government at the helm.
We, the non-Abyssinians, remember very well what the previous imperial rulers of this empire such as Menilik, Haile-Selassie, and Mengistu whom Abiy Ahmed sees as a role model had done to other Ethiopians and particularly to the colonised southern nations.
In view of that, no German today glorifies Hitler. Any Ethiopian who glorifies Menelik, Haile Selassie, or Mengistu cannot claim to care about the lives of Ethiopians. hence, so long as some people believe that they are a superior breed to others and are the undisputed rulers of Ethiopia, the bloodbath will not stop.
To this end, it’s time for all Ethiopians to put aside their differences and save the country from this reckless and crazy dictator who is in the making. All Ethiopians have to stand with the innocent Tigraian civilians that Abiy is bombarding day in day out.
Let us say no to a new dictator for Ethiopia. Abiy should unconditionally release all the political opponents that he arrested and agree to be fairly challenged in a fair and democratic election. We appeal to the international community to pressure Abiy to resign so that a transitional government can be formed that pave the country for a fair and democratic election.