What really happened between Dr. Abiy and Obo Lemma?


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“The Oromo people have raised their questions and trusted us to address each and every one of them. It is unthinkable for ODP to join any other party before addressing these issues” stated Obo Lemma Megerssa. History cannot deny the fact that he has dealt with adversities while trying to give ODP and the Oromo people a chance in the political leadership.

There is no evidence that there are questions that the Oromo people wanted to be addressed except for good governance. The region’s economic revolution, ownership and governance issues were promised to be dealt with by ODP. Obo Lemma has not made clear how in joining the Ethiopian development party will the issues raised by the Oromo people not be dealt with. Points raised by Obo Lemma to defy the concept of unification of parties are the following: 

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  • The whole of Oromia region and zones within must be united first. 
  • Before unification we must first know thoroughly what our differences and similarities are and who is behind this concept. 
  • We must consult professionals and hold a conference. 
  • We must not rush in making this decision. 

Obo Lemma Megerssa insists that this concept of unification is being enforced upon the people by foreign powers and suggests that the US is responsible. Although the ODP insists that the questions of the Oromo people will not be addressed through this unified party, it seems highly unlikely since the Oromo ethnicity consists of the highest number of population in Ethiopia. Therefore, how the ODP is considering and handling this issue does not seem to very reasonable. 

Obo Lemma Megerssa is a great leader who fits the psychology of his people and does not back down from speaking out for them. But it does not seem like he is in a suitable political position currently as Defense Minister. He stated on the interview he had with VOA that he had lost his voice and that he does not like the speed at which things are moving nowadays. 

Dr. Abiy Ahmed believes that it is not just an option but a priority for the ethnicities in Ethiopia to drop the concept of nationalism and move towards unification for a better future. This feud of ideas could result in one of the following:

  1. Obo Lemma and Dr. Abiy could come to some kind of agreement through the mediation of other parties. Obo Lemma would be placed in a position of power like his former days. 
  2. Obo Lemma would separate the members of the ODP party in to two which is adding a bigger problem than it is already faced with. The elite would side along with Lemma whereas it would not be difficult to rule the middle class and farmers for Abiy. In addition, it would not take an expert to guess what the so-called Qerro would do in the face of this separation. 
  3. Lemma would leave the Ethiopian development party and start his own party. He would work with Jawar and his kind to rule the hearts of the Oromo people. The Oromo people and the Qerro would be divided. 
  4. Lemma would join other Oromo political parties and go with the usual opposition movement. This may result in many issues but bad governance and low influence may be in question. 
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