Once again, the prime minister made a wonderful speech to Ethiopians in Europe. The speech he delivered in Frankfurt made our hearts leap with joy. Moreover, the spirit of peace-loving people has been revived. Earlier, with the advent of the new government, I was full of confidence that the reform would bring about an end to our misery. But with the passage of time things seemed to have taken opposite directions. I should be frank to confess that I personally was on the brink of losing hope because of certain unexpected incidents happening in this poor country of ours. The incumbent government has openly given deaf ears (at least I feel so) to woes echoed on a daily basis by many innocent citizens. It has insignificantly been so patient that ill-wishers are taking advantages of this.
We have not forgotten the promise made by the PM that his government would not arrest any individuals before their cases are investigated. But to our dismay we have been witnessing the law being violated. Suffice it to mention the fact that young people numbering over one thousand were summarily arrested here in Addis Ababa and sent to prisons and military camps without due process of law. These and other similar occurrences caused me to lose hope. However, I don’t forget one important thing. What Dr. Abiy once said probably shows the problems he has been confronted with… “The challenges are abundant from within… challenges that are not talked over and listed out…” I can sense how he has been filled with fury.
Probably I am one of those who have no patience to wait and see until things come back to normal. I tell you that I need the government to take practical measures promptly against those who are pushing this country in to an abyss of misery. The government should also show in a tangible way that this country is owned by all Ethiopians irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity and gender. Then after, we definitely put trust in the reform. Of course, the marvelous speech made to Ethiopians residing in Europe can be regarded as a magic wand that reinvigorates our hope.
We all watched over television that Ethiopians numbering about 20,000 were completely swept off their feet by Dr. Abiy’s speech delivered at a stadium in Frankfurt. The premier said on the occasion that though the day looked dusky in Ethiopia, one should not be doubtful that the darkness would soon become a crack of dawn. I assumed this remarkable message was passed over not only to the diaspora community in Europe but also to all other Ethiopians who were likely giving up hope over the ongoing reform.
When the Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed took the podium, all Ethiopians gathered from various European countries burst out in appreciation and extended tumultuous welcome to him. Soon after, with the big sound fading away he said, “as you made us feel proud by becoming united, I say my prayer so that your unity won’t be taken away”. The premier gave salutation with smiling face to the gathering using different European and local languages. He then touched on the misery befallen Europeans because of the few leaders who were blinded by their personal benefits. He said that the destructions followed by World War II were initiated by those who claimed with fantasies that their race excelled that of others. “This is a scar resulting from the malicious war that has still been recollected with regret,” he said.
The words the premier was using on the occasion moved almost all Ethiopians to tears. “My country might probably fall asleep; but not dead. Ethiopia might become weak; but not got defeated. My dear mom may probably become skinny; but not got snapped.” There can hardly be any mentally stabled Ethiopian whose eyes won’t be brimmed with tears while listening to these words of the premier.
Dr. Abiy has given a big lesson to those narrow-minded Ethiopians who claimed the entire country to be their personal property. Those xenophobic Ethiopians who are residing in overseas countries being given first level citizenship by the respective nations should pay heed to this important message. They should take time to stop and think of the adverse effects of their maliciously brewed poisons being disseminated across the country. They should try to draw lessons (unless they have hidden agendas) from the people (of overseas countries) who gave them shelters. Dr. Abiy reminded the xenophobic Ethiopians that all human beings are equal and should be handled the way they (these xenophobic Ethiopians) are being treated by the country they are now residing. He further touched on the consequences of World War one and two.
“The outcomes of the two world wars were impoverishment, wretchedness, migration, epidemic and destruction. However, reviving from the wars in a very short period of time, the resilient Europeans have thus given shelter to millions, including you, that flowed from all over the world. They have been able to defeat the entire world by putting aside their fighting with one another. They achieved this not by chance. They worked for their countries in unison without losing hope but enduring the miseries.”
What did we gain from the prolonged civil wars waged by narrow nationalists and xenophobic individuals of this country? Nothing… but hatred, nepotism, theft, narrow nationalism… It is unfortunate that we did not draw the good experiences of the Europeans. Being led by croaked leaders, we made ourselves suitable for disparity and racism. We built fences of ethnicity around us. We plunged in to the deep black sea of hatred, nepotism, corruption and chaos.
“After the wars,” the PM said, “the Europeans took choice of unity rather than disparity; and cooperation rather than hindrance; because they realized the advantages… The European people hated war because they themselves fell victim to it. They bitterly fought against racism and dominance for they had realized the devastating consequences. As a nation we, Ethiopians, can draw a big lesson from this.”
The premier gave emphasis to the very fact that here after no one would be given any chance to do whatever s/he likes in this country. “Respected compatriots, one thing you should be certain of is that Ethiopia is not a private domain anyone can bake it like a pan cake; but it is an age-old country brought in to being by a great nation.”
The PM has also underscored the significance of unity and diligence to establish a long-lasting nation. “If we don’t lose hope and are not divided, but rather work hard without spending our times over useless issues, it will never be tough [for us] to make our country bigger… So long as we are united, there won’t be any door we cannot open; no river we cannot cross. It is a privilege to serve Ethiopia. If you stand by us, we drop out the minor agendas and proceed ahead by grasping the big items on the agenda,” the premier noted.
He further highlighted the following points. “It is to light the candle; not preaching the weight and darkness of the night that can be the solution… Say what you did to your country… speaking of somebody doing this and that against your country won’t drop anything for Ethiopia.”
The premier has thus revitalized our hope that this poor country would one day become a suitable home for its citizens. “Believe it or not, Ethiopia will soon become a comfortable country for its people.” We hope so, dear prime minister!
By Haile-Gebriel Endeshaw