The Ethiopian Herald By Teshome
Though starting from the 4th EPRDF conference there was a call for unification this burning issue was put on the backburner till it started fructifying yesterday.
Since 1991 the time EPRDF started leading the country grabbing the reign of power the four sister parties namely TPLF, ADP, ODP, and SEPDM had been the ones passing decisions on key issues of the country. The fate of this country was dominantly or solely in the hands of these parties. Needless to mention, TPLF was enjoying the bigger slice of the pie.
Unlike the aforementioned sister parties, affiliated parties under the umbrella of EPRDF were pushed to the periphery. Even if the latter did not cut a posture that stands in contrast to EPRDF, their rights in having a say on salient issues were curtailed.
The constraint in the political equation of EPRDF was not confined to parties alone. The activities of members of ethnonational based parties were limited to the confines of their respective parties. This has resulted in the stunting of the plurality of thought. It had barred the door on the ideas of others from buying credence. Even if affiliated parties were passionately asking for unification pursuant to the perks the unification affords to them in terms of having a say and getting fair treatment, they were downplayed for long given lame pretexts.
Though other contesting parties were sidelined dubbed opposing parties, allied parties too were suffering a cold shoulder treatment cloaked by a Pandora box chance. As EPRDF was using a make-believe affectionate affiliation towards them they were denied the chance to be leaders of the country even if they were to come up with a person displaying topnotch leadership quality.
Emasculating their vision this practice had put their opinion behind bars On national issues they had no role than being a conduit. The political line and ideology they promote could not outgrow the straightjacket TPLF-EPRDF tailored to them. Though they were allies they had no say on decisions to say nothing about voicing a complaint. TPLF was practicing full power under the smokescreen of federalism.
But upon the actualization of unification, both EPRDF’s sister and allied parties will get a chance to enjoy untrammeled participation in matters of national interest. This will help to ward off the unholy party and government marriage drama that had been orchestrated by EPRDF making the party subject to the butt of severe criticism. It will pave a way in letting the reformed EPRDF bring forth the springboard that will allow the country catapult to the pinnacle of development.
The benefits that accrue from the unification include the divorce of state and party. That will help bridge the benefit-and- right gap evidenced among different nationalities. It as well allows the thriving of cooperation and unity that opens room for peace, democracy, and prosperity.
After unification, the four parties alone could not decide on the fate of the country as in the gloomy days, as all Ethiopians will partake in such affairs of national interest. It will put all the Ethiopians on level ground. As such, all Ethiopians work toward mutual growth than digging pitfalls one to another. Instead of assuming an upper hand through denigration and things underhand Ethiopians will focus on common growth that affords amenable life attended by respectfulness. Instead of recounting past misdeeds with a spirit of vengeance, Ethiopians will solidify their chemistry based on genuine love. Covetousness and gluttony will lack room.
Considerateness should be the way forward. This sentiment will come in tandem with the unification of sister and allied parties. When the voice of all parties enjoys heedful ears, genuine democracy becomes palpable. Building great Ethiopia will not be beyond the domain of possibility. But if we let the preferential treatment go on, the country’s existence will fall under a question mark. The reformed EPRDF which is part of these decision-begging issues must contemplate translating these must-dos into practice.
“The pedestal of power is doable in so far as I sit on it. Yet it soon begins to rain terror when I’m dislodging from it!” has become the recent mantra of the TPLF-driven EPRDF that was ruling the country for almost three decades with an iron fist. This inane catchphrase doesn’t work as the saying goes “There is naught so vile as a fickle tongue!” TPLF-driven EPRDF was hammering home unification during its heydays but after it was relegated to the back seat on grounds of its uncouth behavior, it is seen making a frantic bid to hammer home the same unification, which is used to espouse, is inimical to a nation.
Besides, the unification will take the federalism Ethiopia touts from a window dressing to a genuine one. Hence, media outlets from now on will throw their full weight behind the promotion of federalism in the true sense of the world. They will work hard till peace, democracy and development pull roots.