By | April 19, 2019


Becoming an OLF – WBO (Miseensa ABO – WBO Ta’uu)

By Bedassa Tadesse, April 19, 2019

Many people often ask, how did the OLF develop so many supporters/ members. While the answer to that question is best given by someone else above my pay grade, I thought a conversation I recently had with a close friend of mine may give us some clues.

My friend suggested that there are three major ways in which people end up becoming members of the OLF. While I did not disagree with him, I thought there is a fourth one. Leaving aside who among the two of us is right to your own judgment, I present the three ways my friend listed first, followed by what I think is the 4th way.

  1. Being born to Oromo parents and getting raised as an Oromo. Even if you do not know what the OLF is, having an Oromo blood is one of the major factors that makes you labeled as a member of the OLF by successive regimes in Ethiopia. This reminds me of the famous saying by the late PM Meles Zenawi: flip every member of the OPDO, you will find that he or she is an OLF.
  2. Going to school, being a successful grade school student, excelling in your education, joining a university and getting your formal degrees from accredited colleges and universities, at home or abroad. To use my own experience, I had no idea what the OLF was until I got off the bus that took me to my undergraduate university campus, Haromaya University. Long story short, it was during the very first day of my arrival at Haromya that I ended up picking the thoughts I have today – that I am Oromo in everyway I am, and I am committed to being that way for the rest of my life – which makes you think that I am an official member of the OLF.
  3. You grow up, become a man or woman of your own, look at your surroundings, start to form your own political opinion, and you find out that the position you hold on most things in life, your true inner core and beliefs align well with no other political party but the OLF and you become an officially certified member of the OLF.
  4. You are neither of the above, nor have any interest in politics. You feel that being affiliated with a political party or getting involved in politics is not for you. You just mind your own business however attractive or not that may be. It is possible that you may not even be an Oromo, except that you have many Oromo friends who may or may not be affiliated with the OLF. Suddenly the government starts to chase you. They haras you; they fire you from your work. Then you ask them what is my crime? To your wildest surprise, they tell you that you are a supporter of the Oromo cause, making you to yearn for the days you would become an official member of the OLF or one who picks up arms and join WBO.

Which route brought you to the OLF? Tell us your story and we will have a lot to learn the many paths (routs) that take people to the OLF/WBO camp. Horaa Bulaa!

2 thoughts on “Becoming an OLF-WBO (Miseensa ABO-WBO Ta’uu)

  1. Dhuguma

    Bedassa Tadesse,
    My observation and personal experience is even worth than the fourth criteria you added. I think, mine is not only fifth criteria in the tier but also the most common way of becoming OLF.
    You can be OLF if you remain genuine and self respected Oromo who have wide range of imagination with no part in OPDO and its servant nature.

    Reply
  2. Olana Abbalichie

    Great! Obboo Bedassa Tadesse and Dhuguma, you have raised an ever important issue. It may be difficult to narrow down the ways of becoming supporter/sympathizer/member/ affiliate to the OLF to a list of four or five. You are both correct and the list can continue to grow and be more than five, maybe endless.
    I think that one way of positive association with the OLF stands out. If one fully understands Ethiopian politics and political history as well as the genuinely held psychology of the great Oromo people, he/she cannot choose any other political organization over the OLF.

    That is why those who have paid heavy prices and sustained the OLF deserve our praise and afforded our gratitude. Nevertheless, since the disease of personal egos and selfishiness which has divided the OLF need to be treated, leaders of the factions must come out of their pity personal rivalries and make the OLF one (undivided) political force that can capitalize on the support of its immensely rich constituency. While the respect and gratitude every Oromo has for the older generation leaders of the OLF is exceptionally high, qeerroo, qaree in particular and the great Oromo people in general expect OLF to become one, and strengthen its leadership with capable and charismatic young Oromo visionaries. The leaders of the organizations functioning under the name of OLF, adding suffixes to the scared name, must swallow their personal prides and unite as a matter of urgency, and come out and announce the good news to the great nation. Remember, we still have respect for them despite the fact that their division has inflicted incalculable damage and harmed the OLF. Please, come together and become one OLF, and the love and respect of your people will be eternal.

    Victory, justice and freedom to the great Oromo people!
    OA

    Reply

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