The Deceptive Politics of Abiy Ahmed
By Worku Gadissa, September 3, 2020
Who is Col. Abiy Ahmed (Abyot Kahsay)?
Cultural and political lies have always been the way of life in Ethiopia and the Abiy government runs on those same principles of deceit and distortion. There is again an epidemic of lying in politics today, but with even more lying than during the time of TPLF.
The traditional lie in Ethiopia is what you grow up with from childhood and it is hereditary. Lying is a contagious disease like leprosy affecting everyday life. Bad trees will never bear good fruit, and so a child who grows up in a lying society is hard to change. Today, in Ethiopia, deception is natural, there is no shame or guilt to lying in such a society.
The lying politics and conspiracy theories developed by Abiy is based on ethnic politics and opens up a Pandora’s Box which generates complex racial hatred and divisions along ethnic lines. Deceptive and manipulative “medemer” propaganda has been used to change the way people live and behave. In the beginning, nobody paid attention, and the “medemer” myth was regarded as a justifiable tool for solving all problems of the country. The reality is, what did Abiy bring to Ethiopia? Is Ethiopia better today than before?
Did lies and deception work well for Abiy? The answer is both, yes and no. Deception took him to great heights, but the reality is out, and Oromos know it.
Abiy’s Nefxegna group, his support base, consider his lies and conspiracies acceptable and ignore them, giving him their full support. Although deceitful and manipulative, his lying words worked well and profited him to certain degree, at the same time that it created distrust and division in the rest of society.
The Oromos who gave him the chance to become the prime minister or crowned him as 7th king, were marginalized and millions were forcibly displaced from their lands, suppressed, exposed to economic hardship. Arbitrary imprisonment and political murder is becoming common. After nearly two and half years as PM, and as the crisis in the country is growing, Abiy has been losing momentum in the political landscape among Oromos. He cannot unite the country, he can only bring chaos and ethnic hatred as he sows division. Col. Abiy Ahmed made hundreds of speeches but I have selected two dozen specifically related to Oromos. This paper attempts to examine Abiy’s political lies and his particular hatred towards the Oromos by comparing his words and deeds.
Who is the Real Abiy Ahmed?
Is there an error or lie in Abiy’s ethnicity? Abiy cheated Oromos by pretending to be an Oromo and became Prime Minister on that lie. At the beginning, many considered that Abiy was born from an Oromo father and an Amhara mother. He was identified variously as Muslim, Orthodox and Pentecostal Christian. He changed his name from Abyot Kahsay to Abiy Ahmed. There is ambiguity of his father, and recent study doubt of his Orommumaa and critics say Abiy came to Mr. Ahmed’s house as a child. In one of his speeches to the parliament, Abiy said “if you think I am an Oromo, you are wrong.” On July 7, 2020, again addressing a meeting he said that he struggled for Oromo causes for 30 years and he has the right to claim to be an Oromo… This is a clear instance of Abiy`s double standard of lies and of his deceptive character.
Abiy used his Orommumaa to exploit and manipulate people and to become Prime Minister. Many consider Abiy as an Oromo, and because of that the Amharas often chant the slogan “Gallaaa aigezaanim,” meaning, no Galaa rule over us. A high ranking officials once said “Gallaa ande amet kemigzan, Tigree matoo amet begezan yishalal.” Oromo don’t want to rule over anybody, except themselves. To those saying ‘Galaa Aygezanim”, I have some practical advice from the Eritrean Freedom Father Wolde Aab Wolde Mariam, who said, “Amhara enquan ligezan qerto lingezaw yemimech aydelem”. Abiy often wears two color masks, an Oromo in his mouth but Amhara in his heart, but always sides and supports the Amharas. The majority think that he is a counterfeit of Oromo and Amhara descent. He often speaks about his Amhara mother but is never heard saying a word about his late father. Anyhow, the reality is that many have begun to doubt Abiy as an Oromo. There is a strong belief that Ahmed is not his biological father.
So we aren’t certain where he originated, but if you know who Abiy, the person is, you will know why Ethiopia is suffering. If you want to know who someone is, just listen and watch, and then you will develop an understanding of that person. If you want to know who Col. Abiy Ahmed is, it is only enough to listen to his speeches and observe his actions during his last two years as Prime Minister. Over the last two years I have carefully studied most of his political speeches, attitudes, acts and attacks explicitly targeting the Oromo people. He promises peace and unity, but then his acts create violence and anger. He does not attempt to unite this country but to divide it. If we believe Abiy is going to unite us we are deceiving ourselves. The wit and wisdom of Abiy is to lie and deceive and confuse people. How can anyone in his right mind support Abiy?
I have more than two dozen illustrations of lies and deceptions of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. If you are Abiy’s supporter, stay calm, fasten your seat belt, listen, and please don’t be angry. For others, take a deep breath and enjoy the remainder of this paper.
Is Abiy Ahmed Uniting Ethiopia?
After the fall of TPLF, people expected everything to be rosy and hoped for a peaceful transition. In just two years the country became racked with crises of violence, war, social and political and economic problems, deepening divisions and intensifying racial hatreds. At the beginning,, many got swept up in Abiy’s rhetoric and mistakenly expected that he would solve the problems of the country. When Abiy Ahmed gave his deceptive speeches, he and his lies were able to carry the crowd to great heights of joy. All were delighted and clapped their hands. But of course, the question was would Abiy unite the country?
I found Abiy to be the most corrupt, wicked leader who has no regard for human beings. He is unfit and incapable of being a Prime Minister we all want and need. Today, no matter where you go in Oromia, there are arbitrary murders, imprisonment, looting, burning down of homes, rapes, fear and all sorts of suffering for only being born as an Oromo. Abiy brought national catastrophic disaster to our lives, and to social and economic issues.
Is there a significant difference between Meles Zenawi and Abiy Ahmed? Not really. Meles was an evil genius, while Abiy is street smart and a destructive fool. Given their rules over Oromia, it all only amounts to the differences in methodology to achieve Tigray and Amhara power. Both fear Oromos and want to abolish Oromummaa. It goes from bad to worse – from fry pan to fire. Dr. Tesegaye Ararsaa said, “Oromia is the private domain of Abiy Amed, a place where he can do whatever he likes.”
Abiy has made hundreds of lying speeches and confusing statements. Everywhere he goes he talks non-stop. For example, in 2018, when he visited Washington DC, everybody went nuts by his rhetoric’s of fantasy and in only two days stay, he made 13 meetings and speeches with Ethiopians living there and those are excluding the meetings he had with US officials and the World Bank.
There are no stones unturned by Col. Abiy to abolish or destroy the Qeerroo struggle for freedom. In this article, and others which are coming, I am going to discuss selected anti- Oromo remarks taken from Abiy’s speeches.
Accusation of Qeerroo as Terrorist
We start with Abiy’s, serious accusations and criminalization of Qeerroo. Only one month before he was sworn in as prime minister he called Qeerroo “stone throwing, road blocking, ambulance burning, Terrorist” groups. At that time, even though Abiy was one of the active members of Team Lema, it should have been obvious to all that he would betray Oromos. When I first heard him calling Qeerroo, terrorist, I was astounded and worried, and I doubted that this guy is a true Oromo?
Abiy’s hatred for Qerroo did not occur overnight. It was before he rose to prominence as a PM, when he was the head of the notorious INSA intelligence agency. Thus, Col. Abiy was a criminal and serial killer even before he became Prime Minister. For example, the night before the Bishoftu Irreecha Massacre he was part of the planning committee for the military action that massacred 700 innocent people there. It is beyond comprehension and it is a tragedy that Ethiopia is the only country where you massacre so many lives but can still become the prime minister. In civilized western countries, a leader who carried out such a terrible crime would be brought to justice, but not in Ethiopia. I have never been able to understand how he became prime minister and it remains beyond comprehension how he was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace! Oh my God!
Labeling of Qeerroo as ‘Menga’
Also, after he become PM he called Qerroo “menga”, not once, but many times in his speeches. The term menga was coined by Abiy and is synonymous to a herd of cattle (lawless mob). It was intended as a racial slur or insult and was later adopted by all Neftegna social media to degrade Qeerroo. Since then, these derogatory remarks have become common remarks used exclusively to attack Oromos. We all remember that the same intimidating and humiliating word was used at the celebration of Ethiopian New Year Eve at the palace in the presence of Abiy. During the show a young lady ridiculed and called Qeerroo “menga”.
When I heard Abiy calling Qeerroo, ‘menga’, I became speechless and astounded. I had the feeling that he was no good for Orormo people. Dishonoring and criminalizing peaceful demonstrators as terrorists and menga is beyond belief. I started to ask myself, who is this guy? Is he not an Oromo? Abiy tends to forget that he came to power at the expense and the sacrifice of 5,000 Qerroo lives and hundreds of thousands wounded or imprisoned. He not only discredited and criminalized the Qeerroo but the entire Oromo nation. Abiy personally profited from Qeerroo, has he not?
Abiy moved to Menelik Palace through the tactics of “Trojan Horse,” he double crossed and cheated Oboo Lema Megersa and became PM. Just like someone wearing a camouflage military uniform, he used Afan Oromo as a ploy to become an Oromo. After becoming PM he started to ignore and undermine the Oromo struggle, pushing out Oromos from his administration and replacing them with nefxegnoch and ‘geltu-gentu- bitemtu’ Oromos of slave mentality. I have been watching and listening to Abiy from the very beginning and told friends that he has a sinister scheme to destroy Oromuma and therefore, should not be trusted.
Abiy is a confused guy, he does not know where he is going and what he is saying and that is why Sebhat Nega, called him “ginii alebet” devil possessed or mentally ill patent.) Remember, Abiy is the most confused and most divisive leader among Ethiopian leaders. Internal ethnic conflict is growing and anti-Oromo hate is on the rise. Abiy did not come to unite the country. He came to divide the country and sided with the Amharas. He is adding fuel to the fire to existing ethnic differences, instead of extinguishing the fire.
For far too long, for over 130 years, Ethiopian rulers have tried, relentlessly to destroy Oromo identity. The primary reason why Col. Abiy dishonors and criminalizes the Oromo Youth Movement that brought down the tyrant OPDO/TPLF after 27 years of dictatorial rule is to advance his political agenda. He wants total destruction of Oromo identity and establishing Ethiopiawinet or Habesha dream of assimilation. This desperate move, of course, is sheer stupidity and will not work because it has been tried for more than a century and failed.
Meles Zenaw said that he will change the Oromo majority into a minority and exterminate them like the Red Indians of the USA. Abiy is fully committed to making similar plans to abolish Oromo culture and language and weakening them economically and politically.
The truth of the matter is nothing worked right for Abiy from the Oromo prospective. Things may have changed for better for the nefxegnoch, but for the Oromos the overall situation is worse than before.
Restoration and Renovation of Menelik Palace
One of Abiy’s great ambitions was the restoration and renovation of King Menelik’s old Palace. To symbolize his absolute power and introduce Amhara nationalism rule, he built a lavish great palace, a den for robbers and criminals. In addition, he created a giant and beautiful recreation park with a zoo for wildlife. In a country where the majority of the population lives below the poverty level in deplorable conditions and in mud huts with grass thatched roofs, building a palace for luxury is a crime. His most pressing issue was not to eliminate the prevailing hunger and famine but to rebuild the palace and monuments to past kings. Systemic displacement is still going on in several areas in Oromia and there are more than three million displaced people living in corrugated iron sheet houses and makeshift camps. What really remarkable is that more military camps and prisons are being built in Oromia, than schools or hospitals.
The rebuilding and renovation of Menelik’s Palace reminds us of Louis XIV Palace Versailles France, which led to the end of Louis XIV’s rule and resulted in the French Revolution. After Gorbachev’s Perestroika, Joseph Stalin’s monuments all over Russia were torn down and removed. The monument dedicated to Vladimir Lenin in Finfine in front of ECA was torn down, trashed and buried after the fall of the Mengistu regime. So it shall be done to the statues in Giorgis (Birbrsaa/ Araadaa) and Dalati ( Arat Kilo) Mengistu H. Mariam killed Haile Silasse and buried him under a toilet room in the palace. Good luck Col. Abiy Ahmed! Menelik’s Palace is the place where dens of robbers and killers are living, it is strongly symbolic of colonization and slavery and reminds us of the atrocities committed to Oromos and other minority nationalities in Ethiopia.
Another example of Abiy’s fantasy is the mega projects building of luxury apartments and hotels for sex tourism, which will be discussed later.
Palace Tour Guide
The most remarkable about Abiy is that in order to attract people to visit the palace, and for advertisement and promotion, he made a one hour long film of himself as a tour guide. He played tour guide, walking and showing different sites, the historical buildings, the wildlife zoo games and recreational gardens.
Another funny thing Abiy did was that, one day he went out to the city and called upon homeless people living on the street to visit the palace with himself acting as their tour guide.
Abiy’s false assumption was that an appearance of virtue and righteousness could prove that he was a benevolent leader. If he is a really good prime minister he should have first built a shelter for the homeless living on the streets and the three million displaced people living in makeshift camps. Col. Abiy has no moral standards or beliefs but is a hypocrite show man.
The 7th King
In his inaugural speech and on many other occasions, he said that his mother prophesied of him that he will be the 7th King [Menelik III] of Ethiopia. He started seeing himself as a king and behaving like a king. Abiy told everybody, including Meles Zenawi and Samora Yanus, that he is going to be a king one day and he is working hard to lift himself to the level of a king. He is simply revealing his dream to reign as King Menelik and restore and promote the old colonial empire. It is quite laughable – an Oromo seeking to be king. If he is true Oromo he does not fulfill the criteria of a king. Although, Haile Silasse was said half Oromo descent, according to “Kebre Negest” (Glory of Kings), kingship comes only by being Amhara, believer in Orthodox Church and a direct line to King Solomon’s dynasty of ancient Israel. We all remember Emperor Haile Silasse, King of Kings, Elect of God, conquering Lion of Judah. The 7th king is only a jock and a dream for propaganda purposes and there is no truth in it.
King Menelik Legacy
In his parliament inaugural speech, April 12, 2018, Abiy made one of the most inflammatory statements that offended all Oromos and Southern Peoples. Abiy, in his most outlandish inaugural speech glorified and praised King Menelik over and over again until his heart almost burst with pride. Obviously, it is an insult to praise and glorify Minelik. As usual, there was applause and hand clapping for him during the speech. Oromia was conquered and Oromos were treated like slaves, exploited and suppressed, their lands taken from them, their identity and history lost for more than a century. At Anolee in Arsii, thousands were mutilated, men’s right hand, women’s right breast chopped off by Menelik. Menelik’s conquest introduced serfdom and a system of tyranny. Slave trade was widely practiced during his rule in Oromia and Southern Peoples Regions. Abiy kept repeating Menelik’s legacy, but tried to hide the past injustices and crimes.
We have many scars of past wounds and Abiy’s speech was just like adding salt to those old wounds. We look at the scars and remember the pain and sorrow Menelik caused the Oromo people. The argument is not whether Oromia was conquered but Abiy was deliberately using the occasion to ignore and undermine the Oromos present struggle for freedom and justice. From day one of his premiership, he began trying to reform the ‘glorious old style feudal empire’, using rising Amhara nationalism to regain the lost power and privilege. Menelik’s legacy is only agonizing but dividing the victors Amhara with Oromo victims. As the saying goes, ‘one man’s hero is another man’s villain’. While Nefxegnoch remember the glory of Menelik’s Palace and the virtue of Menelik’s legacy, Oromos understand Menelik’s reign as subjugation and humiliation at the hands of an invader. Unity cannot ever be achieved by glorifying and praising the historic, one-sided, inhumane rule of a tyrant and you shouldn’t expect Oromos to enjoy celebrating Menelik.
Tigrians as Golden Race
Abiy is full of bluster and there is no coherence in his speeches. Most of the time, there is confusion and contradiction in his speeches. Remember, when he called the Tigrean “golden race and the motor of Ethiopia”. Yet, on another occasion, he called them “yeken jiboch and banda” (hyenas and bandits). Tigrian pride is throttled by Abiy’s emphasis upon the natural superiority of the Tigrians, on the account of the privilege of 27 years in power.
After many threats against Debre Tsion, Abiy softened his tone and began praising Debre Tision. He wanted to establish a close relationship and begged him to join and fight their common enemy the Oromo. Here is another thing to remember. Abiy called Tigrean business groups and told them“ ene eyalehu yaferachutn nebret yemineka yelem” ( As far as I am living, no one is going to touch your possessions) He often elevated Tigrean and Amharas as historically superior race and argued that they had once ruled the world and they will so do again under his leadership. Whenever he visits Tigray or Amhara regions, he honors them with exaggerated praise. But Oromia is his speech garbage collectors, when visiting Oromia, he normally attacks, accuses and threatens the Oromo people. It is sad that he has forgotten that Oromos helped him to get into Maenelik palace. Abiy often says outrageous things one day and contradicts himself the next day. Abiy has a narcissistic personality disorder and often there is no coherence in his speeches.
Just for a record, PM. Haile M. Desalegn thanked Tigrean, said this “le Tigray hizbe keflen yemanchrsaw ye meto amet eda alebn” (we cannot pay back enough for Tigreans in 100 years what they did for us.
Oromos must remember that it was Haile Mariam who boasted saying “ yemayadagm irmeja inwosdalen”. During his reign of terror more than 5,000 Qeerroos killed hundreds thousands imprisoned or tortured. On October, 2, 2016, as many as 700 innocent people massacred during the Irrecha Festival in Bishoftu
The Ironic Nicknames of Abiy
When Abiy rose to power, everybody was carried away by his sweet rhetoric and gave him many overrated and popular names. All the new names were given by “Nefxegnoch” to help Abiy to bring back Ethiopia to its old glory. Some of the names also come from Abiy’s self- proclaimed prophet, who manipulated ignorance of the masses for his own greedy ambitions for power.
Since he had a vision to be 7th king, many likened him to King Menelik, who would unite Ethiopia and bring back the old glory of Amhara supremacy. The reason why he is renovating and restoring the old palace and building monuments to feudal kings is to fulfill the mystic belief that he will become the 7th king.
The Nefxegna groups have gone to the extent of portraying and calling or and comparing him to: – Moses, Angel, Prophet, Abaa Gadaa Abichu, Ashagre etc. Many Oromo often call him “Afuftuu”.
Moses – Many used the Biblical prophecy of Moses who led the Israelites in Egypt out of bondage, through the Red Sea to the Promised Land. Moses led the Israelites out of slavery but Abiy leads Ethiopia back to Menelik era slavery. People believe that God sent Abiy to be Prime Minister of Ethiopia. I do not know how to say the spiritually correct way, but can God make a mistake?
Angel- – Many exalt Abiy to the level of an angel to protect Ethiopia. Abiy’s narrative is filled with magic’s and tricks that show wherever he traveled and spoke, the earth shook and stones split in reaction to the power in his speeches. People gave Abiy the angel name because they wanted an angle of peace and truth but they got, instead, a false angel that murders people instead of uniting them. I don’t think he loves or cares for Ethiopia, he cares only for himself.
The Prophet— Others, call him a prophet, called by God and given power to lead Ethiopia. Abiy is a false prophet. He is a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing who is trying to deceive millions. Sebhat Nega said, “jinii alebet”. (He is possessed by a demon)
Elmaa Abaa Gadaa – Oromos were blinded by his rhetoric and gave him the honor name of Abaa Gadaa. In fact, he should be called “Abaa Bulgu” or “Afuftuu”. It took the Oromos a long time to recognize Abiy`s evil and sinister intent to destroy Oromummaa.
Ashagre — The Amharas favor Abiy as a leader who is going to lead Ethiopia back to the old imperial glory. They are so certain that he will give them victory over the Oromos that they named him Ashager, the transformer. Except Nefxegnoch, it is not difficult to find, everybody today talking about how Abiy Ahmed screwed up the country.
Abichu – The name came from a Sallale hero who fought in the Machew War against Italy. I don’t understand how Abiy given the name. Abichu never killed and hated Oromos. But Abiy wears the mask of Oromumma and killing Oromo people
When Abiy became PM, many Oromo were blinded by his cleverly devised myth and followed him thinking that he had a calling from God to unite and lead the country. However, Abiy put the country into a deep coma from which it cannot awaken. People were hypnotized and wanted to believe the alluring picture presented to them by Nefxegna social media. But visions of peace are again sullied by a horrible truth. Now, except for his Nefxegna base, his popularity and support have melted away like snow. Still, he continues leading the country into doomsday.
Death of Hachalu Hundesaa
Does Hachalu’s death signal the end of Abiy’s lies?
The tyrant always falls. The trick is to ignore lying promises of peace, prosperity, justice and stability. Those concepts are taken, not given. We Oromo always make the same mistakes. We Oromo trust the best liars spawned by our country’s lying culture.
Perhaps the recent murder of Hachalu Hundessa will help speed the downfall of our most recent tyrant.
According to a recently published book, title “The Hijacked Revolution” Abiy summoned Hachalu to his palace and told the truth:
“The struggle has ended. The country is now under the Oromo rule. As from now on, stop incitement of people to violence and support the transformation. In exchange, you will be rewarded financially. Whether you like it or not, I am going to rule over the country for the next ten years. If you try to defy these instructions, we will not tolerate you for one minutes.”
After Hachalu’s death, Abiy sent another lie. Government issued a statement saying that Hachalu was assassinated by Shane (OLF). How could OLF kill its own most beloved and respected son? OLF could not.
Part II continues