The once banned, deemed terrorist and persecuted OLF for the last 28 years has emerged victorious when the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) certified it as a legal National Party in Ethiopia today. It is historic in a way because the Ethiopian political landscape that has incessantly been portraying the Oromo People’s struggle spearheaded by the OLF as a monster finally succumbed to the Country’s realty for the first time in its history. This is the right way forward: Any smear campaign, defamation, acts of marginalization/exclusion and hate propaganda against anyone did not work, never works and is not going to work.
What works best in the interest of the country and its people is reckoning with the realty and searching for a common ground. OLF is not a monster, nor it had been anything of the image its enemies had been characterizing it since its inception.
OLF was born out of the Ethiopian reality, a popular force that has clearly identified its just cause that no one was able to deny and bent on a goal that no one was able to argue against. All futile attempts to annihilate it for the last 45 years were in vain, as any similar attempt in the future is going to be as futile as the past ones. OLF is an Oromo political spirit that needs to be reckoned with. The unprecedented persistence and resilience of the man at the helm of the organization deserves a monumental recognition of the highest order, not only in the Oromo society but also in the Country’s history.
There were major organizations that were contemporaries of the OLF with even stronger and aggressive stature at the time. The EPRP, MEISON, and even the DERG that managed to be the only totalitarian ruling party for 17 years and that once presided over a mighty army by African standard, all vanished into the dust bins of history. DERG’s successor, the EPRDF is also almost dead after 28 years of a bumpy course full of treachery.
What kept OLF alive for the last 45 or so years is its just cause and the persistence of its leaders coupled with the unwavering popular support from the Oromo people at large. Compatriots who paid the ultimate price deserve the utmost respect. I feel sorry for those who abandoned the organization, declared it dead and lured the gullible into submission. They have to absorb today’s humiliating defeat once and for all as they have no time nor the moral value to remedy their dirty deeds. Certification is a mile stone indicative of a brighter future.
We will have more celebratory moments when OLF undoubtedly becomes a ruling party in Oromia and a partner in whatever national Coalition government Ethiopia is going to assemble together. I have to congratulate NEBE for signs of a new beginning in Ethiopia, i.e, signs of integrity free of political influence that had hitherto been the norm in the country.
Again, congratulations to all those who feel stake holders in this matter!!