“Ethiopian People should not mistrust us even tomorrow,” Lemma Megersa
Oromo regional state president and vice chairman of Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), Lemma Megersa, has been criticized recently in part for inaction when thousands of Ethiopians were reduced to homeless status for their houses was ripped apart with the order of members of his administration in Sululta and Lagatao, among other areas, and in part due to leaked video of him during a meeting in the region he leads.
Lemma allegedly talked about plans to change ethnic composition residents of Addis Ababa through massive relocation of ethnic Oromos affected by recent conflicts, which some critical voices say was a deliberate plan.
In meeting with business people in Oromo regional state of Ethiopia on Saturday, Lemma Megersa got an opportunity to explain about the allegations, especially in connection with leaked video.
“I am not a mad person to think changing ethnic composition of residents of Addis Ababa,” Lemma emphatically told, as seen in a video that has gone viral, participants of the meeting.
He thinks that what he said was taken out of context and misrepresented deliberately, and consumed for destructive propaganda against himself and change leaders.
Recalling from past meeting, he said that he was asked a critical question that his party has done nothing to farmers who are still toiling in the soil and that he replied, he said, his administration is working on urbanization plan.
Relation with Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) was another issue he touched up on and he dismissed talks of political difference between his party and ADP. He emphasized that their alliance was meant to rescue the country from disintegration and their alliance was not did not happen out of love but out of interest in resolving common challenge.
He said he did not espouse convictions about Ethiopian identity out of interest in pursuing fame and popularity but because he believes in it and that it is not a matter of choice for all Ethiopians.
“…not only I believe in Ethiopian unity but also I have paid a price for it; my colleagues have paid a price for it…I will continue to speak for it and work for it…” Lemma told businessmen with whom he was having a meeting.
There is mixed reaction to his explanation. A considerable number of Ethiopians are convinced that Lemma is wronged and that his views of Ethiopia is not changed. Yet, there are also Ethiopians who seem to think it is no more for words and that he and his friends need to show it through action. Some even point to the fact that his party recently issued a statement vowing to ensure ethnic Oromo ownership of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
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