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HomeEthiopian NewsOromo Democratic Party responds to mounting political criticism over Shimeles' speech

Oromo Democratic Party responds to mounting political criticism over Shimeles’ speech

Oromo Democratic Party did not apologize but it went on to reiterate its understanding of Ethiopian history when it comes to “oppressive rulers”

Oromo Democratic Party

October 9, 2019

As Oromo Democratic Party organized what appeared to be a politically motivated jubilant celebration of ethnic Oromo traditional religious festival in the capital Addis Ababa, for the first time in history, the acting president of Oromo regional state, Shimeles Abdissa spoke something that appeals to radical Ethnic Oromo nationalists.

What he said in his Oromo language translates to “Where the Neftegna broke our knee, we broke their knee and brought the celebration of our cultural heritage to the heart of the nation- finfine.”

His speech made no sense even to ethnic Oromos who seem to be moderate. And most Ethiopians who are non-ethnic Oromo were not only unhappy about his speech but they were very critical of him.

As the party was vying for an alliance with what is now Amhara Democratic Party in the quest to end Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) domination over the ruling coalition sometime in early 2018, ODP’s political rhetoric emphasized the view that the narrative that paints ethnic oppression in Ethiopian history is wrong, and mounted the narrative that oppression in the past was rather class-based. The implication in that political position is that different ethnic groups were part of the ruling class in the past.

As well, OPDO vowed to fight ethnic-radicalism and at one point undertook massive purge of members who were believed to be advancing radical Oromo ethnic nationalism from within administrative structures in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.

However, the political activities and rhetorics of the governing ethnic Oromo party have changed over the course of the past one year as it, apparently, believed that it has firmly controlled power in the Federal government.

For many politicized Ethiopians, Shimeles Abdissa use of the term neftegna during his Irreechaa speech in Addis Ababa was provocative. It has also demonstrated, as many seem to believe, political power takeover turn that radical Oromo ethnic nationalists are claiming.

On Wednesday, October 9, 2019, Oromo Democratic Party has issued a statement in an apparent move to explain the Oromo region’s acting president speech at Meskel Square.

“Positive attributes that bind us together outweigh those mistakes committed in our history,” is the title given to the statement that the party issued.

It went on to enlist what it says are three core principles of the party.  “Respecting victories and continuing positive values we have in history,” “Identifying mistakes and rectifying them,” and “Avoiding mistakes of the past and build on our victories and pass them to the next generation.”

To that end, said the statement, ODP believes that rhetorics and actions need to bring about “unity, peace, and love”

As a key explanation to Shimeles Abdissa’s speech on Friday, which many Ethiopians believe was deliberate and politically motivated, ODP said: “We strongly believe oppressive rulers represent their interest, not the part [of Ethiopian people] from which they came.”

It also said that the struggle in the past was against the oppressive ruling class not against the people.

As well, ODP made references to the relation between ethnic Amhara and ethnic Oromo people: “the string that holds the brotherhood of Oromo and Amhara is not one that breaks easily”

Political observers accuse ODP of the inability to walk the talk.  Despite its claim of determination to fight ethnic radicalism, ODP has demonstrated patterns of heeding to entities that espouse radical ethnic Oromo nationalism.

It remains to be seen if Ethiopians will take its statement seriously this time around.

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  1. We need to weed out those power hungry individuals that want to be hero from zero.PM Abiy had spent his lifetime fighting for Ethiopia, proving he is intelligent world class leader that started from zero through hard work and countless selfless sacrifices ended up being a hero, no other person alive right now can match. That being said those that go against him are doomed to be getting their a**ses whipped. We are ready at any place, be it in diaspora or not, the haters power hungry are going to get whipped, nowhere to run for the broken power hungry , nephtegna symphatizers, haters of Abiys administration.

  2. He is just following orders from his party. Because they don’t want to lost elections against OLF. Whether OPD or OLF, they are both destructive to Ethiopia as can be seen.

    • People in one country travel in pack inside a train. When Oromo is in actuality Amara as Ethiopian compare to any nation, it is very shortsighted to say such a thing by ato shemeles. get your butt to gather. Zemed.

      To go back to to the train, as Ethiopian we are traveling to tomorrow and when one ethnic start trouble in this train, the other keep watching and waiting for them to calm down.

      Over 80% Oromo should condom what ato shemeles say, I really think they do, because they want to go back to their life now.

      So ato shemeles, I know you read this,”don’t only think of your self.”

      Amara+Oromo= Ethiopians. It has been this way and it will always be! So shut-up. Oh by the way I’m writing this from Ethiopia.

  3. Dividing Ethiopians in ethnic lines is absolutely dangerous agenda and it will not benefit any one. Learn from X -Yugoslavia where the ethnic fighting has lead the nation to poverty and mass exodus. OPD or OLF leaders are implementing foreign agenda that is to destroy unity among Ethiopians and of course all International organizations including AU to leave AA due to the expected turmoil in the country.

  4. It is very true that both ODP and OLF are working as a team to destruct Ethiopia as nation; and of course they are focus cooperating with Jawar Mohammed who obviously mentions he is against one nation Ethiopia. The wide Oromo public together with the rest of nations and nationalities of Ethiopia should fight against these destructive group by all means!!!

  5. I do not believe these guys (OPD or OLF or any Oromo) understand that they are playing with fire. Lets just say, Ethiopia’s current population is 105 million. Of the 105 million, lets say Oromo’s are at 42 million, do they not know that there are 63 million people that could stand up against them. The majority is only the majority until they are not. Oromo’s need to stop poking at the lion. This is the time to establish equality and peace for the sake of everyone, either wise, it might be a civil war. Oromo would not and will not win if there is a civil war. Even if they want to separate, where would their Country be? The Oromo’s are surrounded by many other PROUD ETHIOPIAN people. Remember: Abba Jifar presented Oromo’s as slaves to King Menelik II in order for Abba Jifar to keep his crown as King of Jimma. So this nonsense of Menelik this, Neftegna that is bs. The time period was either conquer or be conquered. We should not go back to that mentality. We should learn from our forefathers and understand history is a stepping stool to better the future. Planes were not built to go fast in one day, even a running shoes gets better over time. My fellow Oromo, its time to be proud of the GREEN, YELLOW, RED flag. Too many blood have been spilled by Oromo, Tigiray, Amahara, Gurage, Hadiya, Welayita, Sidama, and everyone else.

  6. FAKE



    why did they neglect to give it to Isayas afewerki , he is the one who get involved in this politics of narcissism, abiy did a lot to maintain his legacy and power .

    It is not to bring people of two nations into peace and harmony but it is a matter of constructing is image in the world to be revered by all. He fights and stand for himself period.

  7. He is right, His speech was said to Neftegna system not to people of Amahara. and Neftegna System was buried not to rise for ever. the wrong was those who claim for word neftegna for them self. even if those who claim the word Mr. president says was for the system. it is true the system broken for ever not to rise again. so where is his problem mr. writer


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