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Does the PM want to head the Synod?

The Synod
PM Abiy Ahmed speaking to University Instructors in one of his latest meetings. (Photo : Public Domain)

Leo Okere

In his speech, posted on social media on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, the Prime Minister expressed his views on the schism within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church. Both the form and content of his speech were unexpected from the PM we believed was a Constitution-respecting, law-abiding civilized leader. 

The form

It was sad to see a Prime Minister infantilizing his ministers and talking down to them; even sadder to see his ministers behave as if they were grade-school pupils. Some were even taking notes, though what the PM was saying was simply an unabashed repetition of the unsubstantiated claims of the renegade bishops. 

Did the PM forget that, in a democracy, the PM is only “primus inter pares”? He and his ministers are equals, and he is only “first among equals.”  Did his ministers forget that, in a democracy, they are not the PM’s students, but his equals? Certainly, cabinet  ministers owe loyalty to the PM. But loyalty does not mean servility.

The content

The PM said that there must be a separation between State and Church. We all agree with him. But in the next breath, he himself erased the dividing line and launched a litany of unsubstantiated political accusations against the institutions and practices of the Church.

He in fact ended up legitimating the acts of the renegade bishops as acts in defense of language rights. It appears that the claims of the renegade bishops and of the PM are not true. But even if they were true, it is up to the Church and not to the state to solve the Church’s internal problems. 

Shouldn’t the PM spend his time and energy to stopping the indiscriminate massacre of innocent men, women, and children in Oromia rather that flout the constitutional separation of State and Church? Is it the constitutional duty of the PM to tell the Holy Synod of the Church what to think, what to say, and what to do? Is his intention to treat the bishops of the Church in the same infantilizing way that he treats his cabinet ministers?

Even more amazing. Despite the PM’s claim that he knows everything that happens in the country, he was silent about the public intervention of security forces in support of the renegade bishops, and the arrest and detention of priests, deacons, and active members of the Tewahido Church. 

Is it not the responsibility of his government to ensure the respect of the constitutional separation of State and Church? Or does the PM believe that the security forces are above the Constitution? Or does he believe the Tewahido Church is a threat to Ethiopia such that it must be the target of the security forces? His silence on the anti-constitutional activities of the security services does not bode well for the future of Ethiopia.

By the way, his claim that his security services know everything that happens on the ground should be a concern to all. Is the PM building a secret-service dominated society disguised as democracy in order to impose his will, beliefs, and ideas on Ethiopians and their religions? 

What about freedom of speech? How come the state-funded media outlets have been repressing the stands taken by the Church while providing a public platform for the renegade bishops’ claims? Since the state medias are funded with public money, they belong to all Ethiopians. They have therefore the obligation to reflect the views of all Ethiopians. Or, does the PM think that the Tewahido Church and its members are second-class citizens who should not enjoy equal freedom with the renegade bishops?

The PM’s demeaning address to his cabinet ministers secretes so much conceit that it suggests that Abiy Ahmad would like to add another title to his name. He already has three titles: Ph.D., Prime Minister, and Noble Peace Prize winner. The danger with having too many titles, merited or not, is that it that it goes to one’s head. The person then gets addicted to titles and craves for more.

His belittling address to his cabinet ministers clearly suggests that the PM might have become addicted to titles. He seems to crave now for a new one: that of the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Church, hence his performance during the address as the only person who knows the problems of the Church and the appropriate solutions. 

It certainly sounds impressive to be addressed daily as Dr. Prime Minister Patriarch Abiy Ahmad. No wonder, the PM was behaving as the Patriarch of the Church.

In conclusion: Dear Dr. Prime Minister Patriarch Nobel Prize Winner Abiy Ahmad, 

We, as Ethiopians, are proud to have a leader who knows the ways of the State and of the Church. We are confident that, with you at the helm, our earthly and spiritual needs will be fully met. 

We thus beg you, with the same obsequious spirit of your cabinet ministers, to regularly post on social media what we have to say and do, so that we could safely find our way to the kingdom of knowledge and beatitude. We promise that we will listen to your lectures with the same adoration as your cabinet ministers.

Thank you Dr. Prime Minister Patriarch Nobel Prize Winner Abiy Ahmad.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. PM Abiys rhetoric logic, hubris and his other questionable public conduct so far never ceases to amaze me. In his lates thoughtless foray into religious controversy shows it all how he only relishes in attention and power over deep analytical thinking of decisions and sense of modesty.

  2. Abbo Ituu Farda , you are fanatic neftegna supporter

    you are siding with those who oppress Oromo and prohibit from using our language, sacred Afaan Oromo.
    ዉሻን(አበበ ገላውን)ምን አገባው እርሻ፤፤እንደዉሻ መጮሁን ትቶ አበበ ገላው ስለ ሃይማኖት ይፈተፍታል፤፤አማራ የሆናቹ የየትኛውም እምነት ተከታዮች ከኛ ጋር ተሰለፉ ሲሉ ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ተብዮዎቹና ሲኖዲሶቹ እያለቃቀሱ ነው፤፤ሊቀ ነቢያት ፓስተር ዮናታን ይናገራል፥ይፈርሳሉ ይናጫሉ ይላል፤፤ጋኔንሳዎቹ አረቄ እያፈሰሱ (የሰይጣን ምሱን ያቀረቡ)በፍርድ ቤት እንዲረቱ እያሰጠነቆሉ ነው ፤፤ቤተክርስቲያን ውሥጥ ከድሮ ጀምሮ ሰይጣን ይመለካል፤፤ጉቦ ሙስና ሴትን ማስነወር የተለመደ የቆየ ነው፤፤አሳፋሪና አስነዋሪ ትዉፊት አላቹ፤፤

    Fake martyrdom is evoked by EOTC leaders to grab our land and money, their blood vessel!!

      • Mister Ittu Aba Farda

        Get lost! GAme over stooge for neftegna! Get out of here yoiu are not now able to get salary from Prosperity party. may we help you if you sufffer from economic burden ?

        you hypocrite man are you supporting land grabbing mission of fanos hiding in the church. They were slaughtering christian Oromos and hanging their head on a thick stick and metal.

        • You too, join your compadre above. But before I go I will tell you this what I told your mentors 5 decades ago when they told me that they were set out to .liberate’ me and my people. Their shrewd plan to yank away my people from its neighbors and carve out a territory just to found it as personal fiefdom was, is and will remain to be a fantasy, a pie in the unreachable sky. Well, more than 5 decades later it is still just a sleep depravating dream. So go back to sleep and watch The Wiz of Oz.

  3. Abiy Ahmed could lead EOTC synod and potentially destroy corruption and Sorcery

    Abbo Ituu Farda , you are fanatic neftegna supporter

    you are siding with those who oppress Oromo and prohibit from using our language, sacred Afaan Oromo.
    ዉሻን(አበበ ገላውን)ምን አገባው እርሻ፤፤እንደዉሻ መጮሁን ትቶ አበበ ገላው ስለ ሃይማኖት ይፈተፍታል፤፤አማራ የሆናቹ የየትኛውም እምነት ተከታዮች ከኛ ጋር ተሰለፉ ሲሉ ማህበረ ቅዱሳን ተብዮዎቹና ሲኖዲሶቹ እያለቃቀሱ ነው፤፤ሊቀ ነቢያት ፓስተር ዮናታን ይናገራል፥ይፈርሳሉ ይናጫሉ ይላል፤፤ጋኔንሳዎቹ አረቄ እያፈሰሱ (የሰይጣን ምሱን ያቀረቡ)በፍርድ ቤት እንዲረቱ እያሰጠነቆሉ ነው ፤፤ቤተክርስቲያን ውሥጥ ከድሮ ጀምሮ ሰይጣን ይመለካል፤፤ጉቦ ሙስና ሴትን ማስነወር የተለመደ የቆየ ነው፤፤አሳፋሪና አስነዋሪ ትዉፊት አላቹ፤፤

    Fake martyrdom is evoked by EOTC leaders to grab our land and money, their blood vessel!!
    Abiy Ahmed could lead EOTC synod and potentially destroy corruption and Sorcery

    • The insecurity of some so called Oromo sympathizers is very much classic. Often it claims Amharic, the green-yellow-red flag the Orthodox Church and the national anthem are equated to the Amhara tribe. As a reference, English is spoken by over four billion people on earth, and no one associate the language with British people, and the people who use it don’t resent them either. So one can wonder where does this resentment came from? A PM who came to power having parents with such mix culture were a Muslim father from the Oromo tribe, an orthodox Christian mother from the Amhara tribe is startling. So, how does such a persona transformed from Ethiopia loving, humble, Nobel Prize winner and articulate person having a spouse from an Amhara tribe with an ideal family with such an incredible story transformed to a narcissistic, egotistical maniac that knows no empathy or sympathy individual? The answer to this question is very complex. If I knew the reason, I would have earned my Nobel prize in psychology! One thing I know for sure is that insecurities of Oromo extremism is so bad, if you say their face would mean Amhara, they would have all shoot their head and committed suicide. Sounds incredible? But it is a disease you can not cure. It would be like an incurable mind degeneration that would kill you while you are still breathing. Very sad state of mind to be!

  4. This government created crisis against the EOTC is a blessing in disguise. All Ethiopians, including our brothers and sisters of other faiths and denominations must pay attention and keep focus on one issue. For the past 5 years, this duplicitous individual has played fast and loose with peoples lives, his distractions, slippery and intangible positions, acrobatic somersaults of pretending to be with being
    every group at the same time, but with the rise of Oromo militancy, lack of security in all corners of the country is being put to the dissecting table. Tens of millions have been misplaced, hundreds of thousands have died. The internal rift and schism among the various factions of the former EPRDF/TPLF and the current PP (essentially EPRDF/TPLF2) has spilt over into the defenseless Ethiopian mass.

    Now with the current EOTC crisis, the pm is forced to show his true face of the coin.He cannot be Heads and Tails at the same time. That is a mathematical impossibility. Either he is with the lawless dissenting group, whether political gain or control does not matter, or withe the other group.He can create drama, can displace, imprison and kill individuals. But that will not stop the cascade of events to follow.

    The pm is exposed and being scrutinized in detail by hundreds of millions of Ethiopians and billions in the whole world. His days of duplicity, arrogance, and stratospheric ego are all over. Either he is A or B. The sooner everyone finds out if he is A or B, the better everybody else will be in the long run.

  5. Zehabesha you are editing comments and twisting for your own good, bunch of idiots neftegna cyber fanos
    you are now under serious mental state , you lost your positions in Oromia. You will delete this message because you will be disgraced

    You ,the zehabesha editors, are on suicide watch, please don’t die please please

  6. Is Abiy a coin though? Life and leadership, especially living and leading a vertically and horizontally complex Ethio society with a sick constitution, Does NOT confer one, Abiy, the opportunity to be either or, rather all, many and several So, lets not be simpltons! What a difficult spot he is in. I dont wish his weight of leadership to anyone. And I dont see anyone as a better potential to replace him either. So, lets march on giving him benefits of doubts!

  7. While we are all understandably concerned about and focused on what is going on in the old country there is another war that has been raging for a few years now in Eastern Europe. The war in Ukraine is getting closer and closer to an all out war involving more and more European countries which means unprecedented calamity in the offing. The despot in Moscow could turn reckless and morbidly dangerous once he realizes his back is against the wall. His other compadre in Beijing has started playing with fire now. Folks, these two dictators along with other religious fanatics are bringing the world closer to extinction. These dictators are hell bent to rule the world as their personal fiefdom and they are nuclear armed. They had already told their citizens their way is the only way. Otherwise it will not be worth a living. The commies in Beijing have been telling their citizens since the 1950’s that if there will be World War Three the worst scenario is only 500 million Chinese will die and the rest will win the war. The world has never been to such extremely dangerous war footing.

  8. I seems the time has arrived for Ethiopia to break up. This current situation of the last 3 years cannot be any longer sustainable. The civil war, the constant ethnic massacres from all sides have left the country with just one way to go. You have your constitution. Either change it and declare one Ethiopia, one language (official), one police and one army. All developed countries are organised like this. Or use your constitutional given abilty and brake up the old country on ethnic/linguistic lines and declare independence. Let’s see the Oromo country exist, with its own government, army, language, currency, full display of Oromo potential.
    I like to imagine this as a boxing match! So on the other side of the border there could be (hear me out my proud ahmara) a coalition of ahmara, tigre and maybe even Eritrean people, under the name of Ethiopia or Abyssinia etc. Let this dreammy thought settle for a while. You share very similar cultures, ahmarignia is already the working language of the region (apart from Eritrea), the same with governance, army, police.
    So in this imaginary boxing match we have on the left corner Oromia country and on the right other corner we got Ethiopia /Abbyssinia. Me myself, I am Greek, but I had the honor to live in your beautiful country for 6 years. 4 of them in Gondar and my last 2 in AA. I just left your blessed country 2 months ago. I truly thank you for your hospitality and kind heart. I have made friends for ever and I am happily married with an Ethiopian lady.
    So as a loving “farenj” let me remind you what the whole world knows Ethiopia. We know you got a 3000+ years long history, that you were never colonised, that you were once an empire, we know that you are poor but proud and wise people, that you together with Armenia are the first Christian countries but also that you gave shelter to the prophet Muhammad and that you live peacefully with Muslims ever since. In general a country with a great reputation.
    So, my oromo brothers… You seem a little outgunned in this boxing match, since no one knows anything about Oromia, gaada system and your culture in general. I don’t want to diminish you in any way and have respect for your culture even though I should know more. I fear you will become something like South Sudan, or Sierra Leon which means nothing to no one. That’s just the sad reality. Think about it…
    So, my ahmara brothers. A quite homogeneous country with a majority of Christian ahmara people, with Tigreans and (it would be great to have) Eritreans also in a coalition, based on meritocraticy and qualifications and not ethnic appointments. You retain your good name in the world, your culture and church united and become a modern nation, able to speak in one voice. I would like to see this road being realized. I am afraid for my “huletegnia hagere” Ethiopia that you are heading to a point of no return if you don’t start thinking a little out of the box. One love from Athens, Greece, may peace be upon us.

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