An opposition member of the parliament said prime minister Abiy Ahmed is incapable of revolving lawlessness and security. He asked him why he is not resigning
Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday appeared at the parliament to present a six-month report. It came at a time when Ethiopians are increasingly wary of the security situation in the country and what many politicized Ethiopians describe as state-sponsored lawlessness. Beyond presenting the report, he was meant to address questions.
From restrictions on citizens’ mobility to Ethiopia to the lawlessness by an unidentified group (believed to have a connection with Abiy Ahmed’s government security establishment) that kidnaps journalists and activists from the capital and drives them to the Oromia region to the demolition of citizen’s house in the outskirts of Addis Ababa was an issue that needed an answer from the Prime Minister. These are issues on which human rights organizations in the country and opposition parties have been expressing concerns.
However, the PM minister’s approach to the questions was rather dismissive and condescending. Regarding the restrictions on the mobility of Ethiopians, especially from the Amhara region, he literally reiterated the view that Addis Ababa Mayor said a week or so ago. His government thinks that the movement of people is intended to create chaos in the capital. In an effort to prove his points, he went to the extent of pulling data that claims that 96 percent of people who live in plastic houses in the capital Addis Ababa area are people who recently entered the capital. But he did not mention if they are also people who were displaced from the Oromia region and whose houses were bulldozed by the Oromia region.
Asked what the government thinks about the skepticism that Ethiopians are developing about his government working on the project of disintegrating Ethiopia, he trivialized it as the “joke of the year.” But he did not end there. He said, “if the government wants to disintegrate the country, who is there to stop it?” in a way asserting the power he has been consolidating amid multifarious crises, some of which claimed tens of thousands of lives, in different parts of the country. At one point, he even said “we need Ethiopia and we will not disintegrate it.” But he advised members of the parliament (and Ethiopians) to be comfortable with the “new reality.” Some ethnic nationalist forces that are active on social media often express similar sentiments.
Another parliamentarian, Christian Tadele of NaMA, to be specific, asked him why he is not considering resigning given the failure of his government to lawlessness. His response was of course rejectionist. Distorting the question to the point that it sounds trivial is not something new for the Prime Minister. The opposition member of parliament who posed the question has to be ridiculed. Laughter has become a way of demonstrating the ruling party’s absolute dominance in the house since the time of Prime Minister Zenawi. Even Abiy Ahmed’s party has more than 90 percent of control in the house. Abiy Ahmed’s final answer to the “resign” question runs like “I have three more years.”
Rather, the PM indicated that there Ethiopia could lead to “dictatorship” and then disintegration if what he called the “path to democracy” is impaired.
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