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HomeOpinionThe Ideology of Teregninet a basis for Governing

The Ideology of Teregninet a basis for Governing

PM minister Abiy Ahmed speaking to his ministers (Photo /file)

By Concerned Citizens 

Today in Ethiopia, a group of elites from a rotten party called the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO) have seized power by taking advantage of many circumstances created after the death of the late Meles Zenawi. Their sole ideology can be coined by the Amharic word “ተረኝነት” – “Teregninet.” It means it is our turn to rule the country. In the 21st century, in the age of civilization and progress, you come and claim power over 120 million people only on such weak, inferiority complex driven, selfish, and very dark reasons means you are not learning from history. And it will cost you everything! The sad thing is that your rotten party and the people you claim to represent also pay the prize. As we all know, even the majority of Oromo people hate OPDO. It is a party that killed many Oromos for the sake of money and low-level power during the TPLF-EPRDF time. 

The TPLF-led government was not solely dependent on one ethnic group’s dominant ideology. Their ideology was much more robust, founded on the ideology of revolutionary democracy, and strictly adhered to the principle of democratic centralization.  Revolutionary democracy is a machinery that mixes revolution and democracy to put a developmental governance model in the country. It is revolutionary since it is inspired by communist ideology and democratic since the leaders wanted to please their Western partners by involving fake democratic elections. They have used democratic centralism that combines both democracy and central control, which ensures party unity and discipline. They were criticized for it since they mixed the two. It is like mixing oil and water. This was only possible in the midst of its creator, the late Meles Zenawi. When he died in August 2012 at age 57, the machinery started to fracture from the top, and the TPLF dominating era crumbled within the next five years after his death.   

In those five years, many people (inside and outside) of the country put pressure on it. As a result, a political power change happened in the country. The OPDO and Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) collaborated to rename the TPLF-led EPRDF system and to the OPDO-led Prosperity Party (PP), but this time without real substance of philosophical position. Some claim that “Medemer – መደመር,” which may also mean “synergy,” is the core principle of the PP party. However, this has no roots in philosophical positions: idealism, realism, or pragmatism. Some may claim that “Medemer” can be categorized under pragmatism. This school claims, “If a thing works in practice, then it is valuable, desirable, and should be upheld.” However, Medemer is not working. In fact, it has created more divisions, killings, and destructions in only two and three years than in the 50 years of history of the country. So the only plausible explanation that describes the present leading party elites is Teregninet. 

Background of Teregninet 

This concept of Teregninet is not something new. Foreigners have been highly invested in it since Europeans visited Ethiopia for many centuries. As their missionaries and explorers spy on the country, they claim that the Amhara culture dominates the Ethiopian tribes. … (more coming). 

A case of Teregninet

Let us provide one case of Teregninet. 27 years ago, in one Isuzu truck, three young people were heading from one town to another: driver, student, and owner. The driver and the student are older than the owner. The student whom the driver gave ride, asked the owner, “Is this your car?.” That young owner replied, with pride, yes. The student asked further, where did you get the money? He replied I got the money from the bank. There was a rumor at that time that the people from that tribe were getting such and such loans from the banks without proper verification because they were from that particular ethnic group. This was one case in point.  The driver, who is relatively from a well-to-do family but from another ethnic group, could also have the money to buy such a truck. However, the system did not allow him at the time. This was then; what about now?  We leave the facts on the ground to the reader. Some people may claim that the government is inclusive since it is doing this and that. At least many people are claiming everything in the name of Teregninet.

What is the problem with Teregninet? 

First, it is not inclusive. In the 21st century, the world is headed for an inclusive system.  Teregninet, in its innate nature, is against inclusive principles. Implying that it is a backward system. Those who feel excluded from power and economic benefits will definitely crumble it in no time. Ang government that does not have a mechanism to provide inclusive growth, economic development, and prosperity does not have a mature policy that meets this century. Many governments worldwide lack key national indicators to guide priority setting and policy design. That is how they can guarantee the sustainability of their efforts. The ideology of Teregnnet is weak and feeble. It is like building your house on the sand. Teregnenet is not a rock that you can build a sustainable system. It does not fit the intellect of the 21st century. The world is moving at an alarming rate in higher consciousness. Staying backward by excluding others is not the way forward. 

Second, Teregninet appeals to the dark side of human beings. When one reason that he/she deserves to abuse the system since he/she is from that explicit tribe/ethnicity, it calls to human nature’s selfish, destructive, and demonic side. That is why one mayor, in the name of building a new city, after demolishing poor people’s houses based on their ethnic origin, said we had shifted their status from ”illegal poor to legal poor.” The only explanation that gives meaning to doing such harm to weak and needy people is when you think that it is your time (Teregna) and you can kill Women and kids from another ethnic group; you can forcefully displace poor people from other ethnic groups; and empower in many ways one ethnic group selectively. 

Third, Teregninet appeals to the other ethnicities to resent deeply and galvanize resistance against it. It is human nature to resent injustice, unfairness, and abuse. Nothing can galvanize people to a deeper and more extensive resistance than discrimination and abuse based on ethnicity that you have never chosen in life.  When the Nazies tried to rise above other ethnic Europeans, the result was destruction. When the TPLFites tried to govern the country using ethnic group hegemony, they failed miserably. The people revolt over them: diaspora, kerro, fano, zerma, etc. Now, these OPDO elites try to govern the country based on Teregnenet it will galvanize against the ruling elite: the Somalis, the Afar, the Gurage, the Amhara, etc. The country will boil down with conflicts everywhere. Who is to blame? The people who are crazily implementing everything in the conviction of Teregninet. 

Fourth, Teregninet helps foreigners to come and interfere in the affairs of the country easily. Ethiopia has historical enemies like Egypt, which tirelessly works to sabotage Ethiopia. The Western powers always use Ethiopia as a basis for their proxy war with other countries. All who want to destabilize the country use those who are resenting the system. Foreigners supported the TPLF and others to overthrow the Derg regime. They have also tried to overthrow the PP-led government in the past few years. If Ethiopians were not united then, today, we could have had a different scenario on the ground. Ethiopians were united because, at the time, they felt that the government was inclusive, especially the PM. But in the past year, the true face of many things has surfaced after the war. Ethiopians are not united anymore. This is a huge opportunity for the enemies of the country. Who knows what these people are doing right now? Nobody is resisting them. They are on a free ride in the country. 

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of  


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