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HomeOpinionAbiy’s strategy to stay in Power is Exposed: Deception – Perception

Abiy’s strategy to stay in Power is Exposed: Deception – Perception

Abiy Ahmed _ Deception _ Ethiopia
From Abiy Ahmed’s “discussion” Infographic : the author

By Dr. Mastewal Abera 

It is said that “bashing in the head of a snake is effective at ending its life.” Otherwise, the snake, with its head unattached, can try to survive using all the means it has. Even if most of its body is harmed, it will attempt to defend itself by striking. This is exactly how Abiy’s government is behaving these days. His government has lost grip on the country.  It has no direct control over the Tigray region after a deadly two-year war with TPLF/TDF. It lacks a meaningful administrative network in the Oromia region, which is an active conflict zone with OLA/OLF. Moreover, it is engaged in a full-blown war across the Amhara region, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in just eight months, affecting many civilians in the region.  It is reported that 70% of the country’s administrative regions are not under his control. Even the other regions in the South, Afar, Somalia, Gambela, and Benishangul are all experiencing some form of turmoil. The only place where Abiy’s government seems to have a grip is in Addis Ababa, where the head of the government lies. 

His government is creating survival strategies from the capital city, controlling the media, social media, the bank, intelligence, and the military headquarters. He tries to create the perception of a government that exists above all troubles and disastrous situations. How can this perception of a functioning government in Ethiopia be made when all the facts are against it? For Abiy, the answer is simple: engage in more deception. He calls it the grand narrative. He aims to distract the people from the main agenda that matters to them and the country. Everything about his way of doing things revolves around perception, deception, and perception! At the core of his methodology, the key to gaining and maintaining power is creating perception through deception. There is no genuine substance to what he has done or plans to do as a government. He must deceive the people to continue living his dream of being a king.

As far as Abiy Ahmed is concerned, the blueprint of his government is that he is a king. In his own words, his mother has said it. Parks, palaces, lodges, planting trees, and so on are all part of the puzzle for creating that perception.   By the way, deception has been a weapon used by many individuals across the globe in human history. Therefore, it is crucial not to underestimate the power of deception, especially in societies that lack critical thinking and reasoning skills. The internet and social media age have amplified these deceptive efforts, allowing them to create the desired perception, even in the face of hard facts on the ground. Abiy is not alone in this; look at what Donald Trump does daily. 

Suza of Darius  and Addis Ababa of Abiy  

From 522-486 BCE, the Persian King Darius I, the Great, had a complex palace in Susa. The palace was built 2500 years ago in western Iran. It lay at the center of the Persian Empire that stretched from the Nile and the Aegean to the Indus Valley. The palace in Suza provides security for the kings and the people living there. “Abiy is to build a Cushitic empire that will extend beyond the existing borders of Ethiopia, encompassing many nations in eastern Africa,”  Kenyan panelists discussed on TV. He himself has literally said that in 2050 there will be two powerful nations on the planet, and one of them will be this Cushitic empire. That is why he dared to build a marine power in Somaliland against the sovereignty of Somalia. He is also not shy to have some control in the Red Sea. It is all about building his own kingdom. Addis is his seat, and he is building a palace in Addis Ababa. To protect the city, he is building another city called Sheger around Addis Ababa, so that it can serve as a shield from other forces who dare to take power from him. 

Addis Ababa has become the city where all of Abiy Ahmed’s perception-deception programs run daily. These days, we see news headlines stating, “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has convened representatives from the zones of Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, and all other regions to address critical current issues facing the region. Or he has spoken with the leaders of the Orthodox, Protestant, and soon Muslim communities. Where? In Addis Ababa. Many people from different regions travel to Addis Ababa to talk to the king. All these people from other areas must travel to Addis Ababa to speak to him instead of him traveling to the people. He brings all of them to Addis to create the perception that he still controls the country. Such an outlook can help him to be perceived as a legitimate government to get money from the IMF and World Bank, for example. 

Residents of Addis like Ester in Suza 

Once upon a time in Susa, a beautiful Jewish girl became the wife of Xerxes, the king of Persia (486-465 BC). She lived the best life in Susa while her people faced an existential threat. At first, she was reluctant and ignored the danger her people were facing. She was comfortable with the lifestyle she was experiencing and even tended to undermine the status of her people as backward and uncivilized. However, she was raised by her cousin Mordecai, who reminded her of who she was. He told her that Susa could not save her from the impending destruction. She heard him and ultimately saved her people in the Persian Empire, initiating the Festival of Purim. 

Addis Ababa was the source of inspiration for all Ethiopians. It is shameful that Addis Ababa has lost its significance in Ethiopian politics. It became a paralyzed city where the wicked triumph daily with its deception. In the past, the people in Addis Ababa used to inspire freedom, justice, and equality across the country. However, most of its brightest residents have fled the city for the civilized world. The existing residents feel that Addis Ababa is their sanctuary, like Susa! As long as their Susa is safe, they feel secure. If the whole country burns down, these residents will act as if everything is normal. 

For example, the city of Ataye, 256 km from Addis Ababa, has burned over nine times in just a few years, yet the residents of Addis Ababa felt absolutely nothing. They didn’t even hear about how many people were affected in the new city called Sheger, just outside of Addis Ababa. They continued their daily lives as if nothing had happened. Addis used to be a city atop a hill for Ethiopians, but now, the residents are like Ester, the resident of Susa. If 115 million people suffer, as long as the 5 million residents of Addis are well, it does not matter. However, this model of life is not sustainable. What is going on in the Oromia, Amhara, and Tigray regions will catch up with the city. It will be too late, and no one will save the city then. The golden rule states, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Addis should have stopped the leadership madness harbored within its borders. The well-being of Addis Ababa should be equated with the well-being of the places in the country. Come on Addis , you can do better. You are the city of Africans.

At least there is No confusion. 

What are the basic roles of a government? Which responsibilities should a government prioritize? How should a democratic (election-based) government behave? These questions should be asked at this moment in time. The people gather in Addis Ababa, most of whom do not dare to ask serious questions. If they do, they know that the Suza Castle around their lives will tremble. Therefore, they choose to keep quiet. Some even become part of the deception-perception scheme that the government is engaged in. The good thing is that there is no confusion among most Ethiopians about who the government is. There is deception and drama for perception, but it is all clear. The depth of the intent of those who have captured the state with Abiy Ahmed is known to all people inside the country and even beyond. It is only a matter of time before everything crumbles. 

When that happens, Ethiopians should look out for each other and build a stable government that prioritizes the safety and well-being of its own people. All communities should draw on the wisdom of generations in the country to live peacefully together. All regions and groups of people should be represented by authentic individuals, not those who have sold their souls for money and status at the expense of the people’s misery in the country. Those opportunists or calculated deceivers should vacate their offices and make way for those who can represent the people. The kingdom of perception and deception should leave Ethiopia soon! But it needs all its citizens to be truthful to self and to other citizens. The spirit of solidarity should be intensified instead of division and selfishness. 

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


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