ADDIS ABABA-Executive Director of Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, Obang Metho, elucidated that providing peripheries with equal weight to actively participate in national decision making is of significantly useful in building a great nation.
Obang, who is also I am a Human Movement chairperson also said that the periphery center relationship has long been neglected and actors of the edging have been deprived of rights to decide on the essential affairs of their country. The amalgamation of peripheral localities with the center is a very important step to push the country forward.
“All organs of a body are quite inseparable. So are parts of a country. It is unthinkable to cut up or ignore any part of our body; we cannot ignore some part and favor another in any country, too. Simply, a country is like a human body. As people function well when all parts of their body are healthy and well nurtured, regions, zones, woredas and kebeles of a country need to be unified to bring about a real difference as solidarity matters the most,” he underlined.
The bigger portions of the country with lucrative resources, fertile landmass and enormous human labor have long been abandoned so long, he said adding, all national boundaries are part and parcel of this country and they deserve every necessary protection and care. In doing so, the people who have established the government can get equal weight.
Following the ethnocentric federalism which exacerbates hatred, narrow-minded thinking and segregation, the time-tested harmonious way of living among Ethiopians, has been seriously challenged; the ones who came to power after the Derg, introduced their tribal agendum—ethnocentric agendum, which was totally a poison massacring a generation, he added.
As to Obang, it is well recognized that the most fertile lands are found in the peripheries, but have not yet benefited the nationals who should have directly benefited out of them.
“Theoretically, it was recurrently heralded that regions should be self-sufficient, self-ruled, self-developed, but the reality on the ground did not reflect that fact. Earlier, only four regions were decision making ones for the whole country setting the Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella, Afar, Harari, Somali states aside. They were administered by surrogate leaders, which were not really fair and legitimate. How those leaders from another area without knowing the norm, needs, requirements and other facets of the local community can develop that area?”
According to him, it is an action not the sayings that counts. Now the marginalized or the peripheral parts of the country are part and parcel of the national decision. Hereafter, these people will develop sense of belongingness as they are made ready to make a decision for the future of Ethiopia. They are the real administers of their own localities; work hard to advance their regions in particular and their beloved country, Ethiopia, in general.
The Ethiopian Herald August 5/2020
BY MENGESHA AMARE