Oduu Haaraya

Dear OSA members and friends:

Today, I feel honored to announce to you, Nagessa Oddo Dube is going to be one of the Keynote Speakers at OSA’s 2014 mid-year conference to be held in Chicago on March 29 and 30, 2014. BTW, the deadline for an article submission has been extended by two weeks until February 15 to submit an abstract. You can submit your abstracts to OSA’s president at: ielemo@yahoo.com.

Nagessa Oddo Dube is a politician, attorney, academician, and human right activist who aspires to see the united and strong Oromo nation based on the democratic gadaa system. Born to a pastoral family in the Guji zone of the Oromia state, like any Oromo child, he helped his family with farming duties and looking after calves and goats. He was sent to school in 1988, and he diligently worked to become an outstanding student who considered standing first in his class and from whole classes his birthright. He joined Nagelle High School in 1996 and the Law Faculty of Addis Ababa University in 2000.

Imbued with the Gadaa system egalitarian ethos, he has deep-rooted love for justice, democracy, and rule of law in Ethiopia. He began to work with the Oromo from different walks of life to expose and fight the systematic violations of human rights in Ethiopia. He actively participated in Oromo student’s movement and rose to the position of a chairperson of the Oromo Students Unity Association of Addis Ababa University in the year 2003-2004. In June 2004, he organized a protest against the decision of the government to move the capital of Oromia from Finfinne to Adama. Over four hundred students were arrested and tortured of which 25 of them, including Nagessa, were kept behind the bars till 2007.

He was released from Qaliti prison in March, 2007. Despite these challenges, he has always been an optimist. He decided not to give up on the struggle for respect of fundamental human rights for which he convinced that acquiring quality education was necessary. He rejoined the Law Faculty of Addis Ababa University and graduated with an LLB degree in 2009. Sooner, he joined an opposition political party, the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) in 2009. He ran for a parliamentary seat in the May 2010 general election representing the Guji zone of Oromia. During his campaign, he survived numerous assassination attempts, but many of his campaign staffs were put in a jail for simply voting and campaigning for him. In January 2012, he was elevated to the position of vice-chairman of the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC).

He diligently worked to unite the OPC and Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) and form the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). After the merger, he became a public relations head of OFC until he came to the U.S. for education. He is still strongly engaged in the Oromo struggle and trying to expose the ordeals of the Oromo political prisoners in the hellish Ethiopian prison cells.

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