By Dandii Haqaa
Before coming with this piece of writing I have challenged myself for many hours whether to make it or not. I have seen both interviews with Mr. Lenco and Mr. Dawud with a mixed feeling of how the interviews were handled. After debating with myself for long I came up with the following comment, observation and opinion. I have tried my best, not to be emotional as well us not to take side, rather suggest what can be constructive for our common cause. I, similarly, request all readers to give rational and unbiased comment, so that it will make all of us a civilized citizens, who can understand our long term common interest.
I do appreciate OMN for interviewing our true leaders, who have been the backbone for the success of our people secured so far and who are selfless in contributing their life regardless of the challenges we still facing. I also appreciate the effort of Mr. Kediro, though OMN is still a toddler and hence can make mistakes. But we have to ask critical questions if the mistakes throughout the interviews are intentional or lack of experience. I would take it as lack of exposure, but with so much curiosity. It is the responsibility for all of us, the stakeholders, to correct any mistake and go forward. So I would like to ask the following three questions, before making my observation and opinion:
- How fair were the interviews handled both by the interviewer and interviewees?
- Was there any lesson learned from the experience of the leaders to the level expected?
- Was Mr. Kadiro a biased or balanced interviewer?
2. My Observation:
A. How fair was the interviews handled both by the interviewer and interviewees?
I tried to compare the interviews of Mr. Lenco and Mr. Dawud and I even questioned myself, is that good to be arrogant sometime to be respected? But it shouldn’t be. As per my observation while it was Mr. Lenco who was not a bit fair toward Mr. Kediro, like saying “go and ask the dead Meles”, it was Mr. Kediro who was not fair toward Mr. Dawud in many occasions, while Mr. Dawud was very polite from the beginning to end. For example, Kediro did not even give the chance for Mr. Dawud to complete his statement for the question he asked, because of this, we have missed many things that would have cleared the dust. Mr. Kediro, seems didn’t balance the reality on the ground rather he was based on rumours going on in Diaspora. For that matter some of Mr. Kediro’s questions were not correct, if not corrected by Mr. Dawud. Like the creation of QACA and OPDO. I haven’t seen the respect that Mr. Dawud deserve from Kadiro even to the standard of an Oromo elder, let alone Mr. Dawud who has done all what he can throughout his life and never surrendered to enemy camp and personal benefit. I also expected from Mr. Kediro that he would have asked Mr. Dawud, questions like, “what do you demand from Oromo in and out, to double the success of OLF?” as I think the majority Oromo don’t question the clear objective of OLF, regardless of the failures. Most of the time, when Mr. Dawud gives full explanation and Mr. Kadiro loses, Kadiro says “mee kana achuma haa dhiifnu”. This is not good practice and it was annoying.
B. Was there any lesson learned from the experience of the leaders to the level expected?
Yes, there are some lessons learned, but not to the level expected. As I consider these interviews will be part of the history from a horse mouth, it would have been handled with patience and respect. More importantly it seems Mr. Kediro didn’t consider the consequence if the likes of Mr. Dawud who have unwavering determination for true cause were not there, what would have happened to OLF as an organization. Of course we have not yet fully secured what our people are dying for and it is not merely due to the chairmanship of Mr. Dawud, but our collective failure as a society. In general, we learned some lesson from both Mr. Lenco and Mr. Dawud, but to my understanding it was Mr. Dawud’s response that gave more clarity and directive compare to that of Mr. Lenco. Some may argue this, but it is my opinion.
C. Was Mr. Kadiro biased or balanced interviewer?
As per my observation Mr. Kediro’s interview lacks some rationality and it seems mostly biased for the reasons I have given above, but I will forgive him for now, as I believe he is learning gradually. In the meantime, I don’t know if this sort of interview conducted unknowingly or by intention. Even sometimes I felt if the interviewer is supporting other groups who don’t want OLF lead by Mr. Dawud and it simulates the interviewer with those diasporas whose job is to complain all the day without contributing a single dollar to the struggle let alone do things to the extent of our leaders whether it is Mr. Dawud, Mr. Lenco, Mr. Galasa or Mr. Kamal, regardless of their diverse views. By the way, it is the public and the history that will judge which one of these leaders have more committed and scarified for our true cause.
In the meantime, it is also the history that judge which one of thess leaders mostly hated by the enemy because of their determination. When I am saying this, I am not denying that each of them has his own failure, but we have to see the cumulative result. Once again we have to question ourselves, what would have been the fate of OLF organization if the likes of Mr. Dawud were not there, at least to survive it. What individuals like Licho Bukura did by surrendering to the enemy? Do we support such kind of acts? Do we really support those of our leaders who say organizations like Ginbot 7 have very good intention for self-determination of Oromo, while some of them are bluntly saying even using our language will distract Ethiopia? I will leave the answer to the readers.
I believe and still support OMN with all resources I have from its establishment considering it is for all us without bias, not supporting certain region, religion, party or social sect of Oromia. I don’t wish any Oromo leader even OPDO to be interviewed the way Mr. Dawud was handled. If things follow like this, it will create a big problem that we haven’t seen before and it will only benefit the enemy. So if necessary, it is good to apologize the viewers and correct any mistake before it is too late. Dear all, please don’t make mistake by thinking that I am personally satisfied for the success level OLF has reached compare to what we all expect. But my point is, let’s give them support that is needed and take the responsibility to fulfil our wish as our leaders have given all what they could and it is our share that is left, thereafter we can question.
3. The way forward:
When we are handling such interview particularly from OMN, who supposed to be fair to all Oromo, it needs to be very careful; as such kind of issues are very delicate in its nature and can create destruction than construction. We have to appreciate and glorify our leaders particularly leaders, like Mr. Dawud, who have done all what they could without compromising for their personal benefit from young age to old age. They also need to be challenged for any failures happened, but in a very respectful manner, so that we can learn from them. This will encourage the young generation to follow the footstep of such a leader. It is also undeniable that these kinds of leaders created the “qube” generation we are boosting of today. Again I am not saying there is no failure. Make no mistake about the general truth that, if all Oromo as a society would have been successful, few leaders from the society may not have failed.
Once again, OMN has to be very careful while handling such kind of political related interviews with any Oromo leaders, as it can easily go out of control and aggravate division which was the cancer for our unity so far. Please understand, I am not saying our leaders shouldn’t be challenged, but I am saying they should be handled in a proper manner. We should not repeat the mistakes happened in the past, but learn from them, invite all talented Oromo future leaders from across Oromia, across religion and region to debate and shape our future. If we do that, we can understand each other better, get more access to talented individuals, get clarity on our future goal, minimise resource wastage and maximise efficiency, challenge the enemy more, better understood and respected by international community and dictate our terms that will give fair share for Oromians, whether we want to live as part of Ethiopia in a true federal state or live as a republic of Oromia.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org