By the Late July, on a public meeting in Frankfurt, Germany a famous Oromo, Ethiopian Political Activist, Jawar Muhammad has declared his intention to return home to better support the struggle of his people. He has elaborated on his decision via BBC Afan Oromo and Amharic. Speaking to BBC Afaan Oromo and Amharic, he said that time necessitates him to go back as the Political landscape is gradually widening since the coming to power of Dr. Abiy Ahmed. Much debate and discussions are held across the public as to whether he has to return to his country at this time or not. As much as there is a support for his decision there are many who opposed it.
Following that Hawi Anole, a famous Oromo facebook Page which focuses much on the contemporary socio-political issue in Oromia Region and Ethiopia created a poll. In this poll, the people are asked whether they favor his decision or not. The survey went through June 30/2018 – July 6/2018. In just a week time 1175 people, largely Youths ( Qeerros) cast their vote. A slight majority, 649 people ( 55% ) voted in favor whereas the remaining 526 people ( 45%) voted against. Those in favor believe that regardless of the fragile political environment, his return to home is timely and has a lot to support the transition to an inclusive democracy. They also state that his return will strengthen the unity of the people and speed up the transition to a full democracy.
Those who voted against are priorly concerned about his personal safety and security. Even though they believe and want to see him Physically operating in his home country, they fear that the security situation is flawed and that risks his life. They insisted his decision needs to be reserved and he should stay coordinating the struggle from abroad. Speaking in favor of his decision, Olbirat Kankoo states that Jawas has played a great role in Oromo peoples struggle for freedom, justice, and dignity. He is our leader. And this is a time for summation. I believe his coming to the country has a lot to contribute to our country’s transition to democracy. Struggle requires sacrifices and his coming will only be another commitment to sacrifice to our cause.’ Similarly another respondent, Amin Abdulkerim stated that if his security is guaranteed his coming has no problem. Since the daytime hyenas are dragging themselves down to a terrorist level, he should be given utmost protection.
Among those who voted against his decision, Abdi Saba stated that we don’t hate his return to home. Let alone the Oromo people, the entire ethnic group in the country wants him. However, as a leader of the emerging Oromo Youth ( namely Qeerroo), he should be given a serious protection. Those h=who have lost control of the state power are doing everything they can to drag the transition to democracy. So, until these change resistant daytime hyenas are cleared up, I want him to stay abroad.’
Adam Kede, another respondent stated that ‘ I don’t support his return. Because it’s time for our country to move towards peace, democracy, unity, and love. However, all these are in their early phase. No one knows what will happen. So, he should stay until it proved that there is a reliable change.
Booranaafi Baareentuun speaking against the decision stated that ‘ I usually see the change happening to our country in suspicion. I sometimes feel like there is a strategy in place to bring back all the freedom fighters to home and finally get things under control. However, regardless of my fear, If the current constitution is applied in full, and peoples voice gets respected, it will be all right. Unless that happens, the return of Jawar will bring back the successes we have achieved and will drag down our struggle. So, at this time we all need to get out of emotion and analyze the existing political situation in the country very seriously. Especially, trusting the political climate in Africa is so difficult, he added.
Jawar once labeled and accused by the Ethiopian Government for inciting violence and overthrowing the ‘legitimate’ government is now free as the Ministry of Justice under the leadership of the new Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed ordered his charges to be canceled last June. Amidst all the controversies on his decision, we are yet to see if he keep on his promises to return back and support the country’s transition to a full democracy.
* Name used on above might not be realistic. They are extracts from facebook.