The reformists shouldn’t retreat nor take a defensive position

By Assegid Habtewold[1]

A large-scale national change like what is happening in Ethiopia right now doesn’t just go smoothly without some ups and downs- without experiencing some setbacks. The reformists just experienced a serious setback since we began this outstanding journey under their leadership. They are thrown off from the main course they chose five months ago because of the current chaotic situation. That is it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Unless they are careful, however, this crisis has a potential to distract Team Lemma, and the people they lead from the MAIN THING- transforming the nation to defeat poverty, building democratic institutions, and establishing the rule of law for once and for all.

Had it not been for this recent setback, they would have been focusing on taking the change to the next level by translating their promises into realities. Unfortunately, things went south. It seems the nation is going back to square one. This is a very critical moment in the change process where we need strong leadership.

Thus, the reformists shouldn’t allow what is happening to take their eyes off the ball. Please calm down. Refocus. Let’s be thankful for how far we have come. Let’s be hopeful again. We can come out of this!

The nation needs your leadership. Know that true leadership is tested not during peacetime but rather during such challenging times. Don’t retreat nor take a defensive position. Keep leading…

However, you need to regroup. You need to go back to the drawing board. You need to rechart the change journey by taking into account what has happened since the start of the change. Take lessons but don’t get disappointed by the setbacks.

This temporary setback shouldn’t preoccupy you and stop you from outlining the overall change process, putting in place the roadmap, consulting with key stakeholders, developing the nation’s human capital, and building its institutions while stabilizing the nation by putting in place some boundaries and guidelines to maintain law and order.

I don’t see you as managers. And thus, you shouldn’t waste the majority of your time in managing the current situation. Give direction and let the relevant bodies take care of the rest. You’re leaders and lead the nation in the right direction.

You have the public’s support, tap into this social capital to advance forward. Don’t slow down. Don’t get bog down by this temporary setback nor retreat nor take a defensive position.

[1] Dr. Assegid Habtewold is the author of five books that are available on Amazon. He is a leadership speaker and workshop facilitator for some government agencies and major corporations. Assegid can be reached at


  1. I am sorry to say that, but what is going on in Ethiopia right now is the result of the current Abeye group ( I am not going to say it Government), so-called OPDO ( now calling itself the leading party of EPRDF) that was the duplicate of TPLF (Actually the group was created by TPLF Mafia collection). In addition to that now OLF and other Oromo (old name GALA) extremists are invited in the name of ‘MEDEMERE’. What happened to our citizens about a week ago around and in Addis Ababa was the evil act of these Extremist Oromo groups. These groups were organized in different parts of the country by the name of ‘Qero’; the action they took in our innocent Ethiopians was the exact same replica of what had happened twenty-something years ago by OLF in Arba Gugu, Bedele and other places against helpless innocent citizens. Let me clear myself first on this ethnic issue; this is my belief that there is no Amara, Oromo, Tigre …etc in Ethiopia. All the citizens of Ethiopia are Human beings (‘YESEWE FETURE’)created by GOD the same way other than language, culture and geographical area, so Amarigna, Oromigna, Tigrena … etc are just languages that were given by GOD for the people to communicate with each other and solve their day to day activities. The evil politicians used the language as the identity of people in different regions of the country for them to use it as a tool to exploit and divide the people for their own political agenda of power, and creating and spreading hate between the people; this condition creates a lot of bloodshed among the people and extends the power of evil politicians.
    How do we get out of inthis mess?
    First of all, for every crime made for the last 27 years and what is going on right now, there must be accountability. There is no such thing as Abeye group said ‘Medemere with Yekerta’. To begin with, Who is going to be added to Who? Abeye group was a part of a criminal group, who were responsible for all crimes that were going on for the last 27 years and up to this point, and how come criminals are telling us MEDEMER with them? Even if we said let us talk about it they are the one who owes the Ethiopians ‘Yekerta’ not the other way around. I do understand all the security organizations are owned by this groups ( the reason why I said groups is because as we can see there is one group in Addis and another one in Mekele), so for how long do we have to continue with Abeye’s leap service and lies? He told us so many words we like to hear, but when it comes to action, we saw that he doesn’t have any power to stop the evils acts that were going on in different parts of Ethiopia for the last 4-5 months, and he keeps lying to us with his lip service every time after the brutal incident has happened. For example, in Gigiga, our citizens were butchered and burned, and so many churches were burned down, which had never happened even during the invasion of Somalia in that part of Ethiopia about 40 years ago. He was quiet for a little while and started his tour to the place just to show the usual leap service. They told us the idiot man, the head criminal act of that region was arrested, but not all the criminals who took the lives of the innocent citizens. After all that evil act we haven’t even heard clearly how they prosecuted this evil man; as we know from their experience of the last 27 years, when they prosecute the innocent peoples as ‘ASHEBARY’ they use to do a lot of dramas on their medias, but when it comes to the real criminal of their own member, we can not hear much about what is going on. I am not trying to say we are expecting the right justice from them, but I want to show you the endless lie of Abeye group. We have seen a lot of different genocide type killings in different parts of Ethiopia in addition to the Giggiga incident, and now it comes to the Capital city of Addis Ababa. So to me as a solution, accountability is very important for every crime and criminal act, otherwise, without a strict justice result against these criminals, the crime what we have seen the last 27 years or more is going to be our everyday life. So without any precondition, the people should be the owner of Justice, Security, Media and other important institutions immediately. Then people decide how to create a people Government, not a party administration. After all once all the institutions are under the will of the Citizens of Ethiopia, now it is possible to write a brand new constitution that works for all Ethiopians and people discuss on it for their decision. Once the constitution passed by the people of Ethiopia and is in place, now we can bring all the criminals to justice to punish them accordingly based on the criminal justice law, and to show once for all how everyone is accountable for the crime he has done and there is no free ride called ‘MEDEMERE with YEKERTA’ said by Abye group.

    All the HOPE we have seen this day is given by GOD note by Abeye group; don’t fool your self by Abey’s lip service. God used them to some extent for the purpose of decreasing a bloodshed, that is all. Now it is the part of the people to play the role by thanking GOD for this opportunity and get together as a HUMAN BEING (YESEWE FETURE) and avoid the evil BEHARE BEHARESEBE JOKE, and expose those, when we call them humans like us, but they chose to be called Oromo (GALA), Tigre EXTREMISTS; we need to tell them that we only know that everyone is the son and daughter of GOD called human, and we are not accepting their tool of divide and rule mentality of ethnicity thought, which wasn’t and is not exist in reality without their own evil thought.



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