Personal Ambition the source of our weakness
Many people wonder why the Oromians fail to accomplish what the Tigreans have accomplished. The answer of this question, many said, are tribalism, localism, lack of education and religious divisions. Nevertheless, I believe that the actual reason for our failure is the Individual Ambition trap in which many diaspora Oromians find themselves.
When Individual Ambition overshadows collaborative effort, it becomes very difficult to promote Collective Ambition. This happens because Individuals who dream to climb the top social ladder do not care why the Organization they joined is created, what it is hoping to accomplish, how they would collaborate with others and achieve the set goal, and how their personal interest aligns with the core values of the organization they belong to. Men with such an attitude undermine Collective Ambition because all they want is to satisfy their personal Ambition.
Although these kind of men talk a lot about the purpose and the mission of the Organization they belong to, the real dream behind their talk is to achieve certain personal benefits. When this happens, the organization that was formed with vision and purpose loses direction and its leaders are divided.
For example, the OLF had a targeted goal and the objective it aspired to achieve within a reasonable time frame. For that very reason, it had strategic and operational priorities and even took the necessary action against the Darg military. When the Darg government collapsed in 1991 and it became apparent that sharing power with the Tigre tribal leaders is the possibility, some OLF leaders joined the TPLF to satisfy their immediate economic needs under the name “Selaamawii ONEG.”
The rest remained loyal to the organization’s original objective until they too gradually fell apart. One group claimed that it wanted to change how the OLF did its business and got a new title “jijirama” and others became Qaama Ce’emsaa. Very interesting was that even the Jijirama, a group that promised to bring change to the OLF split again into several segments with no targeted mission or commitment to the original OLF objective. What made the entire Jijirama episode weird was that the Jijirama that was led by Gen. Galchuu joined the Habasha group and promised to democratize Ethiopia. During that time, men like Bayaan Asooba criticized the general Galchuu Jijirama team saying that joining the Habasha team was a mistake.
As time went by and situations no longer benefited Dr. Bayaan Asoba, he left the OLF, also known as Shanee Gumii, and joined the other half Jijirama team to which the Lencoos, Hasan Husein and others belonged and led a small group known as “Marii Biyya” or something to that effect. Now months past and the ODF came into existence with an agenda to promote general Galchu’s original idea of joining the Habasha group. By then, general Galchu dropped the idea of promoting the democratization of Ethiopia and formed KWO.
But why did Dr. Bayan Asoba joined the OLF when he was a young man, and then surrendered to the Derg government, became secretary of Ethiopia’s communist party, then went to eastern Europe on scholarship, rejoined the OLF again, left the OLF now, rejoined Ethiopia for another round exactly when the TPLF government is decaying from within.
What one can observe from this constant shift individuals such as Dr. Bayaan, Diimaa and the like are making is that what matters to them is not what they have promised the Oromo people, but satisfying their personal ambition. Here, what remains confusing is that these individuals still talk about the Oromo liberation. They talk to their communities, individuals, religious groups, tribes especially when they are rejected by the organization they belonged to. Be they are the Ethiopianists or those who surrendered to the TPLF, they all say that they are committed to the Oromo Liberation cause even when they joined the enemy and let the TPLF kill thousands of OLF soldiers.
So, when we look at these situations, we learn how men jump here and there to satisfy their Individual Ambition.
Lichoo Bukuraa and Kumsa for example talked on the Tigre Television about localism and old thinking that weakened the OLF and yet they were who destroyed the OLF from within.
There are similar groups who talk the same way from within the Oromo community and religious establishments.
Having studied these types of men, the only way it is possible to draw a line between men with Individual Ambition and those who can work for collective goal is by checking whether or not one would compromise on the Core Values of liberating the Oromo nation from the Habasha colonial yoke. Basically, those who can compromise on the core value do not have a guiding principle that dictate what they can or can’t do.
Continues on part 2