Dear Obbo Dawuud,
First of all, we would like to thank you for your contributions to the Oromo peoples’ struggle for freedom and democracy. You have done so much and sacrificed your entire life for our people. As many Oromos have, you were imprisoned; poisoned, tortured, and suffered an imaginable hardship for our people to achieve a meaningful existence and for that, the Oromo nation will always be grateful. However, the Oromo national liberation struggle entered a stalemate while you are at the helm of OLF. This is a concern of the overwhelming majority of Oromos, at home and abroad. Today, our enemies are committing an imaginable crime against our people and our people are left without anyone to fend off the systemic oppression. We are writing you this letter with heavy burden and with the out most concern for the state of our struggle and our bleeding nation. The Oromo people believed in OLF as a vanguard organization and that trust is eroding fast. Our struggle is at crossroads and we need to act now. We are writing you this letter to ask you for what a true patriot can, and should, do for his people in this most trying of times; for the sake of the people for whose liberty you were prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice, your very life, please resign! If you love the Oromo people and if you still wish and believe the Oromo deserve a national self-determination, the time has come for you to step-down as a leader of our struggle and hand over to someone with a clear vision, determination, and the political will and skills to move the Oromo struggle forward so that the wishes and aspirations of our people—freedom—will be realized. Resign, in the best interest of your beloved organization, OLF, for whose survival you sacrificed the best years of your youth and adult life.
Here are some of the reasons why we are asking you to gracefully step aside:
1. Under your leadership, our beloved organization has been detached from our homeland, too far away to hear the suffering of our people; too entangled in internal conflict, held hostage by a foreign government for their own self-interest, and too weak to effect any kind of change,
2. A decade and a half with which you were blessed to lead the Oromo people is essentially wasted. During this time, you led the organization into endless disintegration. In place of pragmatism, dogma has prevailed; in place of transparency and openness, personal petty has taken root; in place of diversity and inclusion, antagonism has intensified; and in place of merit, patronage has been rewarded that effectively reduced the Oromo peoples struggle to nothing but petty personal conflict and infighting,
3. When you were elected to lead the OLF in 1999, when you gracefully received the mantle from your predecessor, you were expected to unify the nation, mend the old wounds and move us in the right directions; instead, the OLF has been marred with split after split and has been in downward spiral with no end in sight,
4. We are the people of Gadaa who claim with pride that Gadaa is the ultimate system of democracy. Under Gadaa democracy, a leader serves a maximum of eight years and you are at the helm of the OLF for more than 14 years with no timeline to give up the chairmanship. Your term of office has ended years ago and you and your clique has lost any credibility to call the OLF national congress to formally transfer power, if ever. Under the circumstances, the only honorable choice is for your graceful, unconditional, and immediate exit, NOW!
5. Under your leadership, the Oromo struggle has reached a stalemate and with you at the helm, we see no possible scenarios of building a national reconciliation and you and your clique have rejected every attempt to unify Oromos under one umbrella for our struggle.
6. It’s now apparent that all you are doing as of late is issue a press release after press release calling those that has been working diligently to unify our struggle agents of an enemy when in fact you knew very well that is not the case,
7. Due to your inability or unwillingness to work with those you feel a threat to your authoritarian leadership style; by surrounding yourself with mediocre, you have denied the nation the opportunity to make use of the fruits of the wisdom of its gifted and dedicated children
8. Under your leadership, the OLF has split into so many different factions and it is now apparent that the name that was synonymous with the Oromo people has become a joke and is hijacked by lowlifes you brought to the OLF, and the Oromo people are at the point of not wanting to hear the name OLF,
9. Oromos are desperate for change and you and your narrow clique are the only one in the way of this change. Our people are more than ever being killed, tortured, rampantly unemployed, expelled from their ancestral land, and their lands are being taken away and being sold to foreigners and our people in millions are suffering from famine,
10. Obbo Dawuud, we feel it would be morally wrong and historically a big blunder to play hide-and-seek, especially now where our struggle has reached its lowest level it has ever been under your watchful eyes. By failing to be a statesman when the times demanded it, you have disgraced the nation by rejecting every attempt to unite our freedom fighters; instead you are bent on expelling those with critical thinking and forward looking mentality opposed to your dogmatic approach. You need to open your eyes and see for yourselves what is happening on the ground than linger on useless, irrelevant and sometimes cynical doctrines and speculations based on few feeble minded individuals left in the organization with you. It has been a complete disaster, to say the least and this must come to an end, NOW!
11. Obbo Dawuud, look around! You are left alone; bright sons of the nation are deserting you every day. Please do not believe for a minute that you are doing good for our struggle any longer. Your holding onto power is not advancing our struggle; rather, it is taking us back to the 1960s. The reality is, our nation is being held hostage and we beg you to end it and end it, NOW!
12. Your predecessor who left the Oromo struggle in shambles was in the same situation until he was eventually removed from power, and we beg you to not go down that road and please resign now!
13. You have, in many occasions, contributed to the dysfunction and dismantling of the OLF organization everywhere and brought disgrace to the very brand of OLF. You and the incompetent few in the leadership have divided Oromo nationalists along tribal and regional lines and you changed the focus of the organization from struggle for self-determination to struggle for self-destruction,
14. You bear primary responsibility for bringing a former prisoner of war (POW), a thug, and scumbag by the name Kamal Galachu and other TPLF leftover militias to the OLF and ascended them to lead the military wing of OLF that effectively destroyed our beloved organization. Today these TPLF militias are working against the Oromo interest and for that you will be held accountable,
15. As you effectively killed the OLF and clinging to its chairmanship, you are also holding the chairmanship of AFD hostage and the OLF has lost the trust of other oppressed people to be led by OLF because of your inability to lead with vision,
16. As you grew closer to the Eritrean authoritarian regime, you are increasingly acting like a dictator in training and unbecoming of our Gadaa heritage,
17. Under your leadership, the young and the dynamic future generations are ignored, marginalized, and made to feel unwelcome to participate in the national struggle,
18. Under your leadership, we are tired of the in-fighting; the struggle has taken many lives with no end in sight. Change has come to many places except to Oromos and with you at the helm, nothing will change and the Oromo people want you to step aside. Our people are ready to fight, but their vanguard organization, the OLF, that they thought were their savior are being held hostage by you and by the few others who could not see beyond the horizon of their noses,
19. The popular uprising in North Africa and elsewhere is a testament to openness to different tactics and ideas. Under your leadership, none could be launched because of your inability to listen to others,
20. It is now apparent that no Oromo on his/her right mind calls you a leader and certainly not those countless young fighters now in Ma’ikalawi prison that were trained and equipped and ill-fatedly dispatched to fight alone without proper directions and without a political leader dispatched with them. Time and again, they were hoarded like cattle by the enemy to suffer in enemy prisons without ever shooting a single bullet against the tyrannical regime that terrorizes our people, day in, day out,
21. OLF was supposed to mirror our Gadaa heritage that cultivates the youth — the future of our nation. You had a golden opportunity to do just that with the young dynamic Oromo youth that joined the OLF right after staging all kinds of student uprisings since 2001. Instead, they were not make use of, made unwelcome, mistreated and expelled and are being recruited by others,
22. Obbo Dawuud, as far as we are concerned, you and the small clique you lead are becoming the biggest obstacle for the Oromo struggle to move forward. Despite the opening provided by Zanawi’s increasingly authoritarian rule that turned the Oromo people and more and more Ethiopians against his rule, time and again you failed to seize the moment to make an end to the marginalization of the Oromo and tyranny in Ethiopia,,
23. Obbo Dawuud, let’s remind you that Oromos are 40 million strong and there are plenty of other capable leaders with vision and determination that can do a better job than what you have done. You had your time and opportunity to effect change and move the struggle forward and we are sure you will agree with us that that did not happen. We hope you will also agree with us that the time has come for you to step aside and let others take their turn.
24. Listen to us before it’s too late. You have lost all the respect and admirations; be it from the Oromo people or others, and your time has come to let someone else lead us to freedom
25. Obbo Dawuud, we are concerned that our struggle has stalled under your leadership and there is no better time than now for you to step aside with grace. Too much damage has already been done to our struggle. The best you can do for the Oromo people right now is to take a-graceful exit.
Freedom for all!
Members of the OLF Executive Committee Members
Members of OLF National Council
OLF offices around the world
OLF Members around the world
All Oromo Media
Oromo communities around the world
Government of Eritrea