Trade and Industry Minister Girma Birru said some 502 investment projects in the textile, garment, leather and leather products sectors have received licenses as part of the efforts geared towards encouraging private investment in the country. None of these were in the Somali State which produces most of these raw products. The minister was speaking in a symposium organized encouraging local investors into their local communities.
The Somali State is the least developed State in Ethiopia and attracts the least investment in the country. There are many contributing factors. Among them is lack of leadership in the Somali State. Leaders in the Somali region totally lack commitment into the State. They have never cared about their fellow citizens and the Somali region lacks any accountability both from the citizens and from the Ethiopian federal government. When there is no accountability, there is corruption and lack of vision. And this is what has crippled the Somali State.
But the biggest obstacle to any meaningful development and any resemblance of governance in the Somali State is the cancer of tribalism. People are so rooted to tribalism, that, they quickly corrupt any leader. There is a minority voices in the Ogaden tribe, that is now becoming an obstacle to any leader who wants to govern this region. These minority voices in the Ogaden tribe, have been corrupted and grew up in a culture of corruption, tribalism, and conflicts. They are the by-product and remnants of former Siad Barre regime from neighboring Somalia. These minority voices in the Ogaden community, are so violent, and ruthless. They demand their way and are willing to use intimidation and force.
In fact, every leader in the Somali region knows this. No leader has so far, shown the balls to confront and stand up to these bullies and terrorists. Terrorist, because they use fear and intimidation to any righteous person in the state. How many people did these bullies kill in their homes? How many citizens, promising citizens have been gun-downed at night or day light? These terrorists belong to the Ogaden tribe that claims to be the majority.
These minority voices are either part, sympathize or have been part of ONLF. The majority of Ogaden's are good people, peace loving, want prosperity and development like all the citizens of the Somali State. But, unfortunately, they have not stood up to these bullies that are retarding any meaningful, new investment and development into the State.
There is no need to mince words or being politically correct. The majority of Ogaden people know the truth and they know these people. It is up to them to decide if the Somali State will prosper economically by attracting new investment, which will bring new highly needed jobs or to stay the status quo. Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.
I speak for millions of reasoning people in the Somali State fighting to improve our citizens, fighting greed, selfishness, individualism and stupidity. And I speak for reasonable people who are fighting to preserve our very existence from a macho intransigence that refuses to make intelligent attempts to discuss.
We cannot afford to avoid raising the right questions. Our self-respect and our moral integrity are at stake. For the sake of the Somali State and the 37 tribes that inhabit the State, the new administration, headed by Abdullahi Hassan “Lugbur” should either be strong enough to face these violent, hatred filled, tribally infected, selfish, corrupt, war-mongering individuals in their midst or allow other capable leaders from other tribes to rule the State. There is no point proving fairness and leadership to other tribes, when you can’t restrain your own. Mr. president, charity starts at home.
Problems in the Somali State are man made or more specifically, lack of leadership at the top. Therefore, Leadership can solve them. First, Mr. President, lead by an example, and we will all follow you. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe the Ogaden tribe can liquidate this violent, selfish, divisive, war-mongering minority if they want and decide. But, the million-dollar question is: are they prepared?
The Somali State citizens and leaders are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as “anti-ogaden” by these violent minority in the Ogaden community, that use tribal websites to attack their opponents. They misuse freedom of speech in the Internet to misinform a very ignorant and unsuspecting population.
These minority voices are the only Somali speaking people and Somali websites that do not shy away, from tribal “ululation”. Though almost every Somali speaking individual in all parts of the world, declare their allegiance to their tribe to their own detrimental consequences, as seen in neighboring Somalia, almost none, are as proud, and, “ululating” as these Ogaden Minority voices.
It is strange and beyond stupidity, that, they can verbally attack anyone else without restraint, and with full protection, but, hold themselves above the same type of criticism. You will see these minority groups completely melt down and loose any awareness; whatsoever of even what they write and say. Those of us who shout in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by their own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of tribal decency. Too often what we call hate as if it were deeply rooted tribalism or clanism, is simply ignorance, anxiety, paranoia, fear, and insecurity. These minority voices in our midst are nothing but, the above.
Mr. president, to be strong leader, you must be long-suffering as you seek to right the wrongs of your people and that of the Somali State Citizens.Mr. President, no generation can choose the age and the circumstance in which it is born, but through leadership, it can choose to make the age in which it is born an age of change, an age of development, an age of new opportunities, an age of prosperity, an age of peace and justice. Look no further than Nelson Mandela or Rajev Gandhi for inspiration, for their people were in similar circumstances.
Only leadership, with the intangible combination of courage, boldness, and will, can lead us out of the crisis, out of poverty that all citizens of the Somali state find themselves, out of unending tribal conflict and animosity, out of the primitive state in which most of our citizens are in, out of the culture of corruption in which we find ourselves, out of tribal hegemonies that an elite minority manipulates, out of the hatred spread by few minority to enhance their culture of deception. Leadership can mitigate the misery of the Somali State and its citizens. Mr. President, these are the enemies of the Somali State: ONLF and whoever sympathizes with them, the minority violent elites who are former remnants of Siad Barre regime, from neighboring Somalia, poverty, famine, hunger, ignorance, and disease. They are our enemies that we can overcome, if the Ogaden people decide to.
The majority of the Ogaden People want justice, they want a government of unity that reflects the 37 tribes that call their home, the Somali State. But, they should be real with the rest of the Somali State people. It is time they get rid of their bad apples. Somali State citizens are not stupid. W know every thing, we know the indecision of the Ogaden leadership to face the facts on the ground.
There is no colonist in Ethiopia; there is no fighting for freedom as the ONLF still claims. There is a constitutional rule in Ethiopia, there is finally a Somali State, where Somalis govern themselves, there is a Somali State led by a government whose head of State is an Ogaden person. In fact, Mr.Abdullahi Hassan lugbur’s government consists 85% Ogaden individuals. So, let us be real with all citizens of the Somali State. Unless your regime is the colonizer of the Somali State, then, tell us, who, the freedom fighters of the “ONLF” are claiming to liberate us from?
Finally, let me speak directly to the Ogaden people, for at the real heart of a battle for equality, is a deep-seated belief for the common good. Equality depends not on the force of arms or intimidation, but, depends upon the force of moral right; not on recourse to violence, but on respect for other tribes, respect for your fellow Somalis, respect for the law and order.
We seek Justice and equality. We seek unity. But we will not accept the peace of stifled rights, or the order imposed by fear, or the unity that stifles protest and deserved critism. For peace cannot be purchased with your desire to dominate all the other tribes that share the Somali State with you or your desire to keep silent, among the troublemakers among you and about ONLF.
You must understand the politics of your community and you must know what bad politics is supposed to produce. Look no further than our neighbors Somalia and the ONLF. And until Ogaden leadership can unite and solve the crisis within the Ogaden community, you will always be mislead, lead astray, or deceived or maneuvered into supporting someone politically who doesn’t have the good of Ogaden community at heart. And this will have never-ending consequences to the Somali State. It will affect all of us, it will divide all of us, and we will lag behind the rest of Ethiopia in development, in new investment, in prosperity, in education, and in health.
The rest of Ethiopia will continue dominating our region. Now, it is all about competition among the states for new investment, and for federal funding from roads to schools.
But, in a state of ignorance, divisiveness among our people, poor leadership mired in their own self promotion and tribal righteousness, then, the rest of the world will be watching the sad images of poverty, hunger, blood shed, and our own primitive looking, primitive living, primitive reasoning that doesn’t reflect people of the 22nd century, but, that of the dark 14th century and uncivilized societies.
And Finally, I want to speak to those who call our Somali State, or Somali region, “Ogadenia”. I mean, how stupid are these people, do they really believe themselves or their Slogan? What they are actually doing is a contradiction to them. On one hand, they and their sycophants claim to fight for freedom, while, also enhancing colonial Slogans and ideas. They should have done a little bit of history how the “Slogan Ogadenia” was started and used by previous Ethiopian rulers.
Just incase they haven’t done their homework, the Slogan “Ogadenia” was used by previous colonizers in an attempt to divide and give away part of what is now known as “ the Somali State or Kilil5”. The Colonizers called “Ogadenia” only four of what are now the nine current provinces that the Somali State consists. These Idiotic minorities who refer our Somali State, Ogadenia, must have forgotten, the thousand martyrs, heroes who gave their lives to help liberate their fellow Somalis from previous ruthless regimes and imperialism.
These sons and daughters belong to every Somali tribe that exists today in many parts of the world. Some never saw “Somaligalbeed” until their moments of death. They came from far, far, lands. They didn’t die for “Somaligalbeed” to be reduced to a tribal name Ogadenia. Nor did they die, for the Somali people in the region, to be divided along tribal lines.
These minority few, are the individuals living in luxury hotels in western societies. They are the ones that sit in million dollar rent offices in high-rise buildings. They collect millions of dollars in a very deceiving, fact twisting, propaganda filled mission statements written by highly paid lawyers, under the name of liberation movements and humanitarian assistance in unsuspecting western democracies or individuals. The majority have their families living abroad, so, they have nothing to loose, while, causing all sort of hell for a powerless ignorant, poor communities in the Somali State.
Do us all a favor, Safe us from your idiotic Ogaden Slogan by shuffling it down to your throat. At least, it will shut your mouth and safe you from embarrassing yourself and your community. I also would like to thank Kilil5 Online publishers by establishing such a well designed website that provides a voice for all the citizens of this great Somali State. My hope is that you will be different from the tribal websites and expose the ugliness, the corruption, the injustice, the inequality existing in the state and the few who want to hijack the name of the region and change into their own tribal name.
Habiib Ali (mataan).