One of the main actors of the current political change in Ethiopia, Lemma Megersa, opposes the PM’s philosophy. According to the Voice of America, The Defence Minister expressed his stand against the concept called Medemer proposed by his close friend Abiy Ahmed.
Medemer philosophy, which means ‘to add up,’ become popular since PM Abiy took office. It was introduced to unite extreme ideas for the benefit of the common good. Medemer is expected to become the central ideology of the Prosperity Party, the new party, which was established by the EPRDF merger.
Lemma was the leading person to change the political atmosphere of Ethiopia, helping Abiy to become the prime minister. The reform team named after him as “Team Lemma,” considering the significant role he played to make the change happen. On multiple occasions, the prime minister mentioned him as his ‘boss.’
The former president of Oromia regional state and currently the vice-chairperson of the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) told VoA that he would not agree with the merging of EPRDF.
“This is not the right time for the merger,” said Lemma. He added that he has a different idea of the merger from start to end. “The idea should be approved by the people who we have promised that we won’t do anything without their agreement.”
Furthermore, he said that he attended the meeting of EPRDF, and mentioned that he lost his influence in the party a while ago. “I begged them to give it time. I told them it could cause damage. Nobody heard me, that’s why I go out of the meeting with a different stance,” Lemma told VOA.
Where as, Taye Dendea the Public Relations of Prosperity Party Oromia branch, told SBS radio a contrary statement from Lemma. “He never showed a difference stance on Medemer and the merger during the meetings of EPRDF,” Taye said. He added that Lemma had not presented an optional opinion, either.
Others took Lemma’s statement as ‘unwise.’ Suleiman Dedefo, Ambassador of Ethiopia to the UAE and one of the supporters of the reform by Abiy and Lemma one of the expressed his sadness. On his twitter page he wrote “I have never been saddened like the moment I heard Ob. Lemma Megersa’s announcement of his differences with Dr. Abiy Ahmed. It is not wise to condemn any of them right now, rather try to narrow the gap. A responsibility of sustaining our country rests on our people.”
On a related story, Abiy Ahmed announced the merger of EPRDF on Sunday after the parties signed an agreement. “The process of the merger will proceed strictly following law and order,” prime minister Abiy said.
The prime minister stuck with his philosophy and the merging idea of EPRDF, no matter how it could cost him significant allies.