Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. This is the celebrated convention in this chaotic Media World. There are things you just laugh at or be amused by; and others you just ignore. This happens if and only if commentaries are too benign to harm the value systems of societies and/ or are followed by no consequences that could cause death and destruction. The YouTube world is full of angels, devils, and those between the two. I have watched every video by Sajid Nadim of My Views on News throughout the war until today. His “views on news” are so contradictory and so unfounded on the cruel realities of life in this world of ours that I sometimes praise him as an Angel and condemn him as a devil at other times. He sends me a heart when I praise him; but never responds to logical comments. I can see he does not learn from unfavorable comments, that is why he repeats his mistakes.
When TDF was gallantly pushing south towards Addis Ababa Sajid Nadim was so enthusiastic that his admirations for TDF knew no bounds. Unless Mr. Nadim was blind to his own reporting TDF had tangible political reasons to withdraw back to Tigray in which defeat was not one of them. TDF was overstretched exposed to pincer attack from the east and west in the middle. Moreover, its home base was exposed to the merciless cowards in the person of the Eritrean army. Its ammunition reserves dwindling and its food supply drying up only an army under God’s command could survive any continuation of the fighting into Addis Ababa. In Addis Ababa, all odds were against the entry of TDF into Addis Ababa. USA, AU and the UN were determined that no TDF sets foot on Addis Ababa to remove their more favored government.
Sajid Nadim reported for several weeks at a stretch and whenever he gets the opportunity long after that “the TDF was pushed back, the TDF was militarily defeated, etc.” A journalist as he claims to be switches sides so easily following temperature readings on his ‘like’ and ‘share’ thermometer. After that he was trying to be sympathetic to Tigray at times and preaching cheap reconciliation as if the war was a fight between husband and wife. I have been putting comments every time he makes a blunder in the analysis on Tigray which in most cases is extremely naïve. I repeatedly asked him to change his phrasing “pushed back”. After so many repeated comments he improved to “withdrew” but reluctantly. Sajid tries to please both Tigrayan and Amhara viewers at the same time. This is impossible. That is why most of his analyses became spoilt brew.
Since I never miss his videos and also I never failed to find at least one plunder in analysis I cannot exhaust my conflicting experiences with his hundreds of videos in this article. I had continued to view his videos without the need to write an article about them until this morning. I have been writing tens of articles about how Tigray was devastated by the forces of evil and how it survived as the best expression of the resilience of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens. I can say boldly that humanity can continue into the long future if and only if it inoculates the Tigray DNA of survival. How did Tigray survive and is expected to thrive into eternity? The answer is simple and straightforward: Not only because it has its sons and daughters who are always ready to die for it but because it has ‘granite-bedrock’ of faith to carry it through great adversities.
If you could have the chance to visit Tigray at this time a question that comes to your mind is: “What is holding so much peace in Tigray?” Travel by car from Mekelle across Tembien to Adwa, get a minibus ride from Adwa to Axum, and then to Shire. You don’t see any sign of that devastating war either on the landscape or on the behavior of the ordinary people. It is so safe that you can travel with confidence with your expensive luggage and other belongings. Very polite security men and women checking IDs only on a small number of check points. The elected government was dismantled by Abiy; the new transitional government is toothless to say the least; the security apparatus to enforce law is very weak; politicians are on each other’s throat; officials, business people, and other insensitive good-for-nothings are spending night in drinking spree; hundreds of thousands of IDP without food are roaming the landscape without turning violent out of desperation; Eritrea (Shabia as it is locally known. The irony is Shabia means of the people in Arabic) is firing mortars and flying aircraft to terrorize people of Tigray; Fanos supported by the those who signed the Pretoria agreement are ravaging western and southern Tigray while the Tigray government seems to have become confused about it.
Back to our question; What is holding so much peace in Tigray? The answer is the monolithic faith that endured for two millennia. Menbere Selama was the original core of the Orthodox Church in this part of the world. When Axum declined its people were unable to protect it because besides the geopolitical downfall Yodit sucked the stamina of the original church forcing it to surrender to the Agaw Dynasty. Although Zagwe maintained the centrality of Axum for Menbere Selama Yikuno Amlak and his king maker monk Teklehaimanot finalized the historical robbery and replaced Menbere Selama by Menbere Teklehaimanot after canonizing the latter and basing what they called EOTC in Shoa. What Tigray is asking is reinstatement of what was taken by force. This is not rebellion; this is a call for justice in the face of God! It is not the refusal of a few Archbishops in Tigray to be governed by the EOTC, it is a movement of the entire people of Tigray to restore the long lost integrity of the Church. In fact the four Archbishop of Tigray are very lucky to be on the leadership when history is being made in Tigray. They will be blessed and canonized later. Tigray will see churches named after them strewn throughout the land.
Evil Archbishops of the EOTC with green light from the Synod had become more Abiy than Abiy, became more soldiers and Fanos than the soldiers and Fanos; they became more Shabia than Isaias on the people of Tigray. Would any sane minded human being spend a second with these kinds of people let along worship the same God with them? It should not be misunderstood that the reason for the imminent departure of Menbere Selama from EOTC is driven by mere anger. What was done and what is still going on regardless of apologies and other niceties makes one not only angry but mad. However, Tigray is taking the whole thing soberly. The return of Menbere Selama was long overdue; but there was no drastic enough reason for Tigray to put the request forward. Tigray did not create the reason. Tigray was not even looking for a reason. It was the conceited and arrogant members of the Synod who pushed Tigray to the extreme. Now they are blaming Tigray for appropriately reacting to the provocations. For Tigray the provocations are extremely costly but they help justify its actions of restoration in the eyes of God.
Abune Mathias Patriarch of the EOTC arrived in Mekelle yesterday accompanied by some genocide preaching bishops and some other so called elders who can’t really grasp the essence and seriousness of what is going on. The elders think they are doing a holy practice by trying to reconcile; but they are working knowingly or unknowingly to extend the misery of the people of Tigray. I know Abune Mathias has a burden of responsibility to bring his Church together but at what expense. Is he using the extending misery of Tigray in the hands of the killer bishops so that he can keep EOTC united? Menbere Selama belongs to Tigray not to Abune Isaias or Abune Merha Kristors. The Holinesses are only messengers of the people. That is where Abune Mathias is getting everything wrong. I have my deep respect and reverence for Abune Mathias. In the worst of days for us Tigrayans I have heard him expose the brutalities in Tigray. I don’t think he has forgotten it was his own Archbishops that turned against him and humiliated him for the genocide he publicized. With all due respect, is he defending them? He never said a word against his evil associates (Abraham and Petros) until this day. No one can have his bread and eat it. No one can be with Tigray while at the same time befriending or tolerating those criminals who are responsible for genocide in Tigray. If Abune Mathias is trying to play dangerously to balance two forces who are irreconcilable he will face humiliation that he never deserved otherwise. Did Tigray humiliate him more than his own archbishops of the Synod did? Here is where I come to Sajid Nadim; but a few paragraphs for a background.
Abune Mathias arrived and held discussions with the interim government head. It is fine. Wasn’t that what his letter sent to the regional government meant? He sent a letter to the regional government and it is his right as a citizen. It ends there though. They met with Getachew and that is the end of the story. When the Church delegation saw that the Tigray Archbishops were absent they were alarmed. WHY? There is a saying in Amharic “Ken ena wusha sayterut yemetal”. I hate to say it but I have to say it: Is Abune Mathias bearing so much disregard for the personalities of the Tigray Archbishops and expects them to come to the meeting uninvited? Isn’t this an insult to 6 million behind the backs of the Archbishops? It is a disaster to expect that the regional government will parade the archbishops of Tigray to the conference hall by force or by threat of violence. Abune Mathias wept all day. WHY? If he has regretted his coming that is the right thing to do. BUT if his sorrow is triggered by the refusal of the Archbishops to help him make his own personal history by uniting EOTC at the cost of Tigray he should dry up his tears, adjust and respect the will of the people. For Abune Mathias it is wise to realize that TOTC is closer to God than EOTC. The latter is led by a synod which is filled with evil. Is it only the Synod which is spoiled? No! The poison has spread throughout the faithful and removing Petros or Abraham is not going to solve the problem for Tigray. Are these people worried for the unity of EOTC? Not at all! They are worried that their lavish life is coming to an end.
Sajid Nadim has been reporting and analyzing the EOTC and TOTC controversy as if it is a ‘storm in a tea cup’. Assuming that he is highly placed in his observations and analyses he undermines what has been happening between EOTC and TOTC as ‘blowing issues beyond proportions’. He was repeatedly proposing with every opportunity to say it that “It is better for the two sides to come together and forget their problems”. Do you expect these kinds of feeble political statements to come from a self-proclaimed analyst? When we were kids we fight on a piece of candy and someone intervenes and asks us to raise our little fingers, lock it and then kiss it. This was the nature of childhood reconciliation. Sajid is trying to apply this on the sky-sized issue of Menbere Selama versus EOTC. He also expected the regional government to ‘discipline the Tigray Archbishops by coercing them into unification with EOTC’. There may not be democracy in Tigray; but there is no dictatorship either. The people of Tigray have no tradition of submission to dictatorships. They have rebelled against Menilik, Haileselassie, Derg, and this one here now! What makes Tigrayans unique in Ethiopia is this. They have managed to free other Ethiopians from the yolk of unitarist dictatorships; although thanklessly. They fight dictators not only in Addis Ababa but also on their own soil: their home grown dictators. Getachew or Debretsion are brought up in this sprit and Abune Mathias or any other should not have expected them to act otherwise. They know what would happen to them if they dare! Abune Mathias himself has grown up in the same spirit of resistance. Wasn’t that why he emerged boldly from the darkness and told the world about the genocide? He should stick to his own ancestral values. EOTC is not worth sacrificing ones cherished values of resistance for. Stand with the Apostles not with the Pharisees.
Mr. Sajid Nadim went far beyond the redline, beyond his usual naively reconciliatory remarks, and uttered careless statements against the people of Tigray. At a personal level I think he is a Muslim hinted from his name. That would not matter for journalism; but if he is to be one sided who is he siding with? Getachew said “All believers are behind the archbishops”. No! All Tigrayans are behind them because Getachew should not exclude the Muslims in Tigray. It was Menbere Selama that saved Islam. The King who allowed the Family of Prophet Mohammed to stay in Axum was influenced by the religious spirit instilled in his mind by moral values enshrined in Menbere Selama. Sajid Nadim should fully support the restoration of Menbere Selama. Of course, that is none of my concern; but the statements he makes against Menbere Selama are!
Sajid Nadim was commenting on the absence of Tigray Archbishops from the meeting. He said “They did not humiliate Abune Mathias but they bluffed him”. Watch this game of words! Even if he uses the word ‘humiliation’ to describe the situation it was a wrong description because no one had any intention to humiliate Abune Mathias in Tigray. He was more than enough humiliated in Addis Ababa by his own associates. For Tigray Abune Mathias is a saint who against the odds became the only voice for Tigray in the EOTC and in the entire Ethiopia. They did not humiliate him he argued because “Tigrayans have a soft heart for Abune Mathias”. Why do Tigrayans have a soft heart for Abune Mathias? He tries to explain, but it was a DISASTER! He said: “Tigrayans have a soft heart for Abune Mathias purely because he is a Tigrayan”.
He accused all Tigrayans of parochialism or narrow mindedness. Obviously, he implied that the reason Tigrayans hate Abune Petros and Abune Abraham or others is because they are Amhara or non-Tigrayan. I am not going to tell that horror story of what the evil archbishops were doing and saying. I have done enough of that in my book on Tigray genocide. Would Tigrayans love Dr. Abraham, Dr. Mulu, Prof. Haregewoin, Dr. Aregawi, General Yohannes, because they are Tigrayans. What a distorted perception of Sajid Nadim about the people of Tigray. Do Pakistanis love the British who killed them? I don’t think this is true but if it is Tigray is not Pakistan. Its enemies, regardless of where they belong to are its enemies. Abune Mathias like any Tigrayan in any position is loved only if he helps Tigray. Otherwise, Tigray birth does not make you immune from hate if you are misbehaving against the people. The only reason Tigray loves Abune Mathias is because he was its voice in the darkness. However, it cannot allow him to cross the redlines of defense of Tigray’s fundamental and revered values however much grateful it may be for what he did. Abune Mathias should not be carried away by the love and respect he got in Tigray and jump into the territory where ‘even the angels fear to tread’. The Archbishops were not humiliating him they were politely warning him that he is taking the wrong track against his own principles and values. No one can be bigger than Menbere Selama! Abune Mathias was absolutely wrong in travelling to Tigray at this critical juncture. A time when Menbere Selama is crystallizing Abune Mathias’ visit can be misunderstood as a deliberate distraction. If he considers that as humiliation he is personally responsible for it.
Abune Mathias’ statements in the meeting were totally uncalled for and never expected of him. He shouldn’t have taken things personally. This is history in the making; individuals are not important. He was belittling the Tigray Archbishops for not coming to the meeting as if they “don’t know what they are doing; or they are forced to do so, etc.”. Such statements are alarming considering the Archbishops as kids. Yes, they are his kids in the religious sense, but now they are too grown up for his dictations. Sajid Nadim tried to increase the volume of this point of argument that: “Abune Mathias appointed these Archbishops” Sajid Nadim said; “but they are bluffing him”. ‘Humiliating’, ‘bluffing…’??? The word ‘bluffing’ is a more insulting word. It means: “to instill fear or doubt in somebody by a false show of strength or confidence”. He is implying that the Tigray Archbishops are powerless in the face of Abune Mathias and his Synod but they are acting like as if they can win or out wit, etc. Does Sajid think that 6 million people bluff? Were they bluffing when they shamed the huge armies of so many states? I advise Mr. Sajid Nadim towear his own size shoes. His futile attempt to match himself with the Tigray people only makes him much smaller than he already is.