By Staff Reporter
August 9, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- In a stunning development, the Oromia Prosperity Party dismissed Defence Minister Lemma Megerssa as a member of its central committee.
In an extraordinary meeting held on Sunday, the party also dismissed two high-level officials, namely Dr. Milkissa Midega and Teyiba Hassen, as central committee members.
Lemma Magerssa is a prominent Oromo politician who was credited to have played a major role in ending the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) led government and facilitating conditions for the current Prime Minister to assume power in April 2018. The team that came to power ousting the TPLF was commonly called "Team Lemma."
According to many reports, Abiy Ahmed would not be a Prime Minister today had Lemma Megerssa not facilitated his way by resigning from his position as the leader of the Oromia regional party.
Lemma Megerssa was the President of the Oromia regional state and later the Deputy Chairman of the ruling party in the region, Oromo Democratic Party. Currently, Lemma serves as the Minister of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, since April 18, 2019. It is unknown how long he will stay in that position or as a free man, his dismissal all but certain given the latest development.
Lemma Megerssa opposed the merger of regional political parties to the ruling Prosperity Party, a move he said was too hasty given that there are many unresolved regional and national issues and promises unkept. The Oromia Communication Bureau later released a statement saying that the two leaders, Lemma Megerssa and Abiy Ahmed, have narrowed their differences.
Lemma Megerssa was rarely heard from since his disagreement with Abiy Ahmed became public. He visited the USA late last year for what was said to be a working visit.
Head of the office Oromia Prosperity Party Fikadu Tessema said Lemma was sacked after he failed to attend the party’s meetings and long absence from work as well as using erroneous ways to resolve differences - a reference to his earlier opposition to the formation of the Prosperity Party.
According to an interview with the Voice of America, he also opposes Abiy’s new philosophy to unite the country, called “Medemer,” loosely translated as "unity."
Lemma’s rejection of the merger of the parties has overshadowed the premier’s effort to unite the Oromo people and the success of the Prosperity Party. The merger had the support of the three coalition members, even though it faced opposition from the TPLF, which was the founder and leading member.
Fikadu said the party discussed the security challenge the nation has faced due to external forces that tried to disrupt the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the ongoing political reform.
The party blamed TPLF and the rebel Oromo Liberation Front otherwise called “Shene” for joining efforts with external forces to dismantle Ethiopia.
The party in its resolution vowed to file lawsuits against members of the party's leadership and Oromia security forces who were allegedly involved in the recent ethnic and religious-based attacks in various towns of Oromia state.
The party also vowed to fight theft in which some members of the party's leadership has been involved.
According to the regional information Bureau, the other two officials were sacked due to their failure to adhere to the party’s discipline; for alleged transfer of national secrets to third parties and their involvement in the recent violence in Oromia region.
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