The Choice of the University President Is Scandalous
December 20, 2002
University is not only the highest institution of academic learning, but it is also a source of ultimate truth and a place where young Ethiopian future leaders are trained. Its leaders are expected to be role models with the highest standard of moral value, integrity, independence, and most of all academic excellence. In this regard, the appointment of Prof. Andreas Eshete, an individual closely known for serving the ruling regime, has emerged as scandalous. There is no doubt he is very articulate in his field of expertise, which is philosophy, but he is not qualified to be the president of AAU. The University deserves to be administered by a qualified educator, preferably with Dr. of Education (Ed.D) degree and a proven record of educational leadership, and who can devise advanced curriculum with highly diversified and interdisciplinary educational programs. Endreas has no background in this field, nor is he an astute educator. And his recent mediocre pretensions of a political economist and anthropologist cannot hide his real face. Therefore he does not have the moral and leadership quality to be the President of this great institution.
The Prime Minister used Professor Endreas as a tool to cover up his blind Eritrean policy. In 1991, when the Eritrean leader, Isayas, massacred our soldiers after they surrendered, thereby violating the Geneva convention, and when he rounded up tens of thousand of Ethiopians, pulled their teeth “digging for gold” and pocked their eyes, Professor Endreas rushed to Eritrea as a “ fact finder” and denied that there had been any wrong doing by Asmara. He appeared in the media and tried to give the Eritrean regime a human face. It was clear to many Ethiopians that Endreas made those statements to cover up the crimes of Meles and Isayas, the twin enemies of our country.
Many Ethiopians also wonder whether the “good” professor also played a similar role surrounding the slaying of General Hayelom Araya, as the former was in the company of the late Ethiopian hero the night of his murder. After the incident, Professor Endreas is heard of dismissing the act of the murder, as an isolated case of a personal grudge of the assassin against Hayelom, despite the strong conviction of many Ethiopians, that the killing was a politically motivated act by Shaebia, with the knowledge of Meles.
Since EPRDF’s ascendance to power, the Professor has played the role of the lieutenant in the intelligentsia circle in supporting and camouflaging Meles’s dismal economic and political policies, and in the University standoff between the academic staff and Meles, Professor Endreas has clearly taken Meles’s side.
In a similar blunder, ten years ago the Prime Minister appointed the current Head of the Ethiopian church, despite strong opposition from the clergy as well as the laymen/followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which has ever since generated so much controversy and polarization and politicized the church more than ever, adding to Meles’s grand project of fragmenting Ethiopian society. This is because the man who is leading our church is perceived to be very much closer to Meles than to God. On this matter the record of history is clear. A political leadership that ignores education, health, jobs and welfare will always drive its people away.
Generally these selections are not designed to serve the nation but to prolong the life of this shameful Prime Minister. Despite the talk of Tehadso or renewal the Prime Minister is preaching the Ethiopian people and his external benefactors, this latest act shows, as far as power is concerned, Meles is still Meles. SOLIDARITY strongly believes that, there is a strange and suspicious interacting interests between Meles (Government), Patriarch Paulos (Church) and Prof. Endreas (Academia).
Tigrian International Solidarity for Justice and Democracy (TISJD)
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