According to the Sendek, an Amharic Weekly Newspaper, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), at Its 6th regular conference, has appointed Alemayehu Atomsa chairman and Muktar Kadir deputy chairman of the party to replace Abadula Gemeda and Girma Biru, the former chairman and deputy chairman respectively. The conference, which was held in Adama for four days, has also sacked three other executive committee members who were also federal cabinet ministers. Junedin Sado, Shiferaw Jarso and Mrs. Aster Mamo were Science and Technology, Basin Affairs, and Youth and Sports ministers respectively.
Sendek has also reported that the participants discussed the two-year audit and performance reports of the executive committee, and elected 65 central committee members with a majority vote from 70 nominees. The Party’s executive council is used to have 51 members, which have now risen to 65 by adding 14 more members who were said to be representatives of the youth and women’s leagues. Besides, at this conference, the Party has elected 15 executive members; and named 9 executive members who will represent OPDO at the 8th regular conference of the EPRDF, which is due to be hold in Adama town from September 15 – 17. The representatives includes; Abadula Gemeda, Kuma Demeksa, Zelalem Jemaneh, Sufian Ahmed, Diriba Kuma, Girma Biru, Abdulaziz Mohammed, Alemayehu Atomsa and Muktar Kedir.
It is not clear at the moment why such removal and appointments of party officials are taking place at this particular time, when the umbrella EPRDF party, too, is preparing to hold its regular conference. Particularly, the appointment of the sacked party officials like Abadula Gemeda and Girma Birru to represent OPDF at the due-to-be-held EPRDF conference is more mysterious.
The OPDO Party, originally formed form captives/war prisoners by the capture TPLF (Tigrian People’s Liberation Front) has never been autonomous from TPLF; and , as a result, has never been able to meet the socio-economic and political demands of the Oromo People, whom It is said to be representing. OPDO is said to have 2.2-million members, although most of it is believed to be a forced membership by means of job opportunities and other privileges; and the party collects over 40-million Birr from its members annually. As it has been reported by different sources in so many different ways under the EPRDF, the umbrella party’s principles, new graduates should sign membership in order to get jobs; and, even high school students have to do the same thing to join institutes of higher education.