BY BEREKET KIDANE
It is common knowledge that President Isaias Afwerki (PIA) is the founding father of the Eritrean State. The objective evidence for that assertion is overwhelming. The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), with whom PIA started as a combatant, was riddled with tribalism and sectarianism in the 1960s and early 70s.
It was only when he and his comrades split from the ELF and founded the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) that the Eritrean people became united and shed tribal and religious thinking.
His record of accomplishment as the Secretary-General of the EPLF and the first President of Eritrea is extraordinary.
PIA truly has been and still is Eritrea’s “Indispensable Man,” the essential man not only in winning independence but also in successfully keeping Eritrea united and sovereign during its early vulnerable years.
People today forget how close the Eritrean sovereignty came to being put at great risk as a result of the extraordinary betrayals witnessed during the Ethiopian regime’s [read: TPLF] Western-backed invasion.
PIA was critical in preventing the collapse of the Eritrean State. Without his great skill as a unifier and without his charisma and vision, Eritrea would not exist today. It is a record of leadership without parallel in Africa or the Middle East. For that, he will always occupy a permanent place in the pantheon of Eritrean heroes.
He is also the essential man in guiding Eritrea at this juncture of its history. He has proven to be incorruptible. He leads by example. He is clearly the greatest Eritrean of his age and has been an inspirational figure worthy of both admiration and affection for nearly half a century now since he interrupted his university studies and dedicated his life to freeing his people.
Resolute, determined, and possessing a backbone made of steel, PIA is the rarest of men, a realistic visionary who combines a realistic view of human nature with a vision of what a free and united Eritrea could be for posterity. He has dedicated his entire life to making that vision a reality.
The West has always tried to undermine leaders of developing countries who can’t be bought and jealously guard their country’s resources while keeping their people united. In Eritrea’s case, they have tried everything to bring the government and its people down using their favorite useful idiot, TPLF (Woyane).
Although no one is above reproach, we have seen how Woyanes and their lackeys attack PIA, Tegadeltis, and even Hamid Idriss Awate (you can expect those attacks around September 1) as an indirect and sometimes direct way of attacking the very notion of a sovereign Eritrea.
For all intents and purposes, an attack on PIA is an attack on the very notion of a sovereign Eritrea. For that reason, he will always be us and we will always be him.