Why Tadios Tantu? (Getiye Yalew)

Why Tadios Tantu?

Getiye Yalew

The honest journalist and historian Mr Tadios Tantu, 70 has been repeatedly arrested in many police stations and prisons because of His journalistic functions under the terrorist Tigrian People Liberation Front (TPLF) regime. He is widely known for his series of analyses entitled “ወግድ ይሁዳ” (Abandon Judah).

This analysis helped him to be accepted by the people widely as well as introduced his opponents who were beneficial to the system of the so-called government.

Tadios is also known for His scorching articles where He acts as both the interviewee and interviewer.

This kind of approach can be named the Tadios Tantu style in the Ethiopian free press, which is all dead.

TPLF sentenced Him to 15 years in imprisonment and spent years in Shoa Robot Prison, which is some kilometres far away from the capital Addis Ababa and has hot weather.

Tadios Tantu was a producer of “ታጠቅ” (Tatek) newspaper, which was under the leadership of the Revolutionary Armed Force, for the last 8 years of the Durg regime. Following the end of the military regime, Tatek newspaper pare has had blocked.

Then, the terrorist TPLF group took government power. For the first not more than 10 years of TPLF’s office time, the free press was emerging.

Therefore, Tadios came back to His journalism career with highly fact-based political analysis.

He served in the free press for many years as a columnist and editor in Amharic newspapers known as “የዛሬዪቱ ኢትዮጵያ “ (yezareyitu Ethiopia), “ኢትዮጲስ” (Ethiopis), “አስኳል” (Askual), “ፍትሕ” (Fiteh), “ኢትዮ ምሕዳር” (Ethio Mehdar), “ሳተናው” (Satenaw) and other various newspapers and magazines. He is currently a freelance journalist (political analyst) for a youtube media outlet named RAS media and a full-time author.

The prisoner of conscience Tadios is known as a teacher and historian in addition to being an honest journalist.

Among His publications series of books that focus on the history of Ethiopian patriots are available for reading. This series of books is titled “ደም መላሽ” (the revenger) the first and second volumes have been published and are being read. While the third volume is in the ongoing process, at the handwritten level. It is under police detention as it was found in His handbag when Tadios was kidnapped by the invader Oromo lead prosperity ruling party gunmen last June 2022.

”የለውጥ ምጥ በኢትዮጵያ” (the struggle of change in Ethiopia) and “ጋዜጠኝነትና ጋዜጠኛ” (Journalism and Journalist) are other books that Tadios has written. “የለውጥ ምጥ በኢትዮጵያ” was published in 2015 and exactly predicted the fall of TPLF. “ጋዜጠኝነትና ጋዜጠኛ” shows the professional excellence of journalism and it singles out honest and corrupt journalists. It is a book that has been shown for the truth.

The oldest journalist Tadios Tantu received His primary education at Shashemene Emperor Naod School, His secondary education at Nazareth Emperor Gelaudius School and His undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Addis Ababa University.

Tadios, most of all, is known for speaking and writing the truth that many of us know in our hearts and our tongues do not dare to speak. That is why still He is in prison. It is why  He is repeatedly kidnapped. Tadios is the man of fact I have ever seen in my last five years experience in close physical contact with Him.

He was held hostage by the invading Oromo lead regime last year, whom He is falsely accused of undermining the constitution and the constitutional system by saying, “the flooding Amharan blood is mine”.

Recently, He has been accused of “hating a particular nation” and is being held in Addis Ababa police station, which is known as ‘makelawi’. This police station is the home of torture. The so-called hated nation is a tribe of the ruling party’s social basement and that is who the Oromo lead PP standards. Particularly this is the Oromo tribe, known for invasion, distraction and mass killing of all non Oromos, sometimes even Christian and Muslim Oromos as can as possible.

Is it possible to be loved by punishing innocent journalists?

Following a detail of the above complaints, Tadios Tantu is accused of terrorism articles and He appeared in front of different courts many times.

Weeks ago, the Federal High Court of the third division of Anti-terrorism and constitutional affairs decided to release Tadios on a bail of 15 thousand birrs and to argue his case from outside prison. However, the government appealed and the bail issue is being debated at the Federal Supreme Court of Appeal. According to this, the Supreme Court has given an alternate date for next July 28 to confirm or cancel the previous decision. On the other hand, the prison court has set another date for Tadios to submit His objection to the case.

I believe Tadios Tantu has a lot of similarities with Abie Gubegna. Abie was an honest and brave author and journalist at the Emperor Hailesilasie and the Durg regimes whom he killed by Durg.

He is the first full-time author in Ethiopia, whose pen could spell the fire, which was a rare phenomenon in those days. He predicted in advance that a system which has not yet arrived will come, not only what happened in his time. His brilliance was able to interpret the future. In terms of publication, his sixth book entitled “አልወለድም” (I will not be born) explains it very well. This book criticizes the monarchy with a sharp pen. And the military system that comes next is criticized very painfully. Abie predicted the coming of the Durg earlier to 10+ years of its emergence.  He also criticized it by foreseeing its weaknesses. In my opinion, Abie was able to know this in advance because he properly understood the 1960’s coup attempt. Because if you know that time politics, you can know that the movement of the soldiers has been getting stronger since then.

Abie Gubegna was successful not only in this but also in other matters in predicting the coming politics. That is why he is named a prophet author.

Abie is not alive today. But I think his spirit exists in the honest journalist and historian Tadios.  Their honesty, their courage, their bravery, their straightforwardness and their persistence are very similar to each other. Tadios was kidnapped at night and taken to an unknown place for more than a month by the invading OPP. This location was later confirmed to be Awash Seven, Oromia regional state.  He told me that He was alone at night and while the gunmen driving Him an unknown way He was thinking of they are going to shoot Him. And He told to Himself that “if my death is a must, it is better to be killed in front of the public”. He was never afraid of death, rather Tadios was choosing how to be killed. Thinking about death He travelled with absolute confidence.

In a prison Tadios was given only one loaf of bread per day, His families were not allowed to invite Him.  He was not even brought to court for the custom, and they were punished with starvation. They were held captive for more than three months. When a group of soldiers surrounded their house at night and kept Him, Tadios did not come down from the tower of truth. This is highly related to Abie’s life and what he wrote.

“If I were to be born again, if you killed me again, if I remembered that you have killed me a thousand times, I would not be able to remain silent,” said Abeie Gubegna. It is what Abie Gubegna went through and Tadios Tantu experiences this day. Am I wrong for saying ‘Tadios Tantu is a walking Abie Gubegna’?

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