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The soccoh kabia I know upfront! (Part i of 2)
Nov 9, 2012, 17:00
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A disdainful smile borne of derision crisscrossed my face some time ago as I went through an edition of the Politico tabloid that gifted itself with making Dr. Soccoh Kabia, substantive Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources in the Ernest Bai Koroma-led APC government, a central issue in what astute minds could rightly interpret as unjustified attacks at variance with, and devoid of rationalization.


While the lead story of that edition had Raymond Bamidele Thompson, media chief of the Peoples Movement for Democratic (PMDC) myopically stating, inter alia, Soccoh Kabia is a Deadwood, the Twitter column in page 5 of the same edition screamed, Boring old Soccoh Home at Last! Well, I intend to take issues with the above-mentioned contentious assertions which represent skewed thinking of mindsets programmed to discountenance objectivity.


Raymond Bamidele Thompson allegedly determined that the resignation of Dr. Kabia was, insignificant. When semantics interplay and fall foul of logical reasoning everyone becomes entitled to live in a fools paradise if they choose to do so. I do not aim to deny or advise my friend of many years, Bamidele Thompson, against such exercise in futility. But, one should look at the facts that speak volumes about the erroneous assertions in his recorded and reported interview.


Dr. Soccoh Kabia, against the run of political play enacted by neophytes who excuse a patriotic lack of forethought on the time-worn clich, I was born an XYZ party member and will die as one,  broke camp with the then ruling Sierra Leone Peoples (?) Party (SLPP), and became a founding member of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC). This was despite the fact that his maternal grandfather, the late Paramount Chief Julius Momoh Gulama, of Kaiyamba Chiefdom in the Moyamba District, of the southern province of Sierra Leone, had been an active founding member of the SLPP. This venerable Paramount Chief was to later father the late legendary Hon. Madam Ella Koblo-Gulama, who succeeded him as Paramount Chief in Kaiyamba Chiefdom, Moyamba District.



With eyes to the future intended to bridge the ethnic divide of this nation-state, PC Julius Momoh Gulama in a rare move to promote national oneness customarily married off his favourite daughter, Ella, to Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Pathbana, of Lunsar, Masimera Chiefdom in the Port Loko District of the northern province. Crowned Paramount Chief later, Ella was addressed as PC Madam Ella Koblo-Gulama. It is worthy to note that this is the only time in the recorded history of Sierra Leone where 2 ruling houses from different regions of the country have literally and figuratively consummated marriage. The union was originally blessed with 7 children out of which only 2 of them survive now in the persons of Obai Francis Kabia who recently but unsuccessfully contested for the leadership of the SLPP and Dr Soccoh Alex Kabia, of whom this piece is about.


The declaration that Soccoh is insignificant is nonsensical when paralleled against Bamidele Thompsons posturing of self-importance. Impeccable character traits possessed and displayed by Dr Kabia speak volumes about potential significance and value to any political party worth its salt. Are we to believe the PMDC has lost its sense of taste in the wholesome potpourri of political parties here in Sierra Leone? Or, that the PMDC is in its deathbed?


Some are born great! Some achieve greatness! And some have greatness thrust upon them! And may I be permitted to add, Some born great disingeniously deviate from principled ideals earlier actualized by forebears! The Soccoh Kabia known throughout his life by this writer boasts a pedigree and track record which pales into disproportionate insignificance those possessed by others whom posterity would struggle hard to identify as worthy of honourable mention, not to speak of emulation. Though family history does not automatically assure continuity of pedigree status, there are some of us who value those traits more than hellish inclinations toward material acquisition. We just might be in the minority, but guess what?



The only Sierra Leonean known to have qualified as a kidney specialist (Nephrologists), Soccoh sold off his very successful and lucrative medical practice established in Atlanta, in the State of Georgia, USA, to answer a call spearheaded by yours truly to national service. Since he had been nursing plans to return home it turned out to be an easy-sell to him for me. Oh yes! I can hear some of you thinking his decision must have been predicated on the premise that more often than not insatiable appetite for wealth enhancement dominates, and dictates to patriotic considerations. You stand forgiven since you do not know, THE SOCCOH KABIA I KNOW UPFRONT!

There are very few people in the world I stand ready to beat my chest and, eat bread for, as we colloquially say in our local parlance, in defense of perceived forthrightness and incorruptibility. Soccoh Alex Kabia is one such individual I feel confident will not let me die by proving otherwise! Very self-sufficient in material comforts, his attributes anchor patriotism around a well-honed Christian upbringing unquestionably geared towards love of God and humanity, eradicating of corruption, promoting the well-being of the masses regardless of ethnicity, religion, social status, or other vain considerations.


The claim by the PMDC media chief that Dr Kabia is a dead wood would have been assigned to the dustbin of political history but for the fact that being so preposterous, one cannot see how anyone in his right mind would look around the political landscape of the country and have the brazen effrontery to situate Dr Kabia within that parameter. Unless such individual either does not know the meaning of the phrase, or has just come across it and in a desire to impress therefore needs to use it, albeit out of context. Dead wood, by the way, are 2 paired words that denote, useless person, or thing. Guess who that fits?


Bamidele Thompson hit it right on the nail when he claimed Dr Kabia has been supportive of the President.


What true patriot would not be when developmental strides made by this administration have been epoch-making despite constraints? I am sure Bamidele made the pronouncement tongue in cheek-like because it falls flat on the face of logic as the PMDC too had been supportive of this Ernest Bai Koroma-led APC government before, and continues to do. Is Bamidele by extension stating there are ulterior motives unconnected with patriotic intents responsible for that partys support of the present government? Well, it will behove him and like-minded apologists well to read this breaking news and see how authentic their contention about Soccoh Kabia is! I state without fear of contradiction that:



It is customary for my home-based family members and those from the Diaspora when in Sierra Leone on Christmas day, to converge and celebrate at my brother, Alex Kamaras house. Soccoh Kabia was in town on holidays for Christmas in 2006, and graced the occasion. Since my niece Sia Nyama Koroma who is married to the then embattled APC leader, Ernest Bai Koroma was in town, they were there too. As time went on, Soccoh who has a very intuitive mind found time to corner and engage the then legally-harassed APC leader in a discussion, unaware that he was doing so with the destined President of the country. Walking up to me after spending a little more than an hour with Ernest then, and  overwhelmed at his grasp of the nations problems and how to move the country forward, Soccoh concluded that focused and definitive plans highlighted and catalogued during their tete-a-tete were commendable and impressive. The date:

DECEMBER 25, 2006!


Because Soccoh felt the Ernest Koroma he had just spoken with, and Charles Margai he supported as leader of the PMDC shared the same vision for development, he asked me why we at the PMDC had not tried to lure the then opposition leader into our fold with a view to having him nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate on the partys ticket. I told him I had been one of the PMDC-delegated members sent to float the idea with him at his official office when he was the opposition leader in Parliament and, that uncertain about how the court cases against him would turn out, he opted for a wait-and-see stance until all avenues had been explored and exhausted. 

If Bamidele Thompson brands Dr. Kabia as unpatriotic, I want to adjudge him guilty of looking through the lenses of the cult of Charles Margaism which wishes to blind right-thinking patriots who believe his one-man show runs counter to their principles. When someone decides, enough is enough, and quits, insular supporters brand him, unpatriotic! Is one to then conjecture that it is, unpatriotic to their patron-saint, Charles Margai? For, by no stretch of the imagination warped or otherwise can Dr Kabia be portrayed and stigmatized as unpatriotic.Bamidele is gravely mistaken if he feels that because the PMDC, brought him into the political limelight, Soccoh Kabia should be a lap-dog. First off the mark let me stress that political limelight is not the panacea for success in life unless one believes a get-rich-quick mentality offers a short-cut from rags-to-riches. Soccohs appearance on the political scene cannot be equated with that of either his late mother, the legendary Hon. PC Madam Ella Koblo-Gulama, or late father, Hon. PC Bai Koblo Pathbana. Nor does he want to challenge or replicate their enviable places in history. Being a progeny of that lineage is satisfying enough.  What seems to irk the leadership of the PMDC must have been their unpreparedness for receipt of Dr Kabias letter of resignation which was least expected at this time. I pity them since they do not know he abhors being taken for granted. I am in a strong position to speak of the tremendous contributions made to the country and PMDC, so can thus safely assert it would be hard-put to better his altruism and sincerity. Since he believed opportunities the PMDC squandered make it impossible to ably champion and promote the laudable goals this country must prioritize to reclaim the Athens of West Africa status proudly boasted in days of yore, he opted for resignation.


The Twitter columnist of the Politico tabloid paper seems to conclude substance should play second fiddle to boringness when he held that Dr Kabia was a broadcasters nightmare in front of a microphone. What he did not charge him with is a propensity to be loud and loquacious whilst speaking nonsense with confidence. I personally would rather be confronted by an interviewee any day who speaks in low tones but who is suave and boasts an astute mind, than with one who is loud and querulous but boasts an empty barrel intellect predisposed to be evasive with answers.


Armageddon would have been breached when as a people we place materialism above principles. Does the Twitter columnist believe because the PMDC, brought him home from the United States and gave him a Ministerial job, he should be beholden to them and shy away from being independent-minded? The Soccoh I know will never be brow-beaten into moral submission because he is highly principled. Or, did he think that Dr Kabia was unemployed, or a lowly-paid worker in the US who therefore jumped at the opportunity to come home ostensibly to make a fast buck? Research the background of this soft-spoken but firm and erudite gentleman and then bow down in shame as ulterior motives are exposed, slammed and shamed! When people use their moral bankruptcy as a yardstick to measure others because mores of ethics flaunted by those envied are an affront to them, it is easy to see why they believe that strength of sincere character and conviction cannot be overriding considerations when the choices of good over bad, right over wrong, patriotism over, Me, myself, and I self-centeredness, need to be made. Dr Kabia simply resigned from the PMDC an action which in my view was long-overdue since some of us had earlier seen the handwriting on the wall and took our exits. Despite dire warnings from those who know the leader very well, we wished to rather find out for ourselves the truth or falsity bandied about the real character traits of the leadership, than rely on judgment by others. Soccoh Kabia as a human being is not indispensable, but is not afraid of losing his Ministerial position since an obviously assiduous and untainted service is appreciated by a President insightful and pragmatic enough to assess character traits. PMDC or not, discerning minds have faith Soccoh Kabia will be retained. Although he has not declared for any political party, what if he was to do so? Is he not vested with inalienable and constitutional rights to do as he deems right? He does not need to survive, as some are wont to do, therefore let prejudiced and unsophisticated minds feel free to misconstrue an eventual determination. Why people complain about crossing of political carpets if and when such action is based on principles and devoid of material considerations beats me! My personal conviction revolves around the fact that what people do bothers me not as much as why and how they do it? When challenged with views contrary to mine I do not, roll over and play dead, because my conscience determines emotional reactions. I stick to beliefs unbothered by sentiments aired or implied.That some of us are painfully constrained to distance ourselves from the distasteful caricature of the original SLPP, whose genuinely patriotic founding members made physical, material and personal-safety sacrifices, is disheartening. Watching the rag-tag band of opportunists at the helm of a once esteemed party display penchant for, and partiality toward power-consolidation which negates virtues, those long forgotten heroes and heroines will no doubt, turn over in graves, as they observe the unfolding hideous spectacle. As offspring therefore, some of us will not in good consciences continue affiliation with the present group of minions devoid of morality presently calling the shots because they outnumber the patriotic few in the party who feel staying to right the course of the listing SLPP ship would speed up positive changes. The narrow-minded mantra, I was born an XYZ party member, and will die an XYZ party member, should be waste-binned as political balderdash trumpeted by witless minds. Only fools, the sages say, Dont change!

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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