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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Debunking the Baseless "Name and Shame Soja Power" Article Lt. Col. Daramy; An Officer With 20 Years Exemplary Conduct
By Captain Saio S. Marrah (Rtd) Expert in International Relations and Security Studies
Jun 12, 2013, 17:26
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This piece is an objective response to the unfounded article "Name and Shame Soja Power" published in the VOICE Newspaper on the 7th June 2013. The aim of this piece is three-fold; (1) it attempts to portray the real Lt. Col. Daramy as I have Known him for over twenty years in tempestuous and turbulent scenarios. (2) A brief analysis of the misrepresented published article (by the voice newspaper) is microscopically examined in order to prove the subjective and biased nature of the piece. (3) Finally, Lt. Col. Daramy's side of the story is examined hand in gloves with the stymied police action that followed.    


Reputation, credibility, trust and reliability are like castles and pyramids that can't be built on sand; therefore, they must be built on solid ground to sustain the weight of the structures above. Lt. Col. Daramy has successfully built his reputation and credibility in the RSLAF for twenty years now and can authoritatively inform and confirm that he is one of the finest officers of the RLAF and military records are there to attest to this.


During our twelve months officer cadet training some twenty years ago, I was the Cadet Discipline Officer and this appointment placed me in a comfortable but responsible position to monitor the activities of my (44) fellow cadet officers in terms of dress codes, codes of conduct and any or every activity on a 24/7 round the clock basis. Honestly, I can assure you that Lt. Col. Daramy was one of the very few Cadet Officers that proved exceptionality in terms of discipline and general codes of conduct.


Captain Saio S. Marrah (Rtd)

Again, when we commissioned as officers, I was posted to the Military Police Regiment and again, I never had cause or reason to invite Lt. Col. Daramy to the Military Police HQ for any reason whatsoever. This officer is thorough, focussed and imbued with both military discipline and parental instructional upbringing. Childhood friends, school mates, neighbours and senior military officers around the globe can without an atom of hesitation confirm that Lt. Col. Daramy is a calm, respectful and highly intelligent officer. As a battle tested officer and a serving war veteran, his name is still remembered in many parts of Liberia (not to mention Sierra Leone) where he selflessly sacrificed his precious life to protect the innocent civilians from the fangs of Charles Taylor's rebels.


It is therefore sad and sickening for an unknown journalist to use the Voice newspaper to tarnish the good image of this young and dynamic officer with immense potential.


Before coming to the actual fact of the matter, let me first of all encourage my readers to analyse the scenario as stage-managed by this incognito journalist characterised by naivety and gullibility. For starters, the writer confessed that, throughout the whole saga, he/she was embedded in the vehicle that was carrying him/her - postulating, assuming, and creating images in his/her mind about Lt. Col. Daramy. From where this CIA journalist was seated, he/she could see that the office almost slapped the passenger in the front seat.


The journalist dramatised how Lt. Col. Daramy jumped out of his Land Rover thereby causing traffic jam, but awfully failed to tell us why he did what he did. You emphasised how he almost slapped the passenger in the front seat (though he didn't) but again you never illuminated the reason why. To prove your lack of professionalism, you categorically stated that, "I watched all this right from behind him in my own vehicle and the journalist in me caused me to take a few photos of this new movie".

 

As an assiduous and professional journalist, you could have carefully packed your car and engage the two parties so that you can get first hand information from both parties and make your own conclusion depending on the veracity of the open fact on your lap. By this way you could produce a balanced, objective and professional piece devoid of malice, grudge and derogatory remarks with a lynching mind set of pulling down a gentleman that has diligently worked his career for the past twenty years. 

 

Now let me talk you through the real facts that precipitated what you failed to understand on that faithful day. On that day poor and innocent Lt. Col. Daramy's wife accidentally sustained injury on her left ankle and was subsequently given 16 stitches. As Mrs. Daramy was feeling dizzy probably due to excessive bleeding from the injury or perhaps due to reaction from the numerous medications she had taken, Lt. Col. Daramy  was therefore rushing home so that madam can have some rest. So obviously, this was an emergency situation, is it?

 

As Lt. Col. Daramy carefully attempts to negotiate a left turn the taxi driver insulted him.. "You stupid man"! That was what prompted Lt. Col. Daramy to step down and immediately approached the taxi driver to demand reasons for the insult before he could disappear into thin air.  Did you just say I'm stupid? Lt. Col. Daramy asked in his innate soft tone. As if it was a thickening time bomb waiting for the officer, the passenger in the front seat of the taxi also rammed the same insult at the officer.. "you na stupid man"!

 

Fortunately for Lt. Col Daramy, one of the passengers in the taxi was a soldier in plain clothes; who came to the defence of the officer and was desperate to deal with the foul mouthed taxi driver and the passenger. With all the insult, provocation and temptation; this highly trained and disciplined officer utilised his anger management skills, demonstrated his conflict prevention and resolution methodologies to put the situation under control by ordering the soldier in the taxi not to touch any one of them.


At this point, the taxi driver realised that he was in a big mess and decided to drive off at break-neck speed.

 

The officer also pursued him until Small Waterloo Street where they met some police officers and the soldier aboard the taxi ordered the driver to stop and he did. After the police listened to both parties, it was clear to the police that the taxi driver and the passenger were unjustifiably rude and insolent to this very high ranking offer with immense respect for civilians and his subordinates as well. The taxi driver was automatically invited to the police station for further investigations but he (the taxi driver) persistent called Lt. Col. Daramy's name asking for forgiveness and you know what? This perfect gentleman told the police to let go the taxi driver and find his daily bread. The police officers couldn't believe. The taxi driver was then warned by the police to always comport himself hence he can never tell who is who in certain scenarios. The loose cannon passenger also apologised to the office and was also strictly warned by the police not to ever interfere in other people's business.


As Reputation, credibility, trust and reliability are like castles and pyramids that can't be built on sand; therefore, they must be built on solid ground to sustain the weight of the structures above.  Lt. Col. Daramy's reputation is built on rocks and therefore may not crumble under a cheap and subjective article as published in the Voice news paper. There is no need of retracting the story because the fallacies and mythical representations in your piece punctuated with lynching mind set suggest that you personally have some deep seated grudges against the military (serving or otherwise).


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