SLPP’s Dr. Soyei, towards 2012 Elections
The race for the 2012 elections has just started and names have continued to emerge, especially from within the main opposition Sierra Leone Peopleâ€™s party. I recently met with one of those trying to win the support of the party to lead the party to the 2012 elections.Â He is Dr Anthony Kakpindi Soyei (in photo).
I asked him to tell me about himself â€¦he wasÂ born in Bo district southern region at Serabu, Bumpeh Gao chiefdom Â on 14thÂ May 1962, attended the Roman Catholic Primary School Serabu, Christ the King College Bo, Prince of Wales, (secondary school) medical school university of Parma and Ferrrara, speciality in paediatrics university of Ferrrara, Italy. School ofÂ Â hygiene, university of London.UK
He returned home in 1996, worked at childrenâ€™s hospital PCMH and lectured in the medical school. In 1998, after ECOMOG drove the AFRC junta from power, he was one of the first medics to bring humanitarian aide to Freetown and the country with cap Anamour, German doctors without frontiers.Â He helped in the first reconstruction of the childrenâ€™s hospital PCMH in Freetown.Â
He has been the head of the department of paediatrics, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, (COMAHS) University of Sierra Leone and has trained a lot of medical students who are now rendering their services to our people. He has also trained a lot of nurses who are working in other health institutions from his clinic the Holy Mary Childrenâ€™s Clinic, Melon Street, Freetown, where he has a nursing aide school.
Soyie as honorary Italian Consul to Sierra Leone
As Italian Consul, he has issued visas to many Sierra Leoneans to go to Europe for studies, medical services, family reunion and work possibilities, so that they can help to return our people back home. Together with Bishop Biguzzi, they brought in 157 containers of rice in the heat of the hunger crisis in 1999-2000. These were distributed to the refugee camps and the market in all the four regions of Sierra Leone.Â He also told me, the cancellation of the Bumbuna hydro electric debts incurred by APC 27 year governance by late Siaka Stevens government, and the procurement of 10 million euro grant which made it possible for us to kick start the hydro project and bring it to 95% of completion by SLPP governance, and the confirmation of the Bo-Misiaka high way to Salcost for its completion were his little contributions to our nation as Consul
As President of Christ the King College Old Boys Association, he has worked to bridge the gap between the PMDC and SLPP factions and to make sure that never again the Berewa/Margai saga be repeated in Christ the King College (CKC).Â He was also board member for LAWCLA â€œLawyerâ€™s Centre for Legal Assistanceâ€ a pro bono legal service to the masses who cannot afford the services of lawyers.Â He also established an NGO â€œHealthways, Sierra Leoneâ€ for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of health facilities, training of health personnel, and the provision of health equipment and drugs to the needy.
He is the Proprietor of the Holy Mary Hospital & Marta Bernassola Nursing College. He has also built a 150 bed hospital, the largest private hospital in the country, the Holy Mary Hospital in Bo, off the Koribondo highway with all the necessary equipment to provide an accepted standard of health service for the people. Â â€œI also built 120 student capacity college, the Marta Bernassola nursing college for the training of nurses (MCH aide) maternal child health aide, nursing aide, (NA) state enrolled community health nurse. I have too the second largest hall in Bo with a sitting capacity of 500 peopleâ€¦â€ he said.
He had invested in his home town Serabu, were he was born, Bumpeh Gao chiefdom, by establishing a community based organisation CBO â€œSerabu Development Organisationâ€, where with â€œmy personal resources we helped in establishing cooperative farming, pigsty of 25 pigs to help reducing the protein deficiencies in the communityâ€¦ we planned the town and brought in zincs and cements to build the houses. I also contributed in the reconstruction of the church and mosque of the town; I built and repaired our grandfatherâ€™s house at Marianvilleâ€¦â€ he bought lands in Bo city more than 4 acres in prime sites and in Kenema city over one acre for future construction of a hospital in Kenema…
Soyei in national Â politics
Practically, he told me he was never interested in politics as â€œâ€¦I had said before, my only interest was my humanitarian service to our people. I was registered as ordinary member of the party since 1996, but never had interest in takingÂ up decision making roles in the party, I had voted twice 2002 and 2007 elections for SLPP .I honestly believed then in the SLPP leadership to guide us into a better governance system in sierra Leoneâ€¦â€
His shocking awakening happened in the run off elections when his younger brother literally forced him to go to the party office in Freetown, which he did and witnessed the disarray and shocking effect of the first round result on our people, who were steering defeat for the first time in the face. â€˜It was this call for help, which caused me to go into politics. With a few friends and my brother, we set up a campaign team to run the presidential run-off elections in Freetown and we self funded the program too. We organised the only SLPP rally in town, did the demonstration at UNDP office at Wilkinson Road and at NEC offices in Wellington for the unfair way we thought we were treatedâ€¦â€™
He went on saying that â€˜â€¦we also investigated the reason for our failure in the elections and why people wanted regime change. I finally realised the uphill task we were against, but we did our level best under circumstances, the bottle was already broken we could not re assemble it but we lost honourably with better results in the Freetown area compared to the first rounds. We had a team of hundred and fifty people mostly students and SLPP opinion puller were our collaborators and we put up a fight in two weeks which was unbelievableâ€¦â€™
Soyei, founder of the SLPP think -tank
After their debacle, Dr. Soyei set up the think-tank in which he incorporated all their team and called it SLPP Think-Tank with the mandate to find solutions to the party problems, by investigating and deliberating amongst members and to effect those solutions in the party.
His first work was on reconciliation within the party, â€˜we met people who were disgruntled who had suffered at the hands of other members and those who suffered in the hands of APC immediately after their election success, to sympathise with them, console them and to encourage them to stay the cause and continue having faith in SLPP and thatâ€™ they will come back to power. Reconciliation, he said was extended to â€˜our PMDC brothers who because of â€˜our neutrality, we were able to talk to them amicably to consider coming back into the family under a new green ideology.Â We made giant strides in bringing back our brothers into the family foldâ€¦
There was a second aspect which was to deal and identify the wrongs of SLPP old ideology. For Dr. Soyei, it entailed greediness, selfishness, no empowerment of true SLPP, not acknowledgement of those who work for the party â€˜â€¦ it was not merit driven, too many usurpers of peoples merit (baboon work, monkey chop tendencies), SLPP hierarchy was disconnected from the grassroots, the decision making body was limited to a few enriched SLPP people who never consulted with SLPP crowd, and decisions were made for their selfish interest only and not for the majority. Grassroots decisions and aspirations were never executed, people were elected not on the basis of solid programme or ideology but because they bought the delegates with moneyâ€¦ the elected felt they had already paid their electors and the owed no more obligations to the people, so once there, they no longer visited their wards, constituencies, districts or regions, they behaved pompously disregarding the masses who had no saying on their elections. So the decision making process was closed to the majority and money became the indicator of good leaderâ€¦â€™ to be continuedBy Kothor Murana
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