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In search of VP Foh’s Agenda: "I have no Agenda" PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Baimba Sesay-China   
Monday, 22 February 2016 12:59

Some twelve months ago, (February 19th 2015) Victor Bockarie Foh then Ambassador to China left Beijing for Freetown. He was to be sworn into office as the country’s Vice President a month later (19th March 2015), something, he never thought of!

Victor Bockarie Foh had served as the governing Party’s (APC) Secretary-General and successfully won two Presidential elections for it, before he was appointed his country’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Joining the Party in 1970 as a registered card carrying member, he has ever since endlessly, steadfastly and tenaciously served the Party in several capacities including, but not limited to; Regional Chairman, Southern Regional and Assistant National Secretary General. He has NEVER defected away from the APC even at the most crucial times of the Party’s history, for which he has gained propriety and honor not just within his Party, but across the country’s political divide.

 Ambassador Foh’s rise to political prominence did not start yesteryears, but decades ago.  In 1996 that is 19 years before he got appointed as the country’s VP, he had contested elections to be Vice President, on the ticket of the now governing All People’s Congress Party, but lost. And 19 years after, by God's Will, he was appointed Vice President!  And on the 19th of March, 2016, he will, all things being equal, be one year in office as   Vice President of the country.  So as he himself believes “19(Nineteen) is indeed my Lucky Date/Number.”

Towards a year in office, he still reiterates his commitment to serving the President and country loyally as did S.I Koroma to the Party and to then President Siaka Stevens. “I have no AGENDA,” he told me, responding to questions for an interview, Saturday 20th February, 2016, and clarifying further “President Koroma's AGENDA is my AGENDA and I want to assist the President in all that he may assign to me. The late Vice President S.I.Koroma's example of loyalty to the APC Party and President Siaka Stevens is my measure of service I want to give to my President, H E Ernest Bai Koroma"

Political pundits see this as classically important, given that in any political arrangement, loyalty and trust are of immense importance to the very survival of a political establishment. Some opined that it is as a result of Foh’s political loyalty to the Party and its leadership that actually earned him his present position. 

The Vice President agrees with such submission.  In a June 2015 interview, he told me, his rise to political power has been “guided by the Grace of God and my commitment to my Party, the APC.  I believe in steadfastness, commitment and devotion to a cause, be it political or otherwise. It is that commitment, devotion, trustworthiness, respect for others and service to country and humanity that I will bring to bear on my current assignment.”

This sounds acceptably correct.  Ambassador Foh was not among the many names that had made the rounds in the media, when a replacement was been discussed. The President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was to make the right choice with the passage of time and with God’s direction. A nonaligned and non-ambitious, but a plainspoken Vice President would provide him with the greatest positive features and that was to be found in the person of Ambassador Foh. He has not only demonstrated been a seasoned, experienced and capable administrator, but a well-mannered politician with strategic thinking abilities that fit within the yardsticks the APC would need  as a people-centered/mass Party .

A year in office, and in tandem with the President’s trajectory for country growth and national cohesion, much has happened within the Vice Presidency. VP Foh is convinced the platform he stands on will help bring about the desired needs. “My platform over the period is very much firm on reconciliation, holding the country together and holding the APC as a Party, very neatly together”, he said, with confidence. "With modesty, I am the BRIDGE, the Regional Balance” he told me.

This cannot be more truthful.  Valentine Strasser and others military officers had played a role in the brutal overthrow of the APC in 1992.  If there is any institution that should be bitter, angry and never be prepared to forgive Strasser, it should be the governing APC.  But with the high-minded and compassionate nature of the All People’s Congress, it came as no surprise that Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh, has moved towards the drive of national reconciliation, and has extended a political olive branch, thus, embracing Strasser. National reconciliation is crucial to the growth of any nation.  

That is why, Ambassador Foh disclosed, “my olive branch goes to everyone. We are all the same and I believe every family in this country has suffered and we should forgive one another.  That is why I stretch my hands to Stresser, that is why I am bringing the Hinga Norman family closer,  former Vice President Berewa and every Sierra Leone for I hold no bitterness for anyone.” This is the platform upon which he has stood and continues to stand - national reconciliation. 

At the level of party politics, he referred to his loyalty as “unquestionable” and being “a grassroots politician and having served in almost all the positions, I know the Party” In politics, being able to ‘know’ the Party and be ‘known’ by it is extremely important for the very survival of not just the Party but it core ideologies and philosophies. 

On the international scene, and within one year, he has stood the test of time, ably and effectively representing the President on a number of occasions: Malta during the Commonwealth Summit; at the Climate Change Summit in Paris; Ebola Conference in The Hague for the three affected nations and at the Sixth Forum On China-Africa Cooperation Summit in South Africa, in late December, 2015, amongst others.

Domestically, in one year, the Vice President’s has “been to every part of the country on the mission of Peace and Reconciliation”, representing the President in a number of functions and activities.  He has successfully revived and re-energized the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Decentralization, a crucial Governance and Coordinating Agent for Decentralization and Local Government, the Inter-Ministerial Committee that had not been convened for over four years.

Vice President Foh knows the strength of the Party, with a clear view, that “All the Wings of the Party are important, including the Women’s Wing, Youth Wing...”  He continues playing a critical role in bringing to the centre stage, in the last one year, veterans of the Party. VP Foh has also been helpful with support from the Party’s Leadership, in providing strategic direction that led to the winning of elections in Kono and opposition strongholds like Kailahun. He continues to humble himself to every Sierra Leonean and of course, the President, reiterating, what he said when appointed a year ago, that “if he (President) tells me to leave office, yes I will, and without question or bitterness and will continue to serve him and the APC with forever loyalty.”

Irrefutably, a year in office and with no other agenda but serving the President and country, VP Foh’s agenda could acceptably be found within that of His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.



26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.


Business News


The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday 04th December 2017 debated and ratified two additional agreements aimed at improving and expanding Ports facilities in Sierra Leone to be at par with international best practices.

Presenting both Agreements prior to ratification, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Koroma said that the additional Agreements are geared towards addressing some of the concerns raised by MPs, in respect of expanding our Ports facilities to accommodate larger vessels, and the issuance of license with the view of combating money laundering, contra-band goods, and attracting more funds for Government.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House, also supported the ratification of the two Agreements, saying if our Ports are not developed, we would not be able to attract huge vessels; thus the need for the continuous improvement of our Ports facilities.


Media News

"President Koroma is a big disappointment to press freedom" - SLAJ

Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, has said that President Ernest Bai Koroma has disappointed the media on press freedom in the country. 

“Successive governments have given us false hopes on the repeal of the criminal libel law. The politicians have lied to us. They have taken us to be big fools. President Koroma is our biggest disappointment. We had high hopes in him but he failed us woefully. So we will not trust any politician again, because when they get into office they forget about their promises,” said Nasralla.
Nasralla was speaking last Friday while formally launching a report on criminal defamation laws in Africa by PEN Sierra Leone at the SLAJ Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall, Campbell Street, Freetown. 
He recalled that before he was first elected President of the Republic in 2007, President Koroma was a staunch campaigner against criminal libel law in Sierra Leone, but when he became President he suddenly had a different view.



Your Excellency Sir,

For over a month now, since the ECOWAS Regional Court in Abuja, Nigeria handed down their landmark opinion on the Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana’s appeal law suit against his “unconstitutional removal” from power by your APC government, having been legally sanctioned by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, I have been taken, both by extreme trepidation and satisfaction, as I continue my reflection. In their ruling, (in resume,) the ECOWAS Courtoverturned” the Sierra Leone Supreme Court’s seemingly “compromised” opinion that saw Mr. Sam Sumana arbitrarily or constitutionally deposed from his position as the duly elected Vice President of Sierra Leone (alongside you,) midway your second presidential tenure in 2015; just after the infamous Ebola viral epidemic devastating scourge on Sierra Leone. The ECOWAS Court ruling therefore “ordered” the immediate reinstatement of the vice president, furthering that all backlog of his remunerations and emoluments be accorded him, from the time he was sacked, to date; along with his claim for damages of U. S. $ 250 million.

Upon the ruling by this higher regional court, I have had to do some very sober reflections and musing over the “political manoeuvres” and intrigues that originally erupted from an internal APC party wrangling that proceeded to the Sierra Leone parliament, and had to eventually culminate into what most objective and independent legal minds considered a “blatant travesty of justice and breach of our constitution.” This ruling also brought a legal embarrassment to the Sierra Leone justice system in the sub region, continent and world over. And whereas I would not want to meddle with the political ramifications and implications of that higher regional court’s “legal opinion,” I would like to briefly examine the moral and economic considerations, as I objectively see them. This then obviously takes me back to my caption question that I would summarize as “Who Pays the ECOWAS Court’s Ruling Charges??”


View Point


Dear Mr. President, events leading to, including the horrible aftermath of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, the twin disasters of mudslide and flooding convey unarguably a fatalistic dose of stress. Worsening is the inflation of basic food stuff and the devaluation of our Leones which has made life very difficult for the average citizens.

Mr. President,stress is increasingly becoming visible in the conduct of most Sierra Leoneans; hence stress is a pressure or worry caused by the problems in somebody's life.

Before 2007 elections, protestation songs by Emmerson Bockarie, Innocent and "Dry yai crew" assumed the role of the opposition parties against the Tejan Kabbah-led SLPP government. Today, public transport cabs/buses, ghettos and the ‘Ataya base’ have now assumed that position in venting out frustrations against your APC led government.


News - Press Release

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation presents AWOL Awards to outgone Minister

(MFAIC Press Office, 4th January, 2018). The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Kaifala Marah has presented the All Walks Of Life (AWOL) prestigious award of ‘Best Ministry of the Year 2017’  to the outgone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara at a press conference held at the Ministry’s conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In his brief statement before officially handing over the award to the outgone Minister, Dr. Marah gave a brief overview of the introduction of performance contracts in 2014 by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma that set in motion the process of enhancing and operational mandates in various MDAs. It is against this background that the Ministry was among the five best performing Ministries based on the outcome of the Ministry’s Performance Contract Assessment Report for 2016/17 (Performance Tracking Table – PTT) in the country.

Dr. Kaifala Marah lauded the relentless efforts of Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, during whose tenure the Ministrydeveloped and articulated, for the first time ever, a comprehensive strategy to guide and re-invigorate the national approach to foreign policy and international cooperation in a rapidly changing global environment.


Society -Local News


(MFAIC Press Office, 5thJanuary, 2018). Five Foreign Envoys including the Head of Delegation of the European Union, Amb. Tom Vens; the Honourary Consul of the Arab Republic of Syria, Hussein Jawad; Charge D’ Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nadali Heydari; Charge D’ Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Xinming; and the Honourary Consul of India, Harish Agnani; have paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kaifala Marah at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.

According to the foreign envoys during their separate meetings with the Minister, their visit to the newly appointed Minister is to enhance and deepen the existing partnerships and bilateral relations between their respective countries and the Republic of Sierra Leone. They extended fraternal salutations and congratulatory messages from their Government and people of their respectively countries to the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

The foreign envoys underscored their Governments’ continuous assistance and support to Sierra Leone. Thecurrent electoral climate in the countrywas discussed within the perspectives of bilateral and multilateral relations, underlining the common interests in developing political, cultural and economic relations, as well as the interpersonal relations between the EU, the Arab Republic of Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran,the People’s Republic of China, India and Sierra Leone.




The Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ambassador Chaim Choshen today 4th January 2018 paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ambassador Omrie Michael Golley, at the Sierra Leone Mission in Seoul, the South Korean Capital. 

Ambassador Choshen, who was appointed as Ambassador of Israel to South Korea in August 2016, expressed his appreciation for being warmly received by his Sierra Leonean host and counterpart, and stated that his Government was very keen to expand its relations with Africa, citing the examples of Official Visits in recent months by the Israeli Prime Minister Mr Benjamin Netanyahu to various countries in Africa.

Recounting the recent Official Visit of His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma to Israel, Ambassador Omrie Golley stated that the recent visit of President Koroma underscored the importance that his Government was attaching to expanding Sierra Leone's ties with Israel, particularly in the economic sphere.



It will not be business as usual – Bio assures diaspora

He was passionate, confident and assuring as he addressed hundreds of Sierra Leoneans at the prestigious Royal Regency Hall in London on Saturday 9th December 2017 with a very simple message that as the next President it will not be business as usual.

For a man who has a solid track record as a disciplinarian, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio continues to attract many voters who feel the country needs a strong and disciplined leadership.

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