By Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
Barely five months into office, Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh has proved to Sierra Leoneans that the chemistry between him and President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is remarkably cohesive and complementary.
Unlike the uncompromising and stifling nature of the Office of the Vice President prior to his appointment, VP Victor Foh has been reportedly seen working round the clock to not only ensure that the President’s ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ becomes a realistic and hopeful work-in-progress, but to also convince his fellow compatriots that he is up to the task.
Since his appointment in April this year, VP Foh has initiated action-oriented programs of his own, and has selflessly participated in several other state functions that have made him more of a political and administrative assistant superintendent presiding over a functional dispensation.
It is as a result of this experience and confidence which President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has reposed in Vice President Foh that has consolidated his representative status quo to be attending many functions which the former used to perform.
Immediately after his appointment, V.P Foh robustly took the fight against the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to another level by signing a Communiqué with his Guinean counterpart to ensure that both countries make concerted efforts to end the deadly menace once and for all.
That Communiqué, which the two Vice Presidents signed on behalf of their respective Governments, has been commended in many quarters and it seemed to have helped in the Ebola fight across the Mano River Union countries. Vice President Foh has also been busy shuttling the length and breadth of the country on an invigorating social mobilization campaign in order to relieve the President of a burden which he used to perform during the height of the Ebola fight.
The seasoned politician and astute administrator has also made several familiarization tours across the country with the message of cohesiveness as a nation, unity, love for one another and to put national development above partisanship. These moves have put more icing to his political cake and even some Sierra Leoneans who had doubted his ‘reputation and performance’ in the wake of his appointment have now got a change of mind having seen his wonderful performance and the several reconciliatory moves he has taken at party and non-party levels over the last 150 days.
The Vice President’s recent official visit to Egypt – one of the major economic powers in Africa and the Arab World – on the kind invitation of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el Sisi to commission the new Suez Canal, turned out to be an international platform that spotlighted his acumen as a true Ambassador and Administrator.
The VP, who represented the President, held fruitful discussions with several world leaders from Europe, USA, Asia and Africa. Most of the discussions he had with some Presidents, Prime Ministers and other dignitaries from different countries centered generally on national development, especially in the areas of road infrastructure, energy, agriculture and education which the Government is determined to consolidate under the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.
The performance of the second gentleman of the land at home and International level has started yielding dividends. I have gathered that the Board of Trustees, Faculty of Senate and the Students’ Body of the Cuttington University have recognized Vice President Foh for his humanitarian gestures and will confer upon him an Honorary Doctorate Degree during the University’s 54th Convocation Ceremony on the 26th September, 2015.
That ceremony I was told, will take place at the University Campus in Monrovia, Liberia and hundreds of Sierra Leoneans residents in Monrovia are expected to converge on the University Campus to witness their Vice President receiving the Honorary Doctorate Degree.
Vice president Foh will also serve as Guest Speaker for the Convocation ceremony by virtue of his proven eloquence and ability to deliver at any level.
Cuttington University is located 120 miles north of Monrovia in Suacoco, Bong County. It is a private university in Suacoco, Liberia that was founded in 1889 and named as Cuttington College by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. It is the oldest private, coeducational, four-year, degree-granting institution in sub-Saharan Africa. It issues degrees in the liberal arts and a number of technical studies. It has educated generations of leaders for the nation of Liberia and West Africa. Its roots lie deep within the history of the nation, the relationship between Liberia and the United States and the Episcopal Church.
The college was among the first private colleges in the West African region and it was seen as a college for Liberia’s elite.
If Cuttington University can recognize our Vice President for his humanitarian gestures, I am sure there are also Universities even in Sierra Leone and other countries that will also consider recognizing him for one thing or another when the time is right.
But for now, Cuttington University has taken the lead in recognizing Vice president Victor Bockarie Foh for his humanitarian gestures. To me, the honour is not for the VP alone, but the nation as a whole. As the proverb goes, charity begins at home. But if by any chance it happens to begin in the neighborhood, then one can still nurture the culture at home.
Having deservedly earned all the colourful achievements within so short a period since his appointment as Sierra Leone’s new VP, Sierra Leoneans are highly hopeful to see more concrete and more meaningful developmental initiatives emanating from Vice President Victor Foh. With his wealth of experience about the political landscape of Sierra Leone, Victor Foh is envisaged to be a huge part of the solution to critically political and economic issues affecting the country right now. Thus, his appointment is now being viewed as a timely blessing to Sierra Leone.