Sierra Leone’s Vice President today received a warm reception in Alton in the outskirt of London, where he served as Special Guest at the 49th anniversary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim mission.
Accompanied by the Special Advicer – Office of the Vice President Dr. Jengo Stevens and the Principal Liaison Officer Manso Dumbuya, His Excellency Victor Bockarie Foh was greeted by a high profiled team of the Ahmadiyya Mission.
With Sierra Leone becoming a success story especially on the international front in recent years with the country successfully passing through the dreaded Ebola disease while still maintaining a balance economy with massive infrastructural successes having taken place, it was obvious that Foh presence at the conference would attract the international press.
In one of his interviews with Euro News, the Vice President said he was at the conference to demonstrate his government’s appreciation of the Ahmadiyya Mission towards their role I Sierra Leone.
“I bring message of peace and love from my boss His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and I am here today to manifest our government’s appreciation for the major role the Ahmadiyya Mission is playing towards the people of Sierra Leone,” the Vice President said.
The Ahmadiyya Mission has been in Sierra Leone for over a century ago and they have been very supportive towards our people of Sierra Leone in various facet of society, according to the Vice President.
“They are doing so well for our country – building schools, hospitals and clinics and mosques – even in my village they are there. They don’t talk much but they work and deliver,” he said and thanked the Mission for particularly standing by Sierra Leone during those difficult times when the Ebola virus was claiming the lives of the people of Sierra Leone.
“That is why I believe it is a big privilege being here as a Special Guest. We are a very peace loving nation and our country is on top in terms of religious tolerance with Christians and Muslims live together side by side in peace with lots of inter marriages here and there,” he told newsmen.
At the conference itself, the Vice President reiterated his purpose of coming to bring the message of peace and hope to the Ahmadiyya Mission on behalf of his President.
Addressing the conference, which attracts high profile dignitaries including diplomats, government ministers and officials, the Asante King of Ghana among others, Foh gave a brief background of the mission’s operations in Sierra Leone and disclosed that he was proud to be one of the first indigenous Sierra Leonean teachers of the Ahmadiyya Mission in Sierra Leone.
The Asante King of Ghana Nana Asante 11 spoke about the importance of peace in religion and called on the Ahmadiyya Mission to work towards a wider peace for all Muslims.
There were also representatives from the British Conservative and Labour Parties respectively while complimentary messages were read out on behalf of the British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Secretary of State for International Development Justin Green, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and few others.
The Momineen Khalifatul Masih V His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masrdor, who was the main speaker of the occasion, received a standing ovation as he entered the jam-packed hall, which attracted over 2000 guests from all over the world.
In his address, he said there are over 207, 000 Ahmadiyya Missions established in the world with about 100 branches in the United Kingdom alone with Benin and Sierra Leone with the first and second largest establishment of Ahmadiyya Missions respectively.
Later Vice President Victor Foh presented a special message from his boss President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to His Holiness the Hazrat Amirul in a special engagement at his office.
Foh also had a separate engagement with the President of the Human Rights Division of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Sir Dr. Iyaaz Ahmad who expressed his delight at meeting the Vice President.
“It’s an honour to meet with you and I am very proud of your country considering the positive news we’ve been hearing in recent years,” Sir Dr. Ahmad said.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘LOVE FOR ALL HATRED FOR NONE.”
Other prominent Sierra Leoneans who graced the occasion were the Deouty Minister of Sports Al –Sankoh, the Mayor of Makeni Sunkarie and the Director General of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooporation.
CREDIT: Public Information Unit, Sierra Leone High Commission, London