Kailahun constituency 001 vacant
March 22, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi
One of the political heavyweights for the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Hon. Patrick Foyah of Constituency 001 in the Kailahun District, yesterday died at the Choithram hospital in Freetown.
Hon.Foyah succeeded his wife, the late Hon. Alice Foyah, who died in May, 2013 after a protracted illness.
Hon. Foyah was commonly called the political elephant of the east. As former chairman of the SLPP in that part of the country, he took decisive political decisions to strengthen the party’s position in Kailahun and Kenema – undoubtedly the strongholds of the opposition.
Before his election as Member of Parliament for constituency 001, Hon. Foyah was Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Liberia, where he performed exemplarily, especially in interacting with the Liberian authorities even at the height of the rebel war.
Sierra Leonean refugees in Liberia commended Ambassador Foyah for his generosity, commitment, and political tolerance towards not both his party members and other political party representatives.
Report from family members in Kailahun indicates they have prepared to give him a befitting funeral to a man who contributed immensely to the development of the district.
During the outbreak of the deadly Ebola, Hon. Foyah was among the first parliamentarians to have engaged the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for support to sensitise his people about the disease.
Hon. Foyah was awarded the party’s symbol to contest in a parliamentary bye-election after the death of his wife. He defeated his closest rival, Mrs. Navo Kaikai 71 to 54 votes in what was described as a hotly contested primary election among four party stalwarts.
Meanwhile, chairman and leader of the SLPP, Chief Somano Kapen, has described the death of Hon. Foyah as a big shock not only to the SLPP but the entire nation. He said the deceased lawmaker possessed great qualities as a politician that were unparalleled and that he interacted with everybody, not least in the House of Parliament.
“[Hon.] Foyah cut across all ethnic groups. He talks to everybody and we will definitely miss him,” said Chief Kapen.
On the issue of a tough battle between his party and the ruling All Peoples Congress for the vacant seat, Chief Capen said they would not allow politics to dominate the funeral rite of their fallen party stalwart, but emphasised that constituency 001 was a safe seat for the SLPP.
“It is no hidden secret that SLPP will win that seat. I know that the APC will have some vote but be rest assured that constituency is for us and we will maintain it,” he concluded.