The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Wednesday 06th April 2016 opened and signed a Book of Condolence in respect of the death of Hon. Ambassador Patrick Foyah, who represented Constituency 001 in Kalaihun District during his laying-out ceremony at the State Hall of Parliament.
Master of Ceremony, Cyril Juxon-Smith told distinguished mourners, whilst declaring the purpose of the gathering that it was a twin ceremony marking the opening of the Book of Condolence and the laying-out ceremony of the late Hon. Patrick Foyah. He further described 2013 as a defining moment in the lives of the Foyah family, recalling the death of his wife, Hon. Alice Foyah who preceded her husband, the late Hon. Patrick Foyah of the same Constituency 001 in Kailahun District.
Reverend Fr. Tommy Tengbeh, Assistant Parish Priest offered prayers and blessed the Book of Condolence. As part of the exhortation, he said “the true interpretation of death is found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Whilst consoling the family he also said that “the Lord has given and taken Hon. Patrick Foyah who has moved out of the realm of this world, but is in the safe hands of God”.
The Rt. Hon. Speaker, the Leadership, MPs and the administration of Parliament, the Chief Justice, the Mayor of Freetown, Representatives, Commissioners, family members and other distinguished mourners also signed and laid wreaths at the laying-out ceremony in Parliament. His Excellency, President Koroma had earlier signed the Book of Condolence.
In giving tribute on behalf of the APC, Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Leonard Fofanah said that until his demise, “he belonged to both SLPP and APC who made a lot of friends in Parliament, an active member of the Committee on defence, whom he feared not to take chairmanship of the said Committee from him then, and a Catholic who believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
The Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai remembered the late Hon. Foyah as a “devoted, loyal and committed MP who was in constant touch with him to obtain a leave of absence whenever he was out of the country for routine medical checks in the USA.”
She recalled that “Hon. Patrick Foyah became a political activist in 2013 when he lost his wife; he contested and won the bye-election in Constituency 001 under the SLPP; Chairman of the Committee on Fisheries and Marine Resources, and also an articulate and fierce debater in Parliament.” She also recalled when she visited him at the hospital where he said “Bernie, I miss my wife very much, since her death, I have not been able to follow my medical directory, before he died on the 21st March this year”.
Amidst sobbing, she called on the Government and the international community to construct an “ultra-modern state-of-the-art hospital to prevent the unnecessary deaths of Sierra Leoneans seeking treatment overseas because of lack of basic health facilities like dialysis machine and its expertise in the country”.