Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 May 2018:
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was in Freetown, Sierra Leone last Monday 28 May, 2018 on a one day visit to State House, where he held talks with president Julius Maada Bio.
Mr Blair also attended a roundtable discussion with cabinet ministers, chaired by Chief Minister – Professor David J. Francis, and later had dinner with the president hosted by the First Lady – Mrs Fatmata Bio.
During his meeting with president Bio, the former British Prime Minister who was once vested with a chief title in Sierra Leone after the country’s long and bitter civil war, applauded president Bio for the steps taken so far in moving Sierra Leone forward after his remarkable victory in the 2018 elections.
Mr Blair has been a long-time friend of the country – and many would say an ambassador. For the most part of the former APC government’s term of office, he utilised his Africa Governance Initiative to buttress the capacity of the Koroma administration to deliver its programmes, by placing a team of expatriates across various ministries, though critics say that the initiative achieved very little, and in many respects prevented the Koroma administration from becoming self-reliant.
Tony Blair also brokered a series of Sierra Leone investment conferences in London, to assist former president Koroma in promoting inward investments.
According to State House report, Mr Blair told president Bio that his new administration was already winning admiration across the world.
“We see the great things you are doing so that Sierra Leone becomes a better place. We are delighted to be here again. We see that you have had a great start to your administration,” he said.
President Bio thanked Mr Blair for his visit. He said his government inherited a lot of challenges from the Koroma government, but that he is determined to change things around for the better.
“It is therefore clear that we have a huge and very difficult task to deliver on. We hope to fix it. There is a lot to do, but we are doing everything possible to get the country back on track,” Bio told Blair.
A typical neo-liberalist, some called him bush poodle. He took the british into war against Iraq and Afghanistan disregarding international law. Forget him.
Please show the Prime minister some amount of respect. Even ECOWAS member states will tell you that Mr Blair played a big part in bringing the civil war in Sierra Leone to an end…AND FOR THAT I THANK HIM – that’s good enough for me.
To be Frank, Tony Blair and many others in Europe should and must not be trusted. Yes he was involved in stopping the civil war in Sierra Leone, but the bulk of the work was done by ECOWAS, not him. And so, why is he taking all the praises. People of Africa, let us stop being a fool to these No good exploitative people, wherein even the smallest work they do and have done in our country without any substantial gain, they make it look big and fancy in the eyes of the fools.
How long are these colonial exploiters going to keep on playing on our intelligent minds?? How long?? One thing for sure, Tony Blair went to Sierra Leone for more exploitation and to make his company bigger, better and stronger with more money in his pocket. That man is not in Sierra Leone to help the people of Sierra Leone. He is there for his own gain. If he thinks that he is in Sierra Leone to help the people, why he didn’t do so and continue to do it during the previous regimes of Sierra Leone and beyond?? Ask yourself that question.
And besides, do the people of Sierra Leone know how many countries won’t allow Tony Blair to get away with such nonsense?? Do they?? So people, please let’s stop falling for the same old exploitative games by these NO good pretenders over and over again, without any tangible gains from them. We “Africans” need to rip a good benefit from what we sow; and not the same old exploitative games with a minor twist from them.
Forgive me if I don’t dance to the music, but these guys (Blair and others) are always offering help but we never get to see the progress. Once a new presidency is established, they come around smiling here and there and disappear but the condition of the nation remains the same or worse. We have always recognized their presence as a blessing (maybe in disguise) that never bears fruit.
I think its time for us to start reassessing our friendships around the world. What was the economic and political value of Blair’s visit? And may I ask, did we get a visit from the current British prime minister?
“According to State House report, Mr Blair told president Bio that his new administration was already winning admiration across the world.
“We see the great things you are doing so that Sierra Leone becomes a better place. We are delighted to be here again. We see that you have had a great start to your administration,” he said”
Let’s examine Blair’s statement closely. “Mr Blair told president Bio that his new administration was already winning admiration across the world” From a normal person perspective, this statement means you are doing something good – worthy of applause. But this is not what Blair is talking about; and how do I know? Read his next statement below.
“We see the great things you are doing so that Sierra Leone becomes a better place. We are delighted to be here again. We see that you have had a great start to your administration, he said”
“We see the great things you are doing” can be looked at in two ways. “Great things” doesn’t necessary mean its good. But it could be something good for the country but bad for the rest of the other western countries that rely on extracting the nation’s natural resources for little to no cost.
Now you have a guy in power who is trying to bring control and shine lights in places that may expose people who are involved in illegal practices so it doesn’t surprise me they are watching closely. As he said, they are back again. They have always been here watching and ready to derail any little progress the country starts to make. You will always have one familiar face show up (a minion) to get you feeling they are here to help you.
If we have not learned from history, I leave you with this:
“Never trust your enemy, for as iron rust, so is his wickedness. Though he humble himself and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him. And he shall be unto him as if you had wiped a lookingglass, and you shall know that his rust has not been altogether wiped away”
Sierra Leone Telegraph has been my main source of information.
Thanks a lot to former prime minister Tony Blair for playing a great role in ending the civil war in Sierra Leone. I am happy to see him with president Bio. I recall many sad days in Sierra Leone. God blessed both of them.