November 16, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Tony Blair, has pledged that his team would continue to work in Sierra Leone regardless of who wins the March 7, 2018 elections.
Mr Blair was speaking yesterday in a joint press conference with President Koroma at State House.
He said: “I want to make it very clearly that the 2018 general elections is for Sierra Leone and it is Sierra Leoneans who will decide who they want to lead them after that election. We would only come in to support whoever wins the 2018 election.
Mr Blair also opined that Sierra Leone has made ‘visible progress’ with support from his team – the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
He told pressmen his team has contributed to progress made over almost a decade in health, electricity, agriculture, among others, adding that there has been a significant improvement in power supply in the country.
“I came in contact with Sierra Leone when I was a Prime Minister of UK. When I left that position I came back to the country to do something else. And for almost ten (10) years now, my team has contributed a lot towards the progress of the country and there has been a stable evolutional change for the people of Sierra Leone,” said Mr Blair.
On his part, President Ernest Bai Koroma described the former Labour Leader as a true friend of Sierra Leone who had lent support to the country during his tenure as Prime Minister and till date.
“When I was first elected President of Sierra Leone, I came in with a little experience in governance but with high expectations from the people. But with the help of many people, including Mr Tony Blair, who came in to support my government on how it would improve on its deliverables, I was able to acquire the confidence that has catapulted my government to the massive improvement we now see in the country,” said President Koroma.
The president, who has barely three months in his second and final term, acknowledged that Tony Blair’s team supported ministries such as agriculture, health, infrastructure, electricity, and how they could co-ordinate foreign direct investment.
President Koroma said Tony Blair’s team remained in the country during the fight against the deadly Ebola virus and provided technical support in rolling-out the President’s Recovery Priorities.
“I want to make it clear that the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is apolitical and it will continue to support whosoever emerges as the next President of Sierra Leone,” he concluded.