Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair breezed in Freetown Wednesday night last week seemingly to personally monitor his support to the President.
He said his visit is “all part of the initiative we have here in Sierra Leone working alongside the President and his team to support them – in their work.”
Blair said “some of those priorities have to do with health care, some to do with agriculture and energy and ofcourse investments and business.”
However opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party Secretary General Jacob Jusu Saffa was not particularly happy that Mr Blair was visiting the country without talking with the opposition.
Speaking to Awoko, Saffa says that the former British Prime Minister “is from a democratic setting so he should not just come here and speak to one side, especially when elections are around the corner.”
Saffa said “we are grateful to him and grateful to the British government for their support to us over the years, but some of these investments he (Blair) is talking about are being questioned. There are issues of unfair tax structures, land grabbing, human rights abuse, these are the type of issues he might avail himself of by talking to the other side.”
Mr Blair visited the $3.5million dollar African Juice Factory at the Special Economic Zone on Friday where he was taken on a conducted tour to see their operations.
The African Juice Factory is one of the investments which came about as a result of the Trade and Investment Conference held in London in November 2009. Mr Blair was one of the speakers at this conference where he urged investors to come and explore the opportunities in Sierra Leone.
After his visit to the factory last Friday Blair told Awoko “we want more businesses to come into Sierra Leone to base themselves here to create jobs to create health for the people because we need to get the living standards of the country lifted.”