Diaspora names Pres. Sirleaf ‘Person of the Year’

President Sirleaf supports dual citizenship for Liberians

President Sirleaf supports dual citizenship for Liberians

The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship representing over 500,000 Liberians in the Diaspora has resolved to name President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the Diaspora Person of the Year 2015 in acknowledgement of her concern and meaningful support for dual citizenship for those born as Liberians and of Liberian parentage. 

Our decision to select President Sirleaf as the Diaspora Person of the Year 2015 was based on the president’s stable leadership in the fight against Ebola which demonstrated her love for the people of Liberia and her visible leadership in our quest for dual citizenship. 

President Sirleaf’s vision to involve all Liberians in the development of our country has led her commitment toward dual citizenship for those born as Liberians and of Liberian parentage. 

Each year, President Sirleaf has highlighted the issue during her annual message and continued to make statements in support of dual citizenship. Her statements have enumerated the benefits our country will get from removing legal bottlenecks to Liberians who have acquired additional citizenships abroad so that they can fully participate in the economic, social and infrastructural development of our country. 

President Sirleaf has acknowledged that our laws provide that only Liberian citizens can own real property in Liberia and the current 1973 Alien and Nationality Law as amended in 1974 through the Fourth Regular Session of the Forty-Fifth Legislature strips natural born Liberians of their citizenship for assuming additional citizenship. This imposes legal restrictions on many Liberians by birth, who fled abroad due to war and conflict, from investing in the country as they cannot own or inherit real property in Liberia. It also stifles the participation of Diaspora Liberians in the re-construction and economic recovery of the land of our nativity. 

For the past 10 years or more we have continued to take numerous steps to remove this legal impediment so that Diaspora Liberians can actively invest in the country and participate in the economic recovery. These include several meetings with you during which we have continued to crave your indulgence to help repeal the Alien and Nationality Law.  We have sent delegations to Liberia, written letters and held meetings with the leadership and individual members of the National Legislature. We have submitted proposals and actively lobbied to repeal the Alien and Nationality Law. We were deeply involved in the national consultation to amend the National Constitution, and were represented at this year’s National Constitution Review Conference in Gbarnga, Bong County. 

Sadly, after all of these efforts, the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law as amended in 1974 through the Fourth Regular Session of the Forty-Fifth Legislature still remains in place notwithstanding its unconstitutionality.

Again, we want to express our sincere gratitude to President Sirleaf for her public support for dual citizenship.

 

All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship

Comments
4 Responses to “Diaspora names Pres. Sirleaf ‘Person of the Year’”
  1. Harry Papa Mason says:

    The proponents of dual citizenship seem not to understand the 1973 alien and nationality law of Liberia. Because provisions of the law are obsolete and irrelevant, most Liberians who are privileged to be residing in foreign countries have shown their loyalty to the governments of those respective countries.

    Besides a born Liberian becoming a naturalized citizen of a foreign country, Liberians who become permanent residents in those countries, according to the 1973 alien and nationality law of Liberia, should be ripped off of their Liberian citizenship.

    Why are we appealing for dual citizenship when in fact we are intentionally violating the 1973 alien and nationality law of Liberia? It is a shenanigan to name Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as PERSON OF THE YEAR in the fight for dual citizenship when she and some of her officials are violating the 1973 alien and nationality law of Liberia. This is baloney!

    Dual citizenship should not be the issue on the burner – the real issue is repealing the 1973 alien and nationality law of Liberia to reflect the current realties of globalization. The catalyst of repealing this obsolete law is to expose all those in government who enjoy foreign nationality privileges.

  2. John Williams says:

    Some time ago, the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, after observing the general attitude of Liberians, implied that corruption in Liberia went far beyond government. She suggested that it would do the country much good if ordinary Liberians could also change their ways and also refrain from corrupt practices. This statement didn’t seem to go well with some Liberians. However, when you talk to many Liberians in the Diaspora, there is nothing but sad stories of being swindled and robbed in broad daylight by “people back home” who they trusted to do business with. Many people have had to repay loans in the Diaspora when crooks in Liberia have robbed them. This seems to be the norm to the extent that people are forced to take up time from work and family and return to Liberia to carry on projects because they couldn’t find anyone to trust. The sad thing is that they are justified to think so. After being a victim myself a couple of times, I recently asked over 20 friends to recommend someone to do something for me in Liberia. Regrettably all of them had been victimized and didn’t know anyone to recommend. During my inquiries, I also learned that the dishonesty has reached another level. Crooks are now “possessing” properties of Diaspora Liberians, including houses and lands. Dual citizenship is therefore not about only a competition for jobs. It is about safeguarding personal and collective interest of Liberians and expanding the growth and development scope of the country. There are many Diaspora Liberians who want to retire in Liberia and contribute to the growth and development of the country by “transferring” their way of life there. They must be supported. They must not be “loved” for sending remittances “home” and demonized for wanting enjoy their natural rights. Ellen must therefore be commended for support of this drive and deserves the support and recognition of the Diaspora in this venture!

  3. Julan Mason says:

    Dual citizenship is a reality, I support it for Liberia a country founded by people of dual citizenship long time ago. Even heaven support dual citizenship of Christians. Small Country like Liberia is good for dual citizenship for rapid development and economic growth.This is the best time for us to open our hearts and arms to people that love this country. May God Almighty continue to bless Liberia and well meaning Librarians around the world. Amen.

  4. George Jerue says:

    I am very grateful to Mr Harry Papa Mason and Mr. John Williams for their beautiful contributions.

    Truly the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia is out-dated. We are now living in 2016, a newly computerized world and we are still talking about laws that were made in 1973/1974. It is clear that our today’s way of life can no longer cope with those out-dated laws we called the Constitution of Liberia.

    The Liberian Constitution is out of date, therefore it needs to be revisited on the subject matter to bring relief to “many Diaspora Liberians who want to retire in Liberia and contribute to the growth and development of the country by “transferring” their way of life” (comment by: Mr. John Williams) and their expertise.

    The Liberia 1986 Constitution replaced the Liberia 1847 Constitution of the Republic of Liberian provided clauses for amendment. The amendment of laws which are applicable for changes to cohesively enhance our new ways of life:

    CHAPTER XII AMENDMENTS (Extract of Liberia Constitution -1986)
    Article 91
    This Constitution may be amended whenever a proposal by either (1) two-thirds of the membership of both Houses of the Legislature or (2) a petition submitted to the Legislature, by not fewer than 10,000 citizens which receives the concurrence of two-thirds of the membership of both Houses of the Legislature, is ratified by two-thirds of the registered voters, voting in a referendum conducted by the Elections Commission not sooner than one year after the action of the Legislature.
    We are citizens of the soil (Liberia), but we fled and find ourselves in another land, because of fear of death.

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