Diaspora Lens: Dual Citizenship: Is It Another Corruptible and/or Pointless Initiative by So-called Liberian Diasporas in the US?

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Liberia’s dual citizenship has bickering become a fearless titanic struggle among most Liberians residence in the Diasporas especially those in the US. This phenomenon is getting acrimonious amidst most Liberians in Europe, Asia, Africa, the US, and the Middle East. These reverberations have refused to disappear easily due to the different lawyers undercutting its processes among the different Liberian populations with the divergence of views for and against. This cause has been vehemently championed under the auspices of Emmanuel Wette, Chairman: “All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship”, with an impressive political appetite to raise funds in the name of fostering the cause of sustaining dual citizenship at all cost. 

These irritating detonations have continued to claim the attention of the “Diasporas Lens” in many different directions. To begin with, it is now crystal clear that dual citizenship has the propensity to poison and/or undermine one’s patriotic commitment to his/her native country of origin. There is no way a Liberian can be duly committed to two countries at the same time. One of the earmarked countries would no doubt be betrayed directly or indirectly.   But the question that arose: “Do Liberians living abroad really deserve dual citizenship? What is in dual citizenship that truly attracts the attention of Liberians dwelling abroad, especially those in the US?

To answer these questions let us first take a panorama view of the inception of Liberia from its creation in 1822 by some rejected slaves who were thrown out of the US and asked to go back to Africa in search of their true homeland or stay in the US and be discriminated against.

The slaves choose the later, that is to migrate to Africa under the guidance of another super active slaves’ institution called the: “American Organization society”, ACS for short. The majority of the then slaves who were truly not pure Africans by birth were born to slave parents on different slaves’ plantations in the US.

It is evident that the then slaves who in this part of Africa discovered and captured a piece of land and named the land Liberia. The slaves created their political hegemony, fostered their own political agenda/methodology, and enhanced their American lifestyles that were completely incompatible to the cultures and lifestyles of those they met on the piece of land. The then slaves’ deportment by all counts proved that they came from which was America, the birthplace of the then slaves.  Lest we forget, the loyalty and patriotism of the then slaves were owned to the US and not Liberia. Their mindset reveals that Liberia was not home to them but rather a peaceful resting place, a farm to harvest the mineral resource, diamonds, gold, timbers, and returns to their place of birth, the US, and lived a better life. For the slaves that were dual citizenship in that Liberia is considered the farm of the slaves and the US was considered home for the then slaves.

 Such an approach gives rise to deep distrust, exploitation, patriotism, division, betrayer, lack of trust, lack of confidence, an act of destruction, and the embezzlement of the land’s resources. This type of dual citizenship soon ushered in the spirit of disunity and segregation. It helps to reserve power in the hands of few who were detrimental to the spirit of the so-called dual citizenship. It was against such backdrop, the then slaves considered Liberia as their farmland, where they amassed the wealth of the land and took it proceeds to the US to live a bitter and decent life, which compared them to abandon the land they deceptively once called Liberia as home. This act was devastating, humiliating, insulting that finally left the vast majority in the land heavily impoverished up to today’s date.

It is the same exploitative and unpatriotic spirit that Emmanuel Wette, Chairman All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizen; Mayango  Arku, President the European Federation of Liberian Association (EFLA); Roland King, Secretary-General, Board of Directors EFLA, Mis. Lorena Diggs Travel, Treasurer/Financial Secretary of the Conference of Liberian Organization in the South-West United States (COLOSSUS); Cecelia Brown Officer, United Liberia Association of Ghana (ULGA); and Rev. Marcus Y. Sherman, Liberian Association in Ghana (LAG) are trying to introduce to the already devastating land called Liberia.

For example, children born outside of Liberia cannot be 100% loyal to Liberia as it was in the case of the then slaves in 1822. Those children will view Liberia as their farmland and considers the US as their home. The concept of Wette’s dual citizenship is deeply reflected in getting a job, but this could be the wrong route for Wette and his cohorts.

Though the Liberian Senate voted to affirm the dual citizenship law with considerable limitations when it comes to job attainment by Liberians with double citizenship this, brought considerable amusement and joy to those who championed the cause of dual citizenship which validate their earlier claims that the dual citizenship cause is simply about jobs and self-seeking motives.

President Weah, and then President Sirleaf, and the scores of other Liberians are holding triple citizenship yet they are heading or continue to head some of the highest offices in Liberia. The legitimization of dual citizenship is simply about getting a job, promoting publicity stunt, and paves the way for Mr. Wette and his cohorts to achieve political popularity when they should be redirecting their political energies into something else for Liberia.

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About Post Author

Reuben Sei Waylaun

Reuben Sei Waylaun is an independent person who believes in achieving high standards. He has networking skills and ability to develop good relationship. He is creative, resourceful, a team leader, strategic planner, researcher and flexible, communication strategist, able to adapt to changing priorities and maintaining a positive attitude and strong work ethic.  He is a clear and logical communicator, good at motivating individuals to achieve organizational objectives. He is a trained Public Policy Analyst and Journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Liberia. He has worked with both the electronic and print media for nine years serving in various capacities.  He has received media trainings from local and international organizations on Human Rights, Gender & Conflict Sensitive Reporting, Governance and Politics, Economic, natural Resource, Health etc.
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