-Is It The End of ‘Political Marriage?
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
It seems the ‘political honeymoon’ between President George Weah and Senator Prince Yormie Johnson alias ‘PYJ’ during the 2017 presidential elections runoff is beginning to turn sour over President George Manneh Weah’s proposal calling for Dual citizenship in the country.
Senator Prince Yormie Johnson, Nimba
During the 2017 presidential election runoff between the former governing Unity Party headed by then Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of now President Geogre Weah, Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson alias ‘PYJ’ of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) became the most wanted ‘political commodity’ for the two.
However, the controversial Nimba County lawmaker finally landed at the CDC of President George Weah, a combination that gave the CDC the Liberian presidency due to the popularity of the Nimba lawmaker in his native county (Nimba) and beyond along with the overall popularity of President George Weah.
The Honeymoon Turning Sour:
Pres. George Weah, Liberia
It can be recalled President George Weah in his first state of the nation address proposed the need for dual citizenship in the country, a decision that has created serious debates across the country.
The Liberian chief executive called for the removal of a “racist” clause in the constitution which restricts citizenship to black people.
In his address, he said the clause was “unnecessary, racist and inappropriate”.
President Weah also pledged to scrap the law that prohibits foreigners owning land. The Liberian Constitution defines black people in the language of the time, as “persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent”.
President Weah wants a ban on dual citizenship to be abolished.
“It contradicts the very definition of Liberia, which is derived from the Latin word ‘liber’, meaning ‘liberty’,” he said.
Some Liberians and foreigners see the proposal from the President as long overdue. Others see it as a significance and want to see critical intervention on bringing the cost of living down.
The President’s proposal has since been transmitted into a Bill and introduced on the floor of the Liberian Senate for enactment into law, but lawmakers including Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson have vehemently rejected such proposal on ground that it is not in the interest of the Liberian people.
According to the Nimba County Senator, the priority in the country is development and not dual citizenship.
“Liberia’s priority now is not dual citizenship, but road construction, health, education and job creation,” he said during a debate on the Bill at the Liberian Senate.
Other political pundits are now saying this might be the end of the ‘political honeymoon’ between the controversial Nimba County Senator and President Weah who is eagerly anticipating the passage of such Bill.