The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD) representing over 500,000 Liberians in the Diaspora has resolved to name Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai as “Diaspora Person of the Year 2016”.
A letter from the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD) to V.P. Boakai, a copy of which is in possession of this newspaper, said the decision was due to his acknowledgement of his concern and meaningful support for dual citizenship for those born as Liberians and of Liberian parentage.
“We take note of your effort to protect the Liberian citizenship of Diaspora Liberians with dual nationality,” said the letter signed by Emmanuel S. Wettee, Chairman, The All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship, and approved by President Wilmot W. Kunney of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA).
The letter, dated December 15, said “Mr. Vice President, our decision to select you as ‘Diaspora Person of the Year 2016’ was based on the fact that you are the only standard bearer of a major political party in an election year season to publicly declare support for dual citizenship.
“In addition to your sound and precise leadership and honestly expressed views for our quest to protect the Liberian citizenship of those born as Liberians and of Liberian parentage, Mr. VP, your views relating to protecting the Liberian citizenship of Diaspora Liberians with dual nationality are consistently the same irrespective of audience or locality.”
The letter further explained: “Mr. Vice President your vision to involve all Liberians in the development of our country has led to your commitment towards dual citizenship and the protection of Liberian citizenship for those born as Liberians and those born of Liberian parentage.
“Each year, we develop an objective to guide our quest to protect our Liberian citizenship. For 2017, we are developing a document called ‘The Liberian Citizenship Protection Act,’ to be presented to President Sirleaf for her consideration as a legislative item for the President’s upcoming annual message. We shall provide your office with the document when it’s developed.
“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. 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.
“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.
“Consequently, Mr. Vice President, with about 400 days left in office for President Sirleaf, we wish to appeal to you to please ask President Sirleaf to consider The Liberian Citizenship Protection Act as a legislative Item for 2017.
“Again, we want to express our sincere gratitude to you, Mr. Vice President, for your public support for dual citizenship and the protection of Liberian citizenship for those born as Liberians and of Liberian parentage.”
The letter was also approved by four organizations that made up of the All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), a conglomeration of four Diasporan organizations. They included the European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), headed by president Kingston Washington Wleh Sr., the Federation of Liberian Communities in Australia (FOLICA), Inc., under George Jerue as president, Conference of Liberian Organizations in the Southwestern United States (COLOSUS), led by president Francis Williams and the United Liberian Association in Ghana (ULAG), under the leadership of Julia Mardea Richards as president.