The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), has extended heartfelt gratitude to President George Weah for what they describe as the ‘indispensable role’ he played in advocating for Proposition One (Dual Citizenship) in the December 8th, 2020 Senatorial Election and National Referendum.
ALCOD in its acknowledgment said the President singularly championed the aspirations of over 500,000 diaspora Liberians. “We remain indebted to him for his bold and measured leadership on dual citizenship for natural born Liberians. It is no gainsaying that we feel strongly bonded by blood to our ancestral homeland, and we are unequivocal about maintaining our Liberian citizenship.”
ALCOD, led by Mr. Emmanuel Wettee, stated that though the Dual Citizenship Proposition (Proposition One) did not meet the required votes to pass in the referendum, they take solace in the fact that the referendum and the Senatorial Elections were independently administered by the National Elections Commission (NEC) without interference or coercion from the Executive.
“The results from the referendum and the senatorial election truly reflected the citizens’ votes, and this is a remarkable accomplishment for our young democracy and advocacy for Dual Citizenship under his leadership. We wholeheartedly commend him for demonstrating this level of commitment to our democratic process,” ALCOD said in a release.
In the release, the diaspora Liberians threw what appears like jibes at their compatriots whose argument against dual citizenship often questions the allegiance of Liberians with dual nationality.
“But in today’s globalized world, there is no exclusive allegiance, and there are fewer wars and far fewer conflicts among nations that demand such exclusive allegiance. Our laws allow blacks to naturalize, and many remain citizens of their countries of birth. Nevertheless, we do not question the allegiance of blacks who naturalized in Liberia,” the release added.
However, many blacks who naturalized are dual citizenships because their native countries allow dual citizenship. Equally, not every person who pledges an oath of allegiance in Liberia is loyal to Liberia. Expression of allegiance does not necessarily mean loyalty to a country. Allegiance is not demonstrated by pledge but actions to promote and serve one’s country of citizenship.”
According to Mr. Wettee, there is no better way to demonstrate allegiance to their ancestral homeland than sending remittances every day to sustain loved ones, replacing brain drain with brain gain, providing employment opportunities as they are investing in the country, and providing humanitarian services to their fellow Liberians.
These remittances represent a significant part of the Liberian economy. “Many Liberians may not be aware that the country relies heavily on remittances. Diaspora Liberians are lifelines for relatives in Liberia, sending remittances each month in millions of United States dollars.
Remittances to Liberia have averaged nearly US$40 million a month. It reached
an all-time high of US$174.90 million in March of 2017. This is an enormous
contribution to the struggling economy.”
“Mr. President, the leadership and membership of ALCOD will like to collaborate with your offices to repeal the 1974 Aliens and Nationality Law that will contain no restriction for getting appointed or elected positions in Liberia. You are our biggest champion, and we will continue to count on you. You have matched your words with actions, thereby reigniting the aspirations of the thousands of diaspora Liberians who are determined to maintain their Liberian citizenship,” the group said in the release.
ALCOD in a similar manner is commending Senator Abraham Darius Dillon for submitting a bill on the floor of the Liberian Senate to repeal 1974 Aliens and Nationality. Senator Dillon has joined the long list of Liberian lawmakers, who in the past submitted similar bills including but not limited to Senator Varney Sharman, Senator Sumo Kupee, Senator Cletus Wotorson, the late Rep. Eugene Fallah Kpakai, Rep. J. Fonati Koffa (now Deputy Speaker), and Rep. Acarous Moses Gray.
“We wish to appeal to Senator Dillion to reach out to other lawmakers to build a by-partisan Lawmaker Coalition that will work with President Weah in passing the bill. We are confident that the repeal of the Aliens and Nationality Law will be a major pillar of the legacy of President Weah, who has resolutely championed Dual Citizenship from the very beginning of his Presidency. Diaspora Liberians will also be forever grateful to Senator Dillion and other lawmakers who will get the nationality law repealed especially with no restriction, and these lawmakers will leave an indelible imprint that Diaspora Liberians will always cherish,” the ALCOD release added.