House Draws Up Citizenship, Land Ownership Amendments for Referendum

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Speaker Chambers, House Judiciary Chairman Cllr. Koffa, and other lawmakers.

But uncertainty hangs over its approval by the People

The House of Representatives has begun reviewing four resolutions amending certain provisions of the Liberian Constitution, including citizenship and land ownership but uncertainty hovers over its passage into law by referendum.

The titles for the four resolutions are Citizenship Amendment, Property Amendment, Qualifications I Amendment, and Qualification II Amendment.

At the 8th day sitting yesterday, the first reading of the resolutions was done and sent to two separate Joint Committees for revision and report to the House Plenary in three weeks — by Thursday, March 1.

For the resolution on the Property Amendment, members of the Joint Committee are Judiciary, Claims and Petition; Lands, Mines and Energy; and Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning.

The Joint Committee for the remaining three resolutions, the Citizenship Amendment, Qualification I Amendment and Qualification II Amendment, includes Judiciary, Claims and Petition and Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning.

The Four Resolutions

The Citizen Amendment is aimed to remove the “discriminatory” Negro clause and open citizenship to any race, while at the same time defining natural born Liberians and allowing them to have dual citizenship. The amendment will upset Articles 27 and 28 of the Liberian Constitution.

The purpose for the amendment of the Property Amendment is to allow non-citizens of Liberia to own property, with certain restrictions. The Amendment will affect Article 22, in which the entire Article 22 will be deleted and a new Article 22 will be written as “Every Liberian citizen shall have the right to own property, as well as in association with others.”

Also, “Non-Liberians may own property under the restrictions,” and Qualification I Amendment is intended to restrict certain elected offices to natural born Liberian citizens as the term may be defined in the constitution. The amendment will be done in Article 30 and is rewritten: “Natural born citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature.”

In addition to the restriction of only natural born citizens to be eligible to become members of the Legislature, Qualification II Amendment is also restricting the appointment of Supreme Court justices to natural born citizens. This amendment will be done in Article 68.

Sponsors and Co-sponsors

The Resolutions are sponsored by Representatives Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa (Grand Kru County District #2); Thomas P. Fallah (Montserrado County District #5); and Acarous M. Gray (Montserrado County District #8).

The co-sponsors of the resolution are Speaker Bhofal Chambers (Maryland District #2); Representatives Clarence Gahr (Margibi District #5); Marvin Cole (Bong District #3); Matthew Zarzar (Sinoe District #3); Alfred Koiwood (Gbarpolu District #1); J. Nagbe Sloh (Sinoe District #2); Saah Joseph (Montserrado District #13); Crayton Duncan (Sinoe District #1); Adolph Lawrence (Montserrado District #15); Solomon C. George (Montserrado District #7); A. Kanie Wesso (Gbarpolu District #2); and Joseph N. Somwarbi (Nimba District #3).

Others are Representatives Emerson Kamara (Grand Cape Mount District #3); Dixon W. Seboe (Montserrado District #16); Matthew Joe (Grand Bassa District #3); Isaac Roland (Maryland District #3); Munah Pelham-Youngblood (Montserrado District #9); Albert B. Hills, Jr. (Bong District #1); Tibelrosa S. Tarponweh (Margibi District #1); Bishop M. Johnson (Bomi District #2); and Alex C. Grant (Grand Gedeh District #3) — 24 representatives in all.

Passage and Referendum

The four Resolutions will be approved if two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators affix their signatures. If their signatures are affixed, it means the Resolutions will be considered “items” for Referendum – Yes or No!

President Weah’s Proposals

It may be recalled that on Monday, January 22 during his first Annual Message, President George Weah called for the removal of what he called a “racist” clause in the constitution which restricts citizenship to Black people.

He said the clause was “unnecessary, racist and inappropriate,” and also pledged to scrap the law that prohibits foreigners owning land.

It can be recalled that President Weah’s State of the Nation’s address calling for the granting of land ownership and citizenship rights to foreigners including people of non-Negro descent, sparked huge controversy with many arguing against it. They expressed fears that ordinary Liberians would stand to lose if ever such a proposition is passed into law through a referendum.

They cited the cases of Zimbabwe and South Africa where most of the prized lands were taken over by whites. Unlike South Africa where the land issue is still unresolved, in the case of Zimbabwe, there was outright seizure of white owned lands by the Mugabe-led ZANU PF party.

It remains to be seen however whether Liberians are going to give this proposal a vote of approval in a referendum. But judging from past experience where similar proposals have been overwhelmingly rejected and given the current tide of  sentiments against the proposals, it appears unlikely that President Weah’s proposal will be given the Yes vote in a referendum.

46 COMMENTS

  1. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result is grave stupidity. Humans evolved over time and have changed but can Liberians change????

  2. How much you want to bet that they are being paid by the Lebanese and Indians to push this through? All of the issues needed to be addressed and this takes priority all of sudden? Then they forcefully attach dual citizenship rights for Liberians to citizenship rights for non negroes. This has all been orchestrated. Well, you elected people who have no honor and will clearly sell you out for money business so you deserve them.

    • While most news outlet are not reporting the where about of the former President , one news outlet ( GNN Liberia ) reported that that the former President is in Lebanon. Now think about the reason while the discussion of the citizenship clause is on going . How much money are they willing to pay out ? President Weah and his likes are slave traders , and anything for money. Watch the people rejecting the idea, and watch the under political pressure the Election Commission saying that the idea was approved through referendum. This is the same government that threw out the Global Witness case . This is the same government in collaboration with the former government refusing to charge anyone with the misused of the soldiers’ money and refused to prosecute anyone . Come in three years, most properties and lands purchased will have high fences with sign posted with the words ” keep out”. When that bill passed into, that would be the end of that day when Liberians will call anyone foreigner . And so the joke and laugh will be on that country . With the joke being nothing last forever . Watch when someone refuses to sell and the level of political force and tricks that will come about .

  3. Dear All, you people are preparing ourselves for another civil crisis; that is while it is good to elected people with the worth of experienced and education to these all important offices. The non-negro citizenship issue is very critical and these little boys and girls are taking it for joke; the average Liberian “Joe Blow” isn’t going to take it laying down, Mr. Weah. We have not been able to swallow Liberians who took other nationality because of the prevailing situations back home then(civil crises) yet; because of the Ellen Crokorau issue, then our so-called “Popular President” has brought another controversial issue of non-negro citizenship issues, is he prepared for this bombshell? Let concentrate on alleviating poverty from Liberia thru innovative programs and not these “financial propelled” issues that will divide us further. A hint to the wise is quite sufficient!
    Thanks.

  4. Creole Man say “hurry hurry bust trousers”. This new government should learn to prioritize wisely and “make haste slowly”. Biting off more than they can chew will only cause indigestion, constipation, and heartburn – if not sudden death.

  5. Great start!! If this trend continues, senator cllr. J. Fonati Koffa will set the highest record during his tenure for sponsoring and co-sponsoring bills in the Liberian senate. I stand corrected!

  6. certainly there are changes that need to be made to the constitution like some of the languages especially the negro-clause but these issues has to be done with great cautions.

  7. Those are not the only proponents before the legislature. The one that talks about reduction in the term of president, representative, and senator need to be voted upon also.

  8. Not so fast President Weah…. Not so fast legislators. I don’t know why this new government is rushing with giving citizenship to non-blacks. I know Weah travelled near and far so are some of our law makers. Are you guys listening to or watching international news? It started with Great Britain. The people of that country felt that being member of the European Union was taking a lot of their resources denying their citizens of what belongs to them and also to curb in flocks of other nationals. They term it BREXIT. The great United States current government is enacting laws to make it more difficult for people to become citizens. Not only that; they deporting people everyday. Our African brothers in the north – Libya is selling and ill treating black Africans as if they are non-humans. Many governments are not willing to open their bothers any more like in those days. Weah, I don’t know about other countries, I know you have a home on Staten Island. I know it because I have been there. If you have homes in other countries. I don’t know but those days are gone. Many developed countries are closing their borders. Why are you bent on opening Liberia’s?
    You guys have not even been able to agree on allowing your own Liberians citizens who left the country during the civil and acquired citizenship of another country to become dual citizens and now you want to add white people? You are setting yourselves up for another crisis. Your good football career will be lost and our future generations will only remember you as the president who sold Liberia to the white people. Like Bob Gray in our Heroes and Herines of Liberia, most Liberians only remember him that he sold the Bassa people land for smoke fish. As for you, I think power is getting to your head and you are running before you crawl. WEAH TAKE TIME Aaaa !!!

    • G. S; Thanks! Not only did Bob Gray sell the Bassa’s land, he was the ” Biggest Betrayer” of Liberia’s Indigenous Leaders. He also spied on his fellow CHIEFS; for the settlers. Bob Gray sold the whole of Liberia; for yuo know what…

  9. The law is totally racist. Can we write to other Governments around the world not to grant citizen rights to Liberians? I think we can stop the United States DV Program from Liberia this year as a good starting point. Someone mentioned the seizure of land from white farmers in Zimbabwe; why did they not mention the negative consequences on the people of that country? Let’s asked ourselves, how can we continue to be ruled by a constitution that was crafted when there was not a single car in Liberia? How many miles road did we have in Liberia when our constitution was crafted and independence was declared? What vehicle did our first president ride in 1847? Let’s not mislead ourselves into thinking that our country will improve by maintaining clauses of our constitution that that were intended to protect the interests of people who lived during those dark days.

    • I. D. B; all we are saying, is be cautious. You bet! There are places in the World, where Black/Negroes needless to Liberians can not become citizens or own land. Charity begins at home. Let’s take CARE of our own FIRST. Empower Liberia’s People.

  10. These Liberian Lawmakers are jokers! “It’s the Economy Stupid!”

    Why are these lawmakers not concentrating on fixing short term problems that are really impeding Liberia’s economic progress before tackling long term economic and political impediments like dual-citizenship; giving Liberian citizenship to all race, and land rights to all race.

    Some of the short term issues these lawmakers should focus on that are essential to speedy economic growth are:

    Fighting corruption in all branches of government and the Liberian society; reducing lawmakers’ excessive salaries; taking away some of the imperial presidential power by electing county superintendents and big cities majors; reducing the 1986 rigged constitutional provision of 6 years presidency; 9 years senatorial and 6 years representative years of service.

    For speedy economic growth these lawmakers should:

    Also, focus on Agriculture and try new agriculture experiment by growing tea and cotton for mass production in conjunction with expanding Liberia’s cocoa, coffee, plantain, banana, rice, pine apple, cassava, etc. Give small farmers loans to develop their crops. Establish cooperatives like they have for cocoa farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

    Focus on massive physical infrastructure around the country that creates thousands of jobs: road/rail connectivity, electricity and pipe borne water around the country. This will attract more people to migrate from overpopulated Monrovia to the rural areas for jobs.

    Focus on intellectual structure by creating an educated population: allow more money for education; recruit teachers/professors with the necessary experience from around the world to assist the few teachers in Liberia; make it mandatory for all Liberian scholarship recipients to teach for Liberia (giving back) after graduation for one year by giving them 50% of their salary.

    Focus on Social Service Programs for Liberians only: give each Liberian a social security number; provide low cost housing for the poor; food assistance programs for poor children; and create more jobs opportunities like street cleaning, beach cleaning, drainage, for the homeless to generate income.

    Focus on building more public restrooms, Sanitation dumps, public parks, and public playgrounds for the children.

    Focus on Maintaining the Peace and Stability of the country by creating equal opportunities for Liberians to prosper.

    Last but not all: The long term issues of dual-citizenship, citizenship for all race, and land rights to all race could be done according to priorities on a graduated level after these lawmakers have tackled these critical issues impeding Liberia’s economic progress listed above.

    Liberia is country with great potential to be great but we have to use our gifts wisely.

  11. Isaac D. Bartune,

    I want you to google Australia and see and read what is happening there now… This is a developed country….Come back share with rest of us your findings…..

    President Weah and his team should be thinking about properly managing our resources than this two days in power phenomena…

    The Liberian people need President Weah and his team to focus on how well to properly manage our Resources, and generate revenues to pay Civil Servants and carry out some developmental projects like:

    Roads, Universities in various counties, infrastructures. Etc…
    Not foreign people interests….Liberians elected you not Lebanese, why should their interests matter now?
    What Lebanese are doing in Liberia so much to benefits us Liberians?
    To sell dirty clothes, panties to our women?

    What are we Liberians gaining from these Lebanese people?
    Are they building factories to manufacture anything?

    Mr. President, we left our country because of war and the first thing we need now is how to fight corruptions in the public sector.

    What system of governance are you and your team going to put together for Liberia and its citizens….?

    The Referendum will not pass for anything against Liberians….

    Now we have earned advanced degrees than our parents, and become inventors which creates billions of dollars in revenues…
    We will bring companies to create jobs for our people and also stare up their knowledge to make them wealthy…through innovations and creativities..

    So, please Mr. President leave our land and citizenship alone….
    Our country is behind because of poor management, but not lack of resources or men power…

    I will assure you we will come in full with millions of dollars and innovations and creativities to proof that to our people…

    We don`t need to go anywhere to buy Iron Ore to make cars, refrigerators..etc…So, please we know this is the political water you are bathing in, but the sons and daughters of Liberia who have not naturalized in any country whatsoever want to return without headache for their land…..

    Can you George M. Weah owns land in Lebanon? I doubt it because they don`t even consider you as human being…

    For example, look in Libya and see what happens to your black brothers and sisters…That is all I can say to you…
    I am sure you experienced similar things like that while playing in Europe…

    We are not lazy people, or lack natural resources but our passed leaders have made us frustrated…. But it was good the war came..
    Look in Ivory Coast the road network there…
    How many resources Ivory Coast Export One?

    • Yes Mr. President, you promise change, and we know that Liberian should be first, so please do not for get and listen to your people who put you in power over others people who people said when to school. The only thing we want from you as you know that we all love you , is to leave our land and citizenship alone, then you are free to be love by all Liberian, no matter what.

  12. The non-negro descents from owning land and property it is appropriate that the founding fathers uphold this law since 1847 as a matter of wisdom and logic that they seek freedom to settled in Africa from America from slavery marginalized, prejudice, discriminations needed land of their own avoiding white supremacist oppressions for many years in History is gone but not forgotten,Time is not favorable or rep enough for rewarding land to non-negro meaning selling your birth right. we have being engulfed in fourteen years war when majority are poor have no money to buy land but depends on ancestors land as a pro poor Government should initiate program of indigenous land for lease not for sales. It is mandatory that the new government takes priority of austerity measures including recommendations of economics plans forwarded by experts be focused on management of the natural resources ,fighting corruptions and innovation creating jobs ,infrastructural developments of roads,education and health improvement. Re-colonialism is real and alive Liberia could becomes if we pay deaf ears to the warning words written on the wall.

  13. What is the intention for land ownership by citizens from other countries? Has this question been answered ‘convincingly’ to the Liberian people? However, my position about the land ownership by citizens from other countries is that, they should own land in the country in the form of “lease”, no matter how many years they own it. In this way our next generations and governments will have hope of possessing land in the future. Like in the case of Firestone, Liberians were able to re-sit at the discussion table to re-talk to Firestone Company when their agreement expired. This was their own decision either to allow Firestone to continue or not to continue. Liberians felt that Firestone was still beneficial to the country, and so they allowed it. That was a magnificent HOPE. What are we talking about here?
    Remember again that the country is so small in land space. I’m sorry to say that, but that’s the fact. The entire country land could be a corn farm, or wheat farm, or beans farm, etc for just one mechanized farmer. This means there is no much land in the Liberia. Are you giving land to businessmen to use for creating jobs for Liberian people? Are you giving HOUSE spot land to people to build their skyscrapers to collect rent and bring to their countries? What are we talking about here? Should someone owns land even if that land ownership is not going to benefit the Liberian people? That must not be. What is the criteria(benefit/gain) for owning land by people from other countries? Please define it. I am also of the opinion that it is still soon to make such a complicated future economic decision. Create positive hope for our upcoming generations. If you want to be in CONTROL, hold your land and female in CONTROL.

  14. Indeed we need to discuss land! This discussion should be within the context of atonement and reparations to Indigenous Liberians for the egregious wrong and injustice done to them under the authority of the constitution and statutes. The 1847 constitutional which empowered the Government to assume ownership and control of Indigenous Lands from the rightful owners is excluded from the 1986 constitution, but the statutes and system that effected this landlessness of more than 80% of Liberians, remain in tact and operational. Liberians have attained universal political power but access to economic opportunities and benefits from the wealth of the country still remain out of the reach of Liberians. Since 1822 the Government of Liberia has been resisted because of its land grabbing policies, first to establish Colonial settlements, and subsequently as concessions to foreign investors without compensation and/or benefits to the Indigenous Liberians. Historical documents record many conflicts over land, taxation, dominance, etc., including an account of a revolt in the Southeast which was defeated and more than 70 chiefs and elders were arrested and executed by the government of Liberia. The pending Land Rights law is a good effort at atonement and reparations. This what we need to debate and discuss. What kind of property rights will Indigenous people be guaranteed in this bill? Do we need Constitutional protection for Indigenous land rights as is the case with other property owners who hold title deeds? What about befits from natural resources, will landowners have constitutional guarantees to benefit from natural resources on/or beneath their land? Our country is in an era of self analysis, reconciling with itself and becoming a nation which protects and provides for all its citizens.

    • Ms. Scott,
      Which government executed chiefs and elders in the Southeast Region of Liberia? Can you reference any historical document to support your statement?We Liberians are known for repeating unconfirmed stories solely to create division among our people.Had such incident occurred, it would had been mentioned by some Historians.

  15. Any intent to give the whites, Lebanese, Indians and others citizenships in order to buy we the Native people land will be met with a very strong resistance even at the cause of death.

    I repeat, we the poor masses will not tolerate this type of business. This legialature has on book a lot of concessions/contracts that are flaws and not in Liberia` best interests due to greed. She also has corruption war to fight, in order for this very poor Country to get on the road of development.

    Why can these people one day come-up with a good idea, even if George Weah is making a mistake so should they too join him?

    Making white, Lebanese, Indians, Chinese citizens of Liberia in order to be able to buy land is a declaration of war on we the poor Country people. And we are ready to defend our Ancestral land with our last blood. Let them get ready! We are not stupid like before. These people are looking for another civil war. but this time. Before they come to themselves it will be late.

  16. Any intent to give the whites, Lebanese, Indians and others citizenships in order to buy we the Native people land will be met with a very strong resistance even at the cause of death.

    I repeat, we the poor masses/Country people will not tolerate this type of business. This legialature has on book a lot of concessions/contracts that are flaws and not in Liberia`s best interests due to greed. She also has corruption war to fight, in order for this very poor Country to get on the road of development. Why not think about this course?

    Why can these people one day come-up with a good idea, even if George Weah is making a mistake, so should they too join him?

    Making white, Lebanese, Indians, Chinese citizens of Liberia in order to be able to buy land is a “declaration of war on we the poor Country people”. And we are ready to defend our Ancestral land with our last blood. Let them get ready! We are not stupid like before. These people are looking for another civil war. but this time. Before they come to themselves it will be very late. We are carefully watching their activites up there.

  17. First thing: Gave Liberians born a dual citizenship, it will help economic growth. They were citizens before, because of a civil-war they seek citizenship in other countries for survival. In retrospect, born Liberians should have dual citizenship. Non Negroes, should have citizenship and land with certain restrictions. They can’t have any government jobs, Presidency, or Supreme Court appointment. They can obtain these through restrictions that will benefit all Liberians.

  18. When we say education is good, but intelligent is very important other people say we talking bad. Weah is creating chaos. He is making his Presidency difficult for himself. I do not understand and know who are those really advising this man.

    Land issue7dispute always lead people to war. Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa, just to name few. My brother, you are heading for a bad path.

    Liberians people will tell you do this and do that, tomorrow, those same people telling you to give citizenship to white people are going to sell you to your own native Liberians in the interial/Counties. The Zoos, Chiefs and local rulers will not take this non-sense from you people.

    You will end-up as a one term President, and all these things you are doing will definitely be over-turn. Those guys are just fooling you considering your level of reasoning and they are going to use that against you very soon. Long life, you will remember that I said this!

    1. We have internal land disputes to be settled
    2. We have Senators that stay in the legislature for 9 years doing nothing or just stealing
    3. The Presidential term of six (6) consecutive years do not comform to current universal democratic culture and values. It was imposed by a military ruler, Samuel Kanyon Doe. It should be 4 years as in modern democracy. For example, the United States, Nigeria, and many other Parliamentary democracy rules by Prime Ministers and Kings like Norway, Sweden, Danmark, Israel and the list goes on! Why not start here?
    4. Corruption is to be fought in order to take Liberians out of poverty.

    Liberians were expecting you to first and foremost attack these fundamental weaknesses in the Liberians society, to atleast prove your seriousness and brightness. But you have fail, instead you are heading for things that you have not actually understand, or study their Cons or dis-advantage, implications and consequence.
    Intelligent people always study the negative consequence of anything they do. You have put yourself in a very difficult triangle senior brother.

    You need to re-direct your attention to issues that matters and can create growth. Again, you are playing with fire with this making non-negro citizens that should lead to land struggle. Liberia is rich, and at such does not need anybody to develop it. What Liberia is lackign is mangement due to bad governance. These people are fooling you just as they did to Samuel Kanyon Doe due to his level. Nobody could fool, Charles Taylor, Ellen because they know what they were doing.

  19. President Weah Sir; there is “No Executive Order”HERE”. Let well done be left alone. The Lebanese and other none whites have already beat the system; by marrying or having children by Liberians. Through such arrangements, they enjoy the privilege of “LAND OWNERSHIP”.

  20. Mr. President…..you were elected by popular vote based on your political platform. Besides, those who voted for you studied and witnessed your up bringing as a impoverished child.They trust you to transform their lived.
    Moreover, you are known internatinally especially with world leaders. You spoke clearly and eloquently during your inauguration by laying out your progressive agenda for Liberia’ development.
    As a concern liberian….Mr.
    President listen to the folliwing suggestions:
    1. ask willing countries to train 100 medicat doctors for Liberia
    2. 100 agriculturalist
    3. 100 road engineers
    5. 250 IT specialists
    Now, when these Liberians return, they will continue to train Liberians in these disciplines…your agenda will be achieved. Do not make the same mistakes as Madam Sirleaf by allowing the funds to get in your hands brother. Lots of crooks around you, and you can not contain them no matterwhat mechanism you employed. When the country has great numbers of
    trained steel manufacturers connecting Liberia with roads is easy because we have the raw material. More doctors will be in every parts of Liberia. All you need is, put your blue print before your international and regional partners
    Mr. President, now is the time to put your request before your best friends to help your govetnment achieves its agenda. Some in your inner camp will say…do not listen to the diaspora Liberians…but we love that land the same way some do…but not all of them.
    Good luck Mr. President..

  21. Mr. Pres, take time. Don not be rushed. Tackle the dual citizenship issue first. In fact, there is a need the conduct a nation=wide survey in order to obtain the opinions of the Liberian people. After that, base on their feelings, the Legislature can proceed with the referendum. Be reminded that since its founding up to the present, land issue continues to a problem unresolved. Our people consider land as a secret heritage. I share your concern about permitting non=negroes to become citizens. but let it be carefully studied. Set up a commission to conduct the survey, which report should be submitted to you for onward submission to the National Legislature. There are some Lebanese and other foreigners who remained in the country during all of the crisis. Some could not wait to return. and as soon as there was signs of little peace, they returned.
    Take time, and GOD BLESS!

  22. Mr. Pres., take time. Appoint a commission to conduct a nation-wide survey to discuss the issues. Firstly, the dual citizenship issue the be resolved. Let us clarify the constitution clause that states that: All Liberians who were natural born when the 1986 Constitution was enacted, continue to be Liberians. Further, let us not forget that thousands of Liberians fled the country because of the civil crisis. Nothing should prevent them and their children from returning home. Just how we have forgiven the warlords and fighters who destroyed the country, let us open our arms and welcome our brothers and sisters.
    MR. president, I share your concern about people of non-negro concern. Some Lebanese and other foreigners ben in the country for over 40 to 50 years. They have remained in the country all during the crisis. Those who fled, returned as soon as there was sign of peace. But get the consensus of the people! GOD BLESS!

  23. When some of us talk the people say we like talking too much. Liberia problem is management, check and balance, fighting corruption with Iron or Lion teeth until it bleeds to death. Liberia has more resources as compared to Countries that are considered to be the World richest States. example, Sweden, Norway, Botswana among others.

    Liberia was better than South and North Korea in 1960s in turn of GDP and apparently our human capitals/resources were not also that bad.
    However, we Liberians should not be fool by only the natural resources under the earth and those under the sea. In order for Liberia to develop, as this is, I think every Liberians dream, we have to put Liberia first, by providing qualitiy education through the fight of corruption in the educational sector, and all sectors of the State.

    How can the Weah government improve education and immorality?

    By putting a comple ban on alcohol or by definitely increasing the tax(es) on a bottle of alcoholic stuff and drugs, so that all those night clubs and these entertainement centers can find other means to entertained instead of selling alcohol to children, that is causing all those old men/women, the so-called government officials using alcohol to intoxicate children before sleeping with them leaving their wives/husbands and kids home.

    This government needs to pay a very serious attention, and control of alcoholic stuff and drugs on the Liberians market, as a means of reducing the huge in-take that making children, youth adults or government officials not to think well and concentrate on complex assignments/ learning and doing the best thing for the Country.
    Alcohol alone can damaged a anybody minds and thinking capacity for life, regardless of loking fine, beautiful, sexy, healthy, and driving expensive Jeep(s) in the eyes of the public. This is in my view a fight against the source of corruption!

    So is not the matter of talking to the Zogos to leave the graveyards, but rather destroying the sources of what making them to chose the graveyrads as their home(s), when they should be in school, or on a rice farm working!

    We have to attack the sources of the high illiteracy rate in Liberia that impeding national growth and economic develpment instead of looking to making non-negro citizens as a remedy.

    Liberians can build Liberia within the next 10-15 years if good policy like ban on alcohol and drugs, fighting the pathological and pervasive corruption, reducing the Presidential terms from six(6) to four (4) years, and that of seneators from nine(9) to apparently five(5) years.

    Publishing the salaries of all government officials as a means of confident and trust (between the rulers and the rules) is also democracy and social development as it relate to fighting corruption therein. Publishing the amount of revenues the government generate periodically every year. Giving room to the Liberians dollars as the only legitimate currency on the Liberians market for Pro-Poor empowerment.

    Why should an un-productive regime stay in power for so long making the already poor masses more than poor? These are the things our national legislature should be debating now, instead of using the tax payers money on issues like: 1. Dual citizenshp and 2. Making non-negro citizens of Liberia.

    Let the importation of books at the freeport of Liberia be free of taxes and charges, while banning alcohol and drugs with the police, customs at all entrances enforcing this law and doing inspection critically. We have very serous issues that are affecting citizens life, like all those concession agreements/ contracts that this very legislature signed over the past twelve (12) consecutive years during Sirleaf regime that in Liberians view are not in anyway in the best interests of Liberians children for promoting their educational needs.

    Moreover, where is the NOCAL case today? What happened to all the corruption cases for which Harry Greaves and Michael Allison were murderred by contract killers/ hitmen and up to now Liberians are stay waiting for answers?
    These are serious national concerned and issues that this Legislature should be discussing now as a means of creating growth and development.

    Only Liberians can build Liberia, do not fool yourself by thinking that somebody with white skins will bring national development if they (Non-negro: Whites, Lebanese, Indians, Chinese and others become Liberia citizens). So are you telling me when we have white President, white education minister, white Justice minister and white buying land all around the place and making farms than we will get free rice and better education?

  24. Dr. Coker, A.J. George, jr.,

    I echo your sentiments up to 85%. Like you, I strongly feel that the issue of citizenship is not a hot topic item. I don’t want to be misconstrued. It is important. But, because it’s kind of tricky, Weah will be well off by appointing a committee of genuine Liberian intellectuals to study it. Sure, changes are necessary, but there’s no need to rush!

    The gentlemen and ladies at the legislative branch could be up to something hilarious. Example, maybe their wallets and purses are empty. Bread and butter need to be put on the table. On any Saturday afternoon, a gentleman or lady from that branch could go to a Center Street grocery store to remind an Asian businessman about the fight to grant citizenship to non-blacks. This is a “maybe”. Think about a 100lb bag of rice for a Saturday afternoon reminder. Whereas the future of our country is more important than now, some lawmakers may not see it that way. The country of Zimbabwe exists as a good example. The whites who were in the minority, owned more land than the black majority in that country. The whites acquired a bulk of the land because they bought it from the black people cheaply. In Liberia, the Zimbabwe experience could easily occur. An Asian businessman who goes with $2,500.00 in nearby Kakata, Margibi county, could buy the whole city. I am not suggesting that the people of Kakata are stupid. Oh no. But, anything can happen. Just a word of caution!

    Conversely, the Asian businessmen in Liberia are kind of avaricious and
    capricious. Because of their financial influence, they have the ability to contort the minds of some lawmakers (if not all of them) to speed up the abrogation of the non-black citizenship clause that’s enshrined in the constitution. Again, it’s not impossible. Just a word of caution.

    Yap, a change is okay with me. But there’s no need to rush.

  25. At least since the 1980 military coup d’etat, the issue of re-constituting the Liberian political order has been front and center. The current 1986 Constitution is a culmination of an initial effort. The atmosphere of military rule in the early 1980s adversely impacted the work of constitution framers, and the civil war that followed considerably undermined the constitutional order. An effort was made during the presidency of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to effect a review of the 1986 Constitution. For myriad of reasons that effort was in abeyance even before the election of President George Weah. Given a renewed sense of interest in constitutional matters as the new Administration starts, I think consideration should be given to the idea of a comprehensive constitutional review drawing upon work already done. All concerned must, however, bear in mind that any change in the constitution must follow procedures set out in the document itself, namely, that following action by the Legislature, or a certain number of citizens, there is a mandatory one year public discussion before a referendum can be held. There is therefore no short cut to changing our Constitution.

  26. At least since the 1980 military coup d’etat, the issue of re-constituting the Liberian political order has been front and center. The current 1986 Constitution is a culmination of an initial effort. The atmosphere of military rule in the early 1980s adversely impacted the work of constitution framers, and the civil war that followed considerably undermined the constitutional order. An effort was made during the presidency of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to effect a review of the 1986 Constitution. For myriad of reasons that effort was in abeyance even before the election of President George Weah. Given a renewed sense of interest in constitutional matters as the new Administration starts, I think consideration should be given to the idea of a comprehensive constitutional review drawing upon work already done. All concerned must, however, bear in mind that any change in the constitution must follow procedures set out in the document itself, namely, that following action by the Legislature, or a certain number of citizens petition, there is a mandatory one year public discussion before a referendum can be held. There is therefore no short cut to changing our Constitution.

  27. I don’t think the non-negro clause reflects racism; it is protectionism. Racism is when one racial group claims to be superior to other racial groups. The clause is protectionism because it protects blacks from becoming enslaved or marginalized in their own country. Considering the negative social and cultural views held about blacks by many Europeans, Middle Easterners and Asians, why take such a risk? Didn’t the president take an oath to uphold and defend the constitution? Are we implying blacks cannot invest in and develop Liberia? The writing is on the wall. Liberians should not sell their birthright for porridge as Esau did in Genesis 25. One of my friends used to say Liberia is the only place where he felt his full humanity. Despite its numerous problems, Liberia is a Promised Land. Think about your children and the future generations. If the leaders insist, then I suggest two conditions for changing the clause is to increase the literacy rate and eliminate poverty. May Jesus guide the leaders and people of Liberia.

  28. Did George Weah ever said during the elections he was for granting citizenship to Non-white. If this was his plan, why he did not tell the Liberian people before voting for him. Is this not being deceptive so what is the motivation of the deception? If any president wants to make such a drastic change to the constitution, he or she should present it to the Liberian people before they are elected to the position he or she is seeking. The Liberian people should reject as this charade was conceived through deception..

  29. I think the Lawmakers are trying to rush this through. The question of this very important constitutional amendment should be put forward to the Liberian people through a referendum, so that they can make that decision and not the lawmakers. The questions asked in the referendum should be;

    1. Should a non-negro become citizen of Liberia through birth or naturalization?
    2. Should a non-negro be allowed to buy and own land / property in Liberia?
    3. Should a natural born negro Liberian lose their citizenship through naturalization of citizenship in another country?
    4. Should a natural born negro Liberian be allowed to run and elected for an elected position in Liberia?
    5. Should a natural born negro Liberian be appointed to a cabinet position in Liberia?
    6. Should a natural born negro Liberian run for the Presidency, Vice-Presidency in Liberia?
    7. Should a natural born negro Liberian be appointed to the Supreme Court of Liberia as a Justice or Chief Justice?

    All of the above questions should be simply answer by a YES or NO. The campaign for this referendum should last for at least a year and the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, the Bureau of Land Commission and the Bureau of Immigration, Citizenship and Naturalization be the ones to lead such campaign in the country.

    The government through the Legislative Branch should do some jurisdictional and environmental scans to see what has been done in other countries. The issues of reciprocity between countries of origin should be considered. In Malaysia and Singapore, it takes about 20-30 years for a foreigner to naturalize in those two countries. It is also not easy for someone to become a naturalized citizen of Ghana, yet we give other Africans citizenship within two years of their stay in Liberia. The issues of citizenship and land ownership should be properly studied and researched in Liberia. We need to get this right and I think the whole process is being rushed. We should learn from other countries.

  30. For all those advocating for Lebanese, Indians and Pakistanis to own land in Liberia and are criticizing the constitution, I want you to please point to one country anywhere in the world and Africa in particular, where the ownership of land has brought development to that country. None that I can think of. When the British ruled Zimbabwe, black and white could not attend the same, play on the same cricket team, etc. All the fertile lands were taken by the white farmers and black Zimbabweans were left the barren ones. Also show me one country in the world where Lebanese and Indians citizens have built roads, electric grid, sewerage systems. None. Developments in any country is brought about and undertaken by the government of that country. President Howard of the United States administration built the high ways(the I-95, 495, 87, 90 etc.) and connected the entire United states with road network. The Hover Dam which is one of the eight wonders of world was not built by given citizenship to any nationalities. This government Liberia needs to develop policy that will bring about development and should not sell the people land under the false pretext of “white man” will develop the country when they citizen. There is no historical evident to point to that. What I believe the president is trying to do is to please his Lebanese and Indians friends who gave him money during the campaign. Liberians will not support this nonsense so take it to the ballet box and it will be defeated.

    • NOG; perhaps you mean Eisenhower; not Howard. The U.S Road Network, known as the Inter State was began by U.S. President Dwight David Eisenhower; after his returned from WW2. Eisenhower was impressed by Germany’s Road Network, The Auto Bahn.

  31. Ms. Scott,
    Which government executed chiefs and elders in the Southeast Region of Liberia? Can you reference any historical document to support your statement?We Liberians are known for repeating unconfirmed stories solely to create division among our people.Had such incident occurred, it would had been mentioned by some Historians.

  32. The only thing Liberians own is their citizenship and land. Yes, we are not in 1822
    when the country was founded. Of course, whiteman is not citizen yet, but look!
    Who enjoy Liberia more than the other? It by virtue of the behavior of the whiteman
    and non-negro origin that the Liberian people are afraid and good reason to be afraid!
    So, George Weah must careful that he does not turn up to be seller of his country.
    Again, Liberians only own the citizen and their land! You do not have to wait for
    massive demonstrations throughout this country before you know.

  33. The only thing Liberians own is their citizenship and land. Yes, we are not in 1822
    when the country was founded. Of course, whiteman is not citizen yet, but look!
    Who enjoy Liberia more than the other? It by virtue of the behavior of the whiteman
    and non-negro origin that the Liberian people are afraid and good reason to be afraid!
    So, George Weah must careful that he does not turn up to be seller of his country.
    Again, Liberians only own the citizen and their land! You do not have to wait for
    massive demonstrations throughout this country before you know.

    Are you aaying that this is a duplicate again? It is not!

  34. The only thing Liberians own is their citizenship and land. Yes, we are not in 1822
    when the country was founded. Of course, whiteman is not citizen yet, but look!
    Who enjoy Liberia more than the other? It by virtue of the behavior of the whiteman
    and non-negro origin that the Liberian people are afraid and good reason to be afraid!
    So, George Weah must careful that he does not turn up to be seller of his country.
    Again, Liberians only own the citizen and their land! You do not have to wait for
    massive demonstrations throughout this country before you know.

    Are you saying that this is a duplicate again? It is not!

  35. The only thing Liberians own is their citizenship and land. Yes, we are not in 1822
    when the country was founded. Of course, whiteman is not citizen yet, but look!
    Who enjoy Liberia more than the other? It by virtue of the behavior of the whiteman
    and non-negro origin that the Liberian people are afraid and good reason to be afraid!
    So, George Weah must careful that he does not turn up to be seller of his country.
    Again, Liberians only own the citizen and their land! You do not have to wait for
    massive demonstrations throughout this country before you know. I am looking five
    Legislators brainstorming to sell Liberia. Will succeed?

    Are you saying that this is a duplicate again? It is not!

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