The president of the World Lebanese Cultural Union of Liberia (WLCUL), Dr. Ezzat Eid, yesterday added his voice to the ongoing debate on dual citizenship in favor of the process.
Dr. Eid said Liberians who considered themselves as indigenous need to forget racial discrimination and rally around everyone who has the country at heart, irrespective of who they are, and where they come from.
He described Liberia as a beautiful country and that its people are very wonderful and receptive, adding, “The lack of unity, which is also inherent the Constitution, is impeding national progress.”
The Liberian Constitution states that only people of Negro descent can become citizens. This Article, Dr. Eid termed as “discriminatory.”
He said dual citizenship is one of the best possible ways Liberia can reach its potentials and become one of the highly developed countries in the West African region. He spoke yesterday on the campus of the African Methodist Episcopal University when WLCUL provided financial aid to some senior students of the institution.
He said it is so painful that every year (April 24) he has to go to government offices to renew his Resident Permit, “although I have all of my interests and investments in the country.”
He said Liberians need to think better and do the right thing if the country is to progress, noting, “We have the resources and potential to invest on a larger scale in this country, but this is not our home and a law is saying this cannot be our home. So there is nothing to protect us; we are vulnerable.”
“I came into this country on January 26, 1966 as a young man and have since spent all of my life here. This indicates that I truly love this country, and I have all of my investments here. All of my children know Liberia to be their home, which legally is not the case,” he said.
Eid noted that all of the highly developed and industrialized countries in the world are countries that practice dual citizenship, citing the United States and his native Lebanon as references.
He said it does not go down well with him when he hears people calling others by their nationalities or tribes. “This pains me a lot because we all are one and everyone should consider it that way. I can’t do it. I cannot be calling people you Liberian man or boy. Let’s deal with the rights and wrongs and not calling or taking actions against people because of who they are.”
He said the notion that when other people, especially the Lebanese, are granted citizenship, they will takeover or buyoff every essential part of the country and in return marginalize the masses country is wrong.
He said dual citizenship will open up Liberia and make a better place for every Liberian. “This country needs money to develop and those people you are talking about have the money so why can’t we come together? But if you refuse, the wealthy people will take their money and carry it elsewhere, because they don’t feel secure in the country. There is nothing to protect them. I want for all of us to think in this direction,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eid has presented US$3,585 to the president of the AMEU graduating class, Andrew G. Kamara.
He said education is the best tool that can be used to advance a society and as such his organization is ever ready to render assistance in that direction. He said the fund is a token of intention of a good relationship that has been established between the university and the WLCUL.
The President of AMEU, Joseph Isaac, lauded Dr. Eid and his colleagues for the donation and for listening to the plight of the students. Dr. Isaac said he has known Dr. Eid to be a good man so the donation was no surprise.
The graduating class president, Andrew Kamara, noted that it is a relief for him and his fellow officials that Dr. Eid and the WLCUL came to assist them after so many people had let them down. “The intervention of the WLCUL saved some of our deserving students from embarrassment. We are very grateful to them,” he said.