By J K K Peah
One week after his inauguration last week Monday, the Liberian President George Weah is calling on his country to grant unconditional citizenship to whites.
The Liberian leader made the call yesterday when his made his first National Address to the National Legislature. The Liberian leader labelled his country constitution as a “racist” document which prohibits people of non negroes background from becoming citizen.
President Weah justified his call by arguing that Liberians take on citizenship of other countries and own properties in those countries but on the other hand, people of non negroes lineage can not become citizens of Liberia, something he emphasized that stagnates development even though the President failed to realize that those native Liberians who take on foreign citizenship and fights for a foreign military are no longer Liberian citizens and made mention of these native born Liberians’ right to dual citizenship to their country.
President Weah is the first President and public official to describe his country’s constitution, a sacred instrument, condescendingly.
The Liberian leader’s description of his country’s constitution as a “racist” document, was a shock and something, that could had been expected to be said on drinking table where people are having good time and no pressure for etiquette and virtues of patriotism are inhabitants but interestingly, the President’s speech writers and in his own mind, saw no offense to denigrate his country’s constitution, a sacred instrument of the land using the office of the Presidency and National Legislature to defame his country in public and desecrate the ideals of the founding fathers of the nation and the drafters and signers of the 1986 constitution rather than opting to use a much better word to package his ideas and belief system on Liberian citizenship inclusive of people of non negroes descendants to convey his thoughts and policies.
“It was very harsh for the President to describe the Liberian constitution as a “racist” document…….. the framers of the constitution put in the clause to prohibit people of non negroes descendants from becoming citizen as a protective mechanism to protect the country from foreign dominance and plunder as were African countries exploited in similar fashion and it is in no way a racist document”, a panelist on the Rahman Christian Radio in the United States said last night on a talkshow where a panelist of Liberians were discussing the Liberian leader call for dual citizenship for whites.
The Liberian leader also addressed the need for land reform in his country and for all peoples to have the right to own land and properties in his country, a call which the country’s constitution forbids……. allowing only Liberian citizens to own land and properties in the country.
For President Weah’s aspiration for whites to become citizens and ultimately have the right to own land and properties in his country, it will require a national referendum to approve that right but from all indication, it is glaring that the country is not prepare for that referendum and if it is called, it will be resoundingly defeated….. it is a good start for the President but it is obvious that not in his Presidency or lifetime will he see his country vote in a referendum for whites to become citizens and own properties.
it is good President Weah puts citizenship for whites into the public discourse for the first time- the country will have to continue the discussion until at such time and generation to come, the country is prepared to vote in a referendum to allow whites to own land and properties.
It will take massive and prolong public campaigns of awareness for many years about the good in people of non negroes background becoming citizens and owning land and properties inLiberia and relieve the fears Liberians hold about the perception of evil in people of non negroes background becoming citizens and owning land and properties.
The best bet the President can hope for and what is within his reach in his pursuit of citizenship is to restore dual citizenship on native Liberians who took on citizenship of other countries or wore or wear foreign military uniforms but are automatically disrobed of their Liberian citizenship and no longer Liberians for those actions taken by native Liberians because the country’s immigration law forbids dual citizenship
The country’s 1973/1974 Aliens and Nationality Act says; a native Liberian who naturalizes or wears or fights for a foreign military, but virtue of those actions, that Liberians automatically loses his Liberian citizenship .
Article 28 of the country’s constitution gives Liberians the right to take on foreign citizenship and places no caveat of a Liberian losing his citizenship for exercising this right, the immigration law unconstitutionally infringes on this right and that it is this wrong the President can make right by the Legislature amending it and automatically granting dual citizenship to Liberians.
This is what the country is open to and prepared for but citizenship for whites, is a far shoot for the President and he might not see it in his Presidency and lifetime.
President Weah also announced a 25% paycut in his salary and is hoping that the Legislature and other senior government officials will follow his lead as he stressed, that he “inherited a broke government”…… with his predecessor, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in attendance to the intrigue of the audience and the Liberian people.