Monrovia – The distinguished Eminent Chairman of the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), Mr. Emmanuel S. Wettee, is commending President George Manneh Weah for keeping the dual citizenship as a national agenda item.
Delivering his 5th Annual Address to the legislature, Pres. Weah commended the Supreme Court for its opinion handed down on the 23rd of December 2019, which found that certain provisions of the Alien and Nationality Law are inconsistent with the Constitution of Liberia.
“For instance, the current Alien and Nationality Law provides that a natural-born Liberian citizen automatically loses his or her citizenship, without any due process of law in a court in Liberia, upon taking up citizenship of another country or acting in some capacity for that country. This law undermines our quest for unity amongst all Liberians – everywhere!”
The President had made similar statement again few weeks ago at the opening of Liberia’s Bicentennial Anniversary, which was held on the Providence Island, where the settlers landed nearly 200 years ago before Liberia was founded.
“Two hundred years ago, some of our forebears returned to our shores, after enduring four centuries of bondage in slavery, and helped to found the Republic of Liberia.
“As I said during my remarks at the kick-off program held this month on Providence Island to commemorate the day that the settlers landed here, we must redouble our efforts to promote unity amongst all Liberians worldwide, and encourage all to make meaningful contributions to the nation-building task of our country,” the President told the lawmakers.
He then called on the 54th Senate to consider passage of the Bill currently before them. The bill seeks to codify the opinion of the Supreme Court and make it more true that ‘once a Liberian – always a Liberian.’
Last November 2021, ALCOD Eminent Chairman Wettee appealed to the Senate to conference with the House of Representatives on the passage of the Dual Citizenship Bill, which the House had passed and sent to them for concurrence.
The bill, which was passed by the House, was intended to amend and or repeal some parts of the Aliens and Nationality Law of Liberia.
Specially, the bill sought to repeal Part III, Chapter 20, Section 20.1; Chapter 21, Sections 21.30, 21.31, 21.51 & 21.52 and Chapter 22, Sections 22.1, 22.1 & 22.4 of the Aliens and Nationality Law of the Liberian Code of Law Revised, Vol. II.
The bill was championed by Montserrado County Electoral District #8 Representative Acarous Moses Gray and was co-sponsored by 30 of his colleagues, including Deputy House Speaker Jonathan Fonati Koffa.
In his appeal to the Senate, Eminent Chairman Wettee urged members of the Senate to please conference with the House on the passage into law of the bill.
Since 2000, some members of the Senate, had on many occasions, introduced amendments to the 1973 Aliens and Nationality Law on the Senate floor and those never passed.
Rep. Gray submitted his Bill on Friday, October 29, 2021, and it was read on the House’s floor on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021, and forwarded to the Committee on Judiciary to report back to Plenary within one week.
The HOR passed the bill into law on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, and was sent to the Senate for concurrence. There are reports that Rep. Gray, who is a very staunch member of Pres. Weah’s ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), had scripted on his bill: “Once a Liberian always a Liberian.”
The bill that Rep. Gray championed in the HOR, was done under the auspices of The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), which includes the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), Liberian Advocacy for Change (LAFC), Federation of Liberia Communities in Australia (FLCA), United Liberian Association of Ghana (ULAG), Liberian Association of Canada (LAC), and Conference of Liberian Organizations in Southwestern United States of America (CLOSUSA). ALCOD represents more than 500,000 Liberians living in the diaspora.
Mr. Wettee has joined Pres. Weah to appeal to the Senate to conference with the House to pass the bill into law.