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GeneralLiberia news

ALCOD honors Weah’s legal advisor, others 

-Next Move: To constitutionalize “Once A Liberian, Always A Liberian”

The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD) has bestowed on Cllr. Archibald Fitzhubert Bernard, Legal Advisor to President George Manneh Weah, honors for his leadership role in working with all parties that made the passage of the dual citizenship bill into law a success.

According to ALCOD, Cllr. Bernard’s leadership in this drive dates as far back as 2012 or earlier when he began working with dual citizenship advocates and legislators to pass the bill that became law on July 22, 2022, after it was signed into handbill by Pres. Weah. 

The honoring program for the President’s Legal Advisor was held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Philadelphia, USA. The honoring program, a “Dual Citizenship Celebration Program”, was to appreciate and honor champions, supporters, advocates, partners of ALCOD and people of Liberia for making, “Once A Liberian, Always A Liberian”, the title of the advocacy, a law of the land.

The ‘Once A Liberia, Always A Liberia,’ phrase was coined by Grand Cape Mount Senator Cllr. Harry Varney Gboto-Nambi Sherman, when he served as Liberia’s 166th Independence Day Orator on July 26, 2013, in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

In a brief remark after he had been showered with praises, Cllr. Bernard challenged ALCOD to begin advocating for the constitutionality of “Once A Liberian, Always A Liberian.”

The distinguished Eminent Chairman of ALCOD, Eminent Emmanuel S. Wettee, who worked alongside Cllr. Bernard to achieve this feat, led the “thank you and appreciation parade” to honor not only Mr. Bernard but also Pres. Weah, the legislature and others, for making “Once A Liberian, Always A Liberian” a law of the land. 

Eminent Wettee told Cllr. Bernard that ALCOD accepted his challenge in doing all to advocate for the constitutionality of the dual citizenship law and also to advocate for “Out of Country Voting” as is being requested by Diaspora Liberians. 

“ALCOD will be working with all parties of interest to have the issue (Once A Liberian, Always A Liberian) on the ballot as a National Referendum item (Proposition) in 2026 or 2029,” Eminent Wettee assured.        

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He further stated that the “thank you and appreciation parade” will continue where necessary and applicable in the future. 

The successful and historic program under the Chairpersonship of Dr. Vera Tolbert was attended by US Government officials, including Mr. Eric A. Watnik, Director, Office of Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State; Ms. Nicole Peacock, Senior Advisor, Domestic Outreach Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State;  African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA); the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs of Philadelphia; the African and Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ACBC); Coalition of African and Caribbean Communities in Philadelphia; Government of Liberia, Diaspora Liberians and ALCOD Partners and Members. 

In his remarks, Director Watnik acknowledged the United States-Liberia historic relationship, which dates back more than 200 years. This relationship, according to Watnik, is based on shared values of democracy, human rights and economic opportunities. 

He also appreciated the Liberian Government for allowing Liberians to keep their Liberian citizenship even after obtaining American citizenship.

He said dual citizenship is special to the United States and they have recognized it for many years. According to him, dual citizenship represents America’s multicultural heritage. “It is in recognition that our citizens still remember their homelands while honoring their adopted home here in the United States,” he added.

“With the Liberian Government’s decision, you can now be ‘Liberian Americans,” Director Watnik opined.

He told his audience that the US stands committed to partnering with President Weah to overcome the challenges that Liberia faces.

In February 2023, ALCOD honored the House of Representatives. However, due to conflict in schedules, President Weah and the Senate’s honoring did not occur and will happen in the very near future. 

About ALCOD  

The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD) 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). It represents more than 500,000 Liberians living in the diaspora and was founded in December 2012 in Washington at a diaspora Dual Citizenship conference hosted by ULAA and the Embassy of Liberia. 

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  1. This is in Place. Our nation should no longer be used as a bridge to the success of fighting organizations. No outsider ended our crisis. We did stop the war ourselves. We will fix our country back ourselves. We had no business listening to strange cultures and traditions that brought the civil war, in the first place. God gives our own.

  2. We see dual citizenship doing on par with the MML which was established in prior to and especially enacted in the administration of the late President Edwin J. Barclay. Not a strange thing to the Liberians was practiced long ago. It is hoped that now placed in a bill and signed into law will not in some generations ahead be refuted especially in the case where those who believe that this nation was founded by free slaves only excluded the Natives who fingerprints lay in waiting since the nation is still majority illiterate or uneducated Vs those minute educated or literate who rate the top emblem as modeled after U.S., considered to some as a lie because many outlets differ in practice and outlook.
    During the last civil war and after, many nations of the world came in to help keep the peace in Liberia. These international organizations planted bases that remain to choices of the born and unborn Liberian. Liberia was once a democracy pro west, and The United States was the only closest ally on United States Military Mission. It no longer exists as was. Some Liberians have studied in all nations of the United nations especially, Russia, U.S.A., China, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Most Arab nations, Iran, and other nations in Africa and the rest of the World.

    The Five big nations as a result of Liberia’s war have established Military connections with Liberia, Morally and financially. We will continue to allow The U.S. to maintain their base, but the Liberian soldier on the ground should not allow U.S. to use this land of ours as a command center, as was done during MML unless and in collaboration with other nations which may have attained similar right during and after the civil war. The decision to adhere to this right should come (1) After Nigeria has inaugurated its recent elected President, (2) After Liberia has elected and inaugurated a President, scheduled for 2023, (3) After the New Ambassador appointed to replace the sitting one at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia.

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