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Citizens frown at Ambassador Gibson’s reappointment

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Liberians are frowning on President George M. Weah’s recent reappointment and subsequent commission of Madam Gurly Teta Gibson, as Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Court of Saint James, the United Kingdom after she was previously appointed as Ambassador to the United States of America but rejected by the U.S. government on the basis of being an American citizen.

The Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia Section 22.1 states that “A person who is a citizen of Liberia whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his citizenship…” by deliberately or consciously performing certain acts like naturalizing in a foreign country; pledging allegiance to a foreign country or a part of a foreign country; joining the armed services of a foreign country without the prior approval of the President of Liberia; voting in a political or sovereignty election in a foreign state or territory; and making a formal renunciation of Liberian nationality.

Subsection 22.2 goes on to explain that no one can lose his or her citizenship by government action. Someone can lose his Liberian citizenship solely from the performance of one or more of the acts listed in section 22.1. It states that “The loss of citizenship under section 22.1 of this title shall result solely from the performance by a citizen of the acts or fulfillment of the conditions specified in such section and without the institution by the Government of any proceedings to nullify or cancel such citizenship.”

President Weah again on December 7, 2018 commissioned Madam Gurly Teta Gibson as plenipotentiary to the Court of Saint James in the U.K., prompting Liberians to express their disenchantments on local Prime FM, a local radio station in Monrovia.

A caller from Montserrado County District#5 Abraham Cooper, who refused to blame President Weah for the appointment, notes that the President is being misled by some of his confidants in government in making such appointment that is causing serious embarrassment for the country.
He argues that in order for President Weah and the Coalition-led government to succeed, he should get away with bad apples around him, cautioning that President Weah should learn from mistakes of former Liberian leaders.

Another caller also phoned in from Matadi outside Monrovia in an angry tune expressing, “So there is no other Liberian that is qualified for this job that President Weah will keep appointing someone who has denied the her original nationality for another and place her into government position in order to use taxpayers’ money to sustain her and her family while patriotic Liberians are left to suffer with all their degrees.”

Maxwell Johnson, another caller notes the government will always protect people with duo citizenship, pointing out that almost majority of the top government officials hold dual citizenship, including President Weah, and National Elections Commission Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, amongst other officials.

By Ben P. Wesee

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