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Dual Citizenship: Can Liberia Use it to its advantage?

Dual citizenship is like a deadly banderillo. It can hype Liberia on the one hand, and in another, it can also extirpate Liberia. Reflectively, Liberia is a migrant state, Like Ivory and Sierra Leone. The first 16 presidents of the Republic of Liberia who served from 1848 to 1930 were presidents with dual and triple citizens.

For example, Joseph Jenkins Roberts was a Caribbean national, an African American national, and a Liberian national. Each of those 18 presidents who ruled Liberia before the 1930s, the last one who was Edwin Barclay was succeeded by the late President William V. S Tubman in 1944. Liberia was not colonized. The nation was ruled by people with dual and triple citizenships for 82-years (1848-1930). Liberia’s history should provide a deeper understanding as to whether current Liberian politicians should formalize or not delineate dual citizenship in leading-edge Liberia?

The conceptualization of dual or triple citizenship by the late President Joseph Jenkins Roberts’ and past 18 presidents who served after the late President Roberts was used as a deadly weapon rather than a positive weapon against the growth and development of Liberia. The past presidents of Liberia’s rationality on dual citizenship was merely viewed Liberia as a harvest ground or a nursery center where those presidents came to Liberia to harvest their vintage and returned to the US.

Those presidents’ harvests included Liberia’s rich mineral resources, gold, diamond, iron ores, and timbers, you name the rest. Those leaders were highly impassioned in exploiting Liberia in the name of dual and triple citizenship. It is believed that other slaves who couldn’t return to America due to poverty were left behind. Those persons are today known in Liberia as the so-called “Congo people” who currently possessed dual citizenship both as Liberian and American nationals concomitantly.

Those “Congo people” had dual citizenship in Liberia. The only job they had to do by then was to get involved in real estate business. They built their duplexes in Liberia and rent them to the Government of the Republic of Liberia on an annual fee basis in order to survive, while ordinary Liberians suffocate slowly to death. The leasing of the “Congo People’s” properties by the Government of Liberia has now become one of the major avenues for practicing corruption in Liberia. They overcharged the government with additional cuts

But dual citizenship elsewhere like Ivory Coast did work to the advantage of the people of Ivory Coast. It can be recalled that the late President Félix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast used dual citizenship to his advantage for peace, reconstruction, and development of Ivory Coast. First, Ivory was colonized by the French for 67-years from 1893 to 1966.

During that period Ivory Coast flourished immensely through the spirit of dual citizenship through the support of its first President, the late Houphouet-Boigny throughout the eyes of Ivory Coast independence, August 7, 1960 with an impressive population of 23.7 million inhabitants who considered themselves as both French and Ivorian who adapted the spirit of assimilation to their advantage.

The assimilation concept earlier compared the late president Houphouet-Boigny to play stupid for his country to be developed by the French whom he offered dual citizenship. For example, the late President Houphouet-Boigny employed French citizen as Ministers, Judges, Lawyer and heads of autonomous Agencies and Corporation in Ivory Coast.

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The French, in turn, brought all their investment and businesses to help develop Ivory Coast and improve the lives of majority Ivorian. Such as tactical move exhibited by the late President Houphouet-Boigny, the French citizens came and developed Ivory Coast up to present. This is the secret behind the development of Ivory Coast dual citizenship used to the advantage of Ivorian in Ivory Coast.

The only condition is that French nationals cannot become President and Vice President in Ivory Coast and Ivorian cannot also become president or vice President in French—where does Liberians stand on the issue of dual citizenship looking at the Ivory Coast take on dual citizenship?

Most Liberians believe that the concept of dual citizenship can be enacted into law with enormous conditions, considerable limitations, thought and inadequate political opportunities. For example, Liberians and non-Liberian including White people who are in possession of another citizenship and wishing to obtain another citizenship in Liberia it should be a welcomed news that should be based exclusively on that person or persons able to bring investment that can benefit Liberians.
And second, said a person and or persons must marry a Liberian wife or husband. In the case of divorce, he/she shall wave properties acquired to the children of a said marriage if there are any. Those with dual citizenship should not be entitled to land ownership. They should least land for less than 10-years subject to renewal. He/she shouldn’t be allowed to sub-lease any part of the land to another person or persons in or outside of Liberia for many reasons.

And if the land is not developed within 1-year, the Government of Liberia should resell the land to a higher bidder and the previous owner should be fined $1 million LD. Proceeds should be channeled either to his/her Liberian wife or husband and the children if there are any. In the case of sudden death, the Liberian wife/husband and the children should possess all the properties.

In the area of politics, that offered dual citizenship should be barred from seeking the office of President, Vice president. They shouldn’t run as a Member of Parliament, they shouldn’t serve as Minister, be in the judiciary or even served as Judges in Liberia. Their children must also be banned from seeking the office of President/Vice president respectively. But they can seek any other elected office in the land (Liberia).

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