Editorial: At long last, both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate have separately agreed to enact the Dual Citizenship bill into law that would allow Diaspora Liberians, who hold citizenships of foreign countries, to maintain their Liberian citizenship.
The bill in question seeks to amend Part 3, Chapter 20, Sections 20.1, 188.8.131.52 and 20.52 and Chapter 22, Sections 20.2, 20.3 and 20.4 respectively of the Aliens and Nationality Law of Liberia to provide for dual citizenship.
We believe the 54th Liberian Legislature members’ decision is welcome news, for Liberians both at home and abroad. It would provide diaspora Liberians an opportunity for greater engagement and involvement at home amid their ties abroad.
This bill should have been passed during December 8, 2020, Special Senatorial Election, but the debate was heavily politicized to the extent that it was defeated in the national referendum along with other vital issues such as the reduction of tenures for the Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives, among others.
Liberia is among very few countries, if not the only country, particularly in West Africa that had opposed dual citizenship.
Across the region, commentators say the benefits of dual citizenship strongly out weight laws in the book that had placed a wedge between Liberians at home and Liberians in the diasporas that hold citizenships of foreign countries.
This change of heart and thought is surely going to boost growth thru economic activities and promote rapid development never image in the country’s 200 years of existence.
This is why we commend men and women of both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate for arriving at a common thought to pass the dual citizenship bill for the future betterment of the Motherland.
We Liberians are one people no matter which part of the world we may find ourselves. The same bond that proudly distinguishes us as Liberians from the rest of the world should not be allowed by man-written laws to divide us.
A group of people that embrace change from time to time is not only far-sighted but wise and progressive. It is only progressive nations that move forward, and with this singular decision by the 54th Liberian Legislature, we can say for sure that Liberia is ready to move forward.