A local non-governmental organization, Citizens Action Against dual citizenship and landownership by non-Negroes here wants President George Manneh Weah to apologize to the people of Liberia for describing the Constitution of Liberia as racist.
CAA head Fobbie Henries, says every country is built on a foundation and has a purpose for which it was established, explaining the Liberia was established as a safe haven for free slaves returning from America and those inhabitants they met on the ground, so no one should try to misinterpret the law.
President made the recommendation to legalize dual citizenship and property rights to people of non-Negro descent during his Annual Message or state of the nation address to the 54th Liberian Legislature in January in which he described the Constitution of Liberia as “racist.”
But appearing on Power FM Wednesday, 28 February Mr. Henries discloses that his organization has petitioned the Legislature not to hear bills submitted for these propositions.
The defeated Montserrado County electoral district#9 candidate says the President must stop insulting the citizens that he claims to care for, saying, “We are carrying on thorough investigation about other countries that grant citizenship to foreigners and right to own properties, because development is not about building all the skyscrapers.”
“I think the government focus should be on empowering the people, because since 1847 when this country was founded, no government had met the fundamental needs of the people, including empowerment of citizens; these are some of the things that contribute to citizens running to other countries to seek better living condition.”
He reminds that the Weah-led government is under serious pressure from citizens to perform and deliver, instead of the President creating problems and insulting the Constitution, referring to it as racist, our laws are not racist, Liberians are not racist, if we were racist as claimed by the President then all these foreigners will not be here.”
“Don’t break your foundation if you have not carried on your facts finding in other countries about what it takes to allow foreigners become citizens.”Mr. Henries stresses that the focus of this government should center around providing affordable health care, quality education and empowerment of people, “instead of talking about opening your citizenship, giving foreigners the power to own property in our country; we think this should not be the primary focus at this point of the government since they’re just taking up power”
He says the agenda of his organization is to prevent the President’s proposition to legislate dual citizenship and granting property ownership to people of non-Negro descent from going to referendum.
He notes that in the first place to amend this particular law within the constitution will be difficult, because past leaders similarly wanted to amend this clause and citizens resisted, so what makes President Weah thinks he could have it amended now.
“President Weah is under serious mandate to prevent corruption, because he can’t fight what past leaders tried to fight and they failed; he should be thinking of paying civil servants on time, this should be things that the President must give his attention to”, Mr. Henries suggests.
He says the campaign is not to criticize the President, saying, “We all want good for this country, but in the case where things will be heading the wrong way, we will make the necessary recommendation to put the government on the right trajectory, and we want to use this opportunity to call on every citizen to work along with the new government.”
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne