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GeneralLiberia news

Weah names Diaspora person of the Year

The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), representing over 500,000 Liberians in the diaspora, has voted to name President George Manneh Weah as Diaspora Person of the Year 2022.

According to an ALCOD release, this comes in acknowledgement of the Liberian leader’s sustained and laser-focused leadership in the advocacy for Dual Citizenship for Liberians, who campaigned for dual citizenship under the slogan, “Once A Liberian, Always a Liberian.” The push for dual citizenship by ALCOD essentially started back in 2005; and climaxed with President Weah affixing his signature to the Bill enacted by the Legislature on July 22, 2022, and therefore became a law of the land.

The Diaspora Person of the Year is the premier award from the Liberian Diaspora set aside to be given to individual(s) or institution(s) who made the most impact in advocating for Dual Citizenship for natural-born Liberians and those born of Liberian parentage, in the year under review. Previous recipients include President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, Senator Cllr. Varney G.H. Sherman, Cllr. Archibald F. Bernard, Representative Acarous Moses Gray, Deputy Speaker J. Fonati Koffa and Representative Cllr. A. Kanie Wesso.

ALCOD is the advocacy consortium established by the various national diaspora umbrella organizations, which include the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), and Liberian Advocacy for Change (LAFC), Federation of Liberia Communities in Australia (FOLICA), United Liberian Association of Ghana (ULAG), Liberian Association of Canada (LAC), and Conference of Liberian Organizations in South-western United States of America (COLOSUS).

In 2005, diaspora Liberians initiated the advocacy for dual citizenship under the able leadership of then ULAA National President, Mr. Arthur K. Watson. In 2007 the late Senator J. Hodo Manston, Sr., then General Chairman of the Liberian Citizens Committee for National Consciousness and Progress, Inc., launched his own advocacy for dual citizenship. In 2009 President Anthony V. Kesselly of ULAA travelled to Liberia to advocate for dual citizenship, where he attended the TRC National Conference on developing the TRC Final Report, and then held talks with Executive and Legislative leaders including President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Senator Cletus S. Wortorson, House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as well as holding a conference with the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC).  As a result, the TRC Final Report recommended Dual Citizenship and Out-of-Country Voting for Liberians.

In 2010 the European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA) and Coalition of Concerned Liberians (CCL) travelled to Liberia to advocate for dual citizenship. In 2012 under the leadership of President Gaye D. Sleh, Jr. of ULAA and the former Liberian Ambassador accredited to the United States, His Excellency Jeremiah Solunteh, diaspora Liberians met in Washington DC for a Diaspora conference on Dual Citizenship. The conference resolved to establish the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD). ULAA Eminent Person Eminent Emmanuel S. Wettee was elected as ALCOD Chairman.

The sole purpose of ALCOD was to coordinate strategies and tactics among various diaspora organizations for the advocacy for Dual Citizenship and Out-of-Country Voting for Liberians in the diaspora.

 In 2013 ALCOD delegation travelled to Liberia to advocate for dual citizenship. Since 2013 to present, ALCOD has worked with many diaspora organizations and leaders including, but not limited to, President Wilmot W. Kunney, President Vamba S. Fofana, President J. Shiwoh Kamara, who travelled to Liberia in 2022 to advocate for dual citizenship of (ULAA), President Willie K. Kamara, Mr. Arthur Jalloh, and Mrs. Lorena Travell of (COLOSUS), President Comfort Itoka, President Dr. Eugenia Burphy and Cllr. Margaret Deconte Brumskine-Ricks of (LAFC), President Kingston Wleh and President Mayango C. Arku all of (EFLA).

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A long list of eminent diaspora Liberians and other functionaries back in Liberia and the diaspora have over the years invested a lot of energy, time and resources in the cause of dual citizenship for Liberians. To mention just a few: Dr. Vera Tolbert, Mr. Abraham G. Massaley, Chairman John Lloyd of Coalition of Concerned Liberians (CCL), Attorney Lloyd Scott, Cllr. Edward Dillon, Rev. Marcus Sherman, Dr. Al Felix Huges and Constance Miama Prempeh all of the Union Liberian Association in Ghana (ULAG), Mr. Alpha Tongor of Liberians In Columbus, Inc. (LICI), ULAA Chairman Alfred Sieh Mr. Arthur Weah Doe, Dr. George Toto, VP Frank Carter and others. During the entire period running from the kickoff of the campaign in 2005 to this point, covering the years of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Administration, the dream of dual citizenship for Liberians did not materialize, though strenuous efforts were made from various quarters. 

Of special note is the move made by Attorney Alvin Teage Jalloh in 2017 to challenge the constitutionality of section 22.2 of 1974 Aliens and Nationality Law in court and with the help of his legal team headed by Cllr. Seward Cooper, the Supreme Court somewhat ruled in his favor in 2019, by clipping some of the egregious applications of the anti-dual citizenship provisions of the Law. That ruling by the Supreme Court energized advocacy for an amendment of the entire Alien and National Law, a period that saw President Weah expend so much effort and profound political capital.

Subsequent to all this, in 2018, President Weah established a team headed by Cllr. Archibald F. Bernard, Legal Counsellor to the President, to work with ALCOD and members of the legislature to legislatively repeal the sections of the 1974 Aliens and Nationality Law relating to dual citizenship. Cllr. Bernard, collaborating with members of the Legislature led to the successful message of the dual citizenship bill into LAW.

“The entire Liberian Diaspora remains eternally grateful to President Weah for his commitment to protecting the citizenship rights of thousands of natural-born Liberians who fled their country during the civil war into foreign lands and acquired the citizenship of other nations. The right of a Liberian woman to pass on citizenship over to her child, thus removing gender as a factor in determining citizenship of a child born to a Liberian mother. By this singular and hugely national beneficial act, President Weah has indeed lived up to his commitment and clearly demonstrated his full embrace of the true meaning of the mantra, “ONCE A LIBERIAN, ALWAYS A LIBERIAN,” the release signed by Eminent Wettee said.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).


  1. So let us follow the direction and leave those conflicts to the future. The most important thing right now is to follow the vote when you want to and vote when you do not need to. The freedom fair of choice. Liberia needs a leader who gets a true majority. If the majority is not free, and fair votes, do not make me a President: I will not accept that flimsy type, and every Liberian is responsible to look for that exact number to win.

  2. This right to be is also extended to the right not to be. If a child grows up to voting age and decides that he or she prefers a standard, this effort will be inert just was superfluous. With affected individuals, inference can be drawn that greed for power and wealth may be the decision duplicated especially when the United States had made provisions for generations of connected U.S. – Liberian relationships. Another prompt was a way to express gratefulness for the education given by some settlers to natives of English illiteracy for studying in the United States Europe and across the ocean. If you trace this you will see that no matter how you make laws as per genetics, the history of the emancipation of slaving and free slaves enhanced in the foundation of Liberia already exist in a dual partnership. Those who forced the companionship of natives – settled conflicts that emerged from the Newport pay back in Monrovia, thought that they had earned their best to foster an inter marriage relation or childbirth out of marriage companionship. Some even had children by settlers just to pay back from tribal those conflicts. Yet still willing, remain unresolved to generations unborn. Going to the U.S. or other nations while or in the midst of conflicts will not solve those problems. “You born the child but not the heart”-Liberian. The child when matured may not be interested or concerned with the property or status you have gathered. “Once Liberian, always Liberian” relates to only Liberians, not for other nations whether dual, trio, or quadruple.

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