The Chairman of one of Liberia’s leading Civil Society institutions, “Economic Freedom Fighter of Liberia (EFL) Mr. Emmanuel Gonquio, describes as “horrible”, proposal by President George M. Weah to grant citizenship and land ownership rights to white people.
Mr. Gonquio argues that giving foreigners or white people rights to own land will incapacity or be at the disadvantage of Liberians. In his Annual Message to the National Legislature on Monday, January 29, 2018, President Weah spoke strongly on the issues of dual citizenship and restriction that limits Liberian citizenship to only peoples of Negro origin.
The President says the provision in the Constitution tends to impede the country’s progress, noting restriction of land ownership only to Liberian citizens as enshrined in Article 22-a- of the Liberian constitution.
According to the Liberian leader, foreigners or investors will not be willing to make any good investment in Liberia if they cannot own property in the country.
But Mr.Gonquio in a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Monrovia, counters that selling land to foreigners or white people in the country is a complete contradiction of the President’s message to the Liberian people which was contained in his inauguration speech at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex on January 22, pledging to run a pro-poor government.
“Selling land to white people or foreigners in Liberia is like asking the Liberian people to stand in a queue to purchase land in their country of birth because the white people or foreigners will used their financial power to buy all the land”, he argues.
Mr. Gonquio says the over warming votes received from the Liberian people throughout the country that saw Weah elected as President, should tell him that Liberians want him to provide solutions to their problems, something which they claim the former ruling Unity Party failed to do.
He however appeals to President Weah to reconsider his decision to allow white people or foreigners to have the right to own land in Liberia.
He expresses fear that if a national referendum were conducted and the Proposition voted upon, it will deny Liberians in all the villages and towns the rights to own land in their country.
-Editing by Jonathan Browne