The campaigner for dual citizenship in Liberia under the banner of the All Liberia Conference on Dual Citizenship has taken serious issue with Maryland County, Senator H. Dan Morais.
The Dual Citizenship campaigner said it takes serious exception to the mischaracterization of Diaspora Liberians by Senator Dan H. Morals of Maryland County and noted that it is regrettable that the Senator could refer to fellow Liberians residing abroad as “unpatriotic” and to link the advocacy for dual citizenship to the discovery of oil in Liberia.
The campaigners said in total disregard of historical facts, Senator Morals indicted his fellow Liberians who sought refuge in the Diaspora for forsaking their native land out of the assumption or prediction that Liberia was certainly doomed.
“He went on to further charge that the undertaking of the effort for dual citizenship was engendered by the realization by Diaspora Liberians that new natural resources, particularly oil, had been discovered in Liberia,” Mr. Wilmot W. Kunney, Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the Union of Liberia Association in the Americas (ULAA) told a news conference in Monrovia yesterday.
Mr. Kunney who spoke on behalf of the All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship said Senator Morais without any remorse of conscience, suggested that Liberians fighting for dual citizenship are driven by pure greed and self interest.
Mr. Kunney said, “We find Senator Morais’ position to be attributable to either he is abysmally uninformed about the facts of the situation of Liberians in the Diaspora and their never broken ties with their compatriots back home or is simply engaged in mischief, manifesting his paralysis by his fear of the potential and quality he imagines his compatriots abroad possess.”
He said, “We will err on the side of the former—that the Senator is simply short in supply of pertinent information to adequately inform him on the subject matter.”
The ULAA Board Chair said the Senator needs to be reminded, if not informed, that Liberians who fled into the Diaspora at no time in their absence from their beloved native land castigated neglected or abandoned Liberia.
“Quite to the contrary, historical facts will point to the irrefutable truth that Liberians in the Diaspora remain firmly tied to their country emotionally, spiritually, and economically. In fact, Liberians away from their homeland did not sit idle but jumped into the trenches in the battle for the cause of peace, stability and healing in Mama Liberia,” Mr. Kunney stressed.
Mr. Kunney said as for the engagement of Diaspora Liberians financially, the Senator only needs to consult records on remittances through money transfer entities such as Western Union and MoneyGram, not to mention the huge swath of remittances made through other informal means.”
He said, “Senator Morais’ indictment of his compatriots of greed and selfishness are no fewer grotesques. The Conference wishes to inform Senator Morais that long before the discovery of oil in Liberia, Diaspora-based Liberians under the umbrella of their various Diaspora organizations maintained patriotic linkages to their country.”
He said, “Liberians in the Diaspora incessantly staged public actions to woo attention to, and intervention in Liberia’s ordeal as the civil war raged. One does not need to look that far back to stumble onto abundance of evidence of Liberians assembling in mass protest or public awareness campaigns at the doorsteps of the corridors of power in cities in America, Europe, and Africa.”
“Even more so, Diaspora Liberians were clearly visible in all the efforts by both national and international stakeholders in bringing peace to Liberia. Diaspora Liberians made sure they were part of peace efforts in Banjul, Lome, Freetown, Yamoussoukro, Abuja, Akosombo, among others,” he added.
Mr. Kunney said, “It is no secret that the Liberian Diaspora was fully represented at the Accra Peace Conference and is even on the history books as signatory to the Comprehensive Peace Accord, which eventually paved the way to the current democratic environment in Liberia that now places Senator Morais in a vantage position to enjoy the latitude of making such off the cuff derogatory statements.”
Mr. Kunney, a staunch campaigner for Dual citizenship said, “Recognizing the desire to build sustainable peace at the close of the civil war, the Liberian Diaspora organized an All Liberia Conference in 2004 in Maryland, USA. Important decisions solely regarding the state of affairs and direction of the country were deliberated during that Conference. It is therefore unfortunate that Senator Morais will characterize his fellow countrymen in such disdainful and condescending manner.”
Mr. Kunney said it should take only a mere open-minded look back into the activities of Diaspora Liberians to find the fact that they were engaged in this struggle for Dual Citizenship long before there was any substantive dream of Liberia discovering oil, saying, “thus the crusade for dual citizenship predates this unbridled frenzy about oil.”
He said no well-informed Liberian can avoid the conclusion that Senator Morais’ charges are as bizarre as they are lacking in support by historical facts.
The ULLA Board Chair commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph Boakai, Senators Cletus Wotorson, Sumo Kupee, Abel Massaley, Jewle Howard Taylor, Fredrick Cherue and Thomas S. Grupee for the support to the debate for Dual Citizenship.