Dual Citizenship Marginalization Worries Diaspora Returnees…Says Jeff Bates
The current debates to consider legislation or constitutional review on “Dual Citizenship” for Liberians diaspora in the United States of America, elsewhere as well as future challenges for job marginalization have become worrisome for many Liberian citizens wanting to return to their land of nativity, says a Liberian home comer Jefferson Bates.
According to Mr. Jefferson Bates, a Liberian who returned home recently after years of educational sojourn, “we’ve received reports that most of our brothers and sisters who have volunteered to come home and contribute their quota towards nation building were not given the opportunity, either because they are not favored or confidant of the President.
Again, many U.S.-Liberian based citizens have said, the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf herself has been personally involved in recruiting and appointing U.S.-Liberians to position of trust for which, many have yield the government and people of Liberia, but amidst all allegations. “We are convinced that Liberia has received some appreciable level of normalcy and socio-political, economic development over the last decade,” he averred.
Mr. Bates who once represented Liberian residents in the U.S.A. at the “All Liberian National Conference” under the former President Charles Taylor regime, also observed that for the purpose of genuine national reconciliation, peace and unity. “Our people must be free to choose whatever citizenship they may desire, became obliged to be a citizen of that state in order to be relocated and get good settlement.” With these given and mix-feelings, there is still apprehension by many to return to Liberia.
“My commitment to come home is to support calls for youth’s skills and capacity building, seeking investment opportunities and to facilitate economic empowerment for our people. I’ve been away since the 70s and studied at various skill development and capacity building at various institutions including the University of Minnesota where I obtained a Master’s Degree in human resources development and planning and has worked for several years in that country.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bates has concluded his first skill workshop training and capacity building agents of the Africa Insurance Corporation of Liberia (AICOL) on Gurley Street in Monrovia.
The workshop, he said exposed participants to basic techniques in insurance education and polity as simulation in countries and especially Liberia who has experienced a prolonged civil conflict which severely ruin the country’s economic fabric.
Mr. Bates expressed thanks and appreciation to the AICOL management for affording him the opportunity to serve his people while availing himself to also work in collaboration with the Insurers Association of Liberia to support and encourage Liberian Insurance companies’ performances.