By P-Nimley Sie Tuon
Some of those who denounced their Liberian citizenship have this twisted and incoherent defense that seems to run counter to simple legal reasoning..They always say “a Liberian is always a Liberian” without backing it up with any legal doctrine. The title or label called “Liberian” is not inherent, in other words, it is not in anyone’s genes or DNA. The title “Liberian” is conferred on an individual or group of people by the constitution of the Republic of Liberia under certain conditions. The most prominent of those conditions is that you cannot take up the citizenship of another country and still be a Liberian citizen, and consider yourself eligible to run for office. Simply put. The Liberian constitution rejects dual citizenship.
This was part of our junior high school civic classes, and has been part of our learning process in Liberia. Let’s set aside, the issue of dual citizenship for a moment. Anyone who does not understand Liberia’s civic issues is not qualified to be president of Liberia. Alex Cummings was quoted in the Liberian Observer newspaper, in the June 24, 2016 issue, that he went to “school and worked in corporate America for decades.” That is a personal feat and we are proud of him, however, it does not qualify him to be president of Liberia because he and others like are not Liberian citizens.
Another baseless defense that Alex Cummings and others like him keep coming up with is that other countries have dual citizenship. Mr. Cummings was quoted in the Liberian Observer newspaper in the edition mentioned above as saying that almost all countries in the world have dual citizenship and are reaping benefits from it. Cummings and many of his dual citizenship partners who are seeking to impose dual citizenship on Liberia, when asked to need the benefits being reaped from dual citizenship by those countries they keep naming, as we say in Liberia, their tongues immediately get tied. Dual citizenship proponents for Liberia have yet to release list of benefits garnered by any of these countries. What benefits are these countries getting as the result of dual citizenship? In order words, what is Liberia missing due to the lack of dual citizenship laws?
The best anyone can say about dual citizenship is that it is an added benefit to a country’s development, not an exclusive benefit as proponents seem to portray. Like Liberia will be no more if she does not have dual citizenship laws. One of the reasons the ongoing dual citizenship campaign is failing to connect with the Liberian people is that it is based on dishonesty, distortion of legal facts, and deeply condescending towards the laws and people of Liberia. It is this attitude that is building such strong resistance towards the idea of dual citizenship in Liberia, which one would say is a fairly good thing to have. For instance, which one of the Alex Cummings should Liberians believe.
The Alex Cummings who made his debut or splash on the Liberian political scene in Minnesota by announcing that he’s carrying an American passport______________
The Alex Cummings who made his debut or splash on the Liberian political scene in Minnesota by announcing that he’s carrying an American passport or the Alex Cummings who is now saying he always tell people he is a Liberian and will start carrying his Liberian passport as proof of his Liberian citizenship.
The Republic of Liberia is missing out a lot in developmental terms, not because the country is poor but we keep electing people with too much bad personal baggage and see the Liberian presidency as a way to protect themselves and keep out of prison. Anyone who gain the presidency by breaking the law will have a presidency driven by lawlessness. Will be like covering one hole to fill another. Some of those who are running for president of Liberia may publicly insist that they are Liberian citizens, however, there are people close to them, like family members, friends, who know it is not true, thus, one of the many reasons for corruption by friends and family members, and of course the reason that drives impunity.