I don't know whether you were born in Lofa or in Monrovia, but our tradition and culture demand that you defer to the elders. Glad the errant son is finally coming back home.
Why do you think former Auditor General John Morlu is not running for president? And why do you think Defense Minister Brownie Samukai has publicly and repeatedly announced his support for Mr. Joseph Boakai? Because of our tribal traditions and culture.
You and I know there is a lot at stake in this election and we need ALL of our people to rally behind Uncle Joe.
When the "other side" is busy dividing our people to support "them", then we the enlightened natives who know too well our ugly history of native marginalization for nearly 150 years must rise and meet the challenge in support of our own.
The Kpelleh people of Sonayea, Bong Ciunty and our Gio and Mano sisters and mothers of Nimba County told Mr. Boakai they want an "indigenous true son of the soil" for President of Liberia.
They know too well our history. And what about some of us who acquired some level of "education?"
Late is better than never and we welcome this important decision by you to support Uncle Joe. As we say, blood is thicker than water.
To demonstrate your sincerity, you must now return to Lofa County and offer a cow and an apology to our fathers and mothers for your transgression against Uncle Joe, and then get their forgiveness and blessings.
You should know what I am talking about in our tradition and culture. Thus, I asked if you were born in Lofa or in Monrovia?
In the end, all can then be forgiven and you can take your seat at the table. You are young and tbere is "plenty of life" ahead of you.
This is Uncle Joe's moment and we shouldn't give the other side enough ammunition to fight and divide us.
Hopefully, some of our people who left Mr. Boakai will emulate your example and come back home to the Unity Party.
By Jerry Wehtee Wion, a strong supporter of Uncle Joe in Washington, DC, USA.
Liberians with Dual Nationalities are Crucial to Liberia’s Economic Development
By Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor
The concept of dual citizenship must do with Dual nationality. Dual nationality is simply an individual being a citizen of two countries or a legal status by which a person is a citizen of two countries.
For example, if you as a Liberian relocate to the United States and become a naturalized US citizen, you have dual citizenship.
Dual citizens can carry two passports and essentially live and travel freely within their native and naturalized countries (Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor, Daily Observer, 17 August 2005).
Liberia’s legislature needs to perceive the Liberian Diaspora as a national asset and not as an adversary. The engagement of citizens in the diaspora is certainly not a new phenomenon. Countries such as Israel, India, Ireland and China are constructively engaged and have led the field of reaching out to their nationals in the diaspora.
What is new, however, is the number of countries who are now realizing they have exciting possibilities if they can engage their overseas populations in innovative and creative ways.
Few years ago, countries like Uganda, Indonesia and Vietnam have taken initiatives in this field. The diaspora has become gold mines for most developing countries. Interestingly, most countries are encouraging their national residing in developing countries to obtain naturalized status of their host countries (Diasporamatters.com).
Even the publication entitled: ‘The Economist’, in its November 2011 issue, published an article, ‘The Magic of Diasporas’ in which it is outlined how migrant business networks are changing the world, especially in developing countries.
The Liberian government should now be endeavoring to identify and connect with highly skilled Liberian individuals in the diaspora and link them to national economic development projects.
And if there are laws that might have the propensity to discourage investments from the diaspora, repeal such laws if they already exist.
Organizations such as the Organization for the Promotion of Development in Liberia, ULAA and others in the diaspora continue to emphasize that dual citizenship is in Liberia’s best economic interest.
Dr. George K. Kieh, Jr. seemed to be correct in his perceptions when he presented his paper at the Conference on Dual Citizenship in Washington, D.C., on December 8, 2012, when he wrote: “Importantly, there is a covert and selfish reason that is harbored by some Liberian elites, who currently have positions in the state bureaucracy. Their concern is that the adoption of dual citizenship would create competition for their jobs.
That is, dual citizenship would make those, who are currently residing abroad, eligible to hold both appointive and elected positions.
Significantly, since those in the Liberian diaspora constitute the core of the the country’s intellectual and professional capital, they would therefore be well-positioned to take positions in the public sector at the expense of those who are currently occupying those positions.
This masked reason is the cardinal obstacle to the adoption of dual citizenship in Liberia” (Dr. Kieh, Jr., Liberian Dialogue, 8 December 2012).
According to USAID report “many of Liberia’s educated elite either fled or were killed during the civil war.
The educational system was demolished, and the country lost a generation in which to educate and train its citizens to make productive contributions to development progress. Government, the private sector, civil society and international partners still are desperately short of qualified local talent.
The existing, small cadre of highly qualified and motivated leaders struggles to have policies and decisions carried out by a low‐paid workforce that often lacks basic literacy, numeracy and other critical work skills”. To be frank, Liberians with dual nationalities are seemingly, Liberia’s best hope when it comes to economic development (USAID.gov).
The World Bank’s report of 2012, relevant to global remittances, pointed out that Liberians in the Diaspora out-beat per GDP other Africans living abroad by “remitting $378 million in 2012, an increase of $18 million from 2011 remittance of $360 million, a more than 31% of global remittances and third of Liberia’s GDP in 2012” (The New dispensation, 6 February 2013).
The ‘USD Explorer’ also, provided its statistical information relevant to the remittances received by Liberia during the period of 2011 through 2015. Liberia accordingly, received $360 million in 2011, $516 million in 2012, $383 million in 2013, $495 million in 2014, and $693 million in 2015 as remittances from other countries (usdexplorer.com).
These statistics demonstrate and show that Liberia as a nation has benefited economically from its nationals in the diaspora; and this includes Liberians with dual nationality status.
The pronouncement by the current Speaker of the House, Hon. J. Emmanuel Nuquay, that he would campaign for dual citizenship to be accepted, is indeed welcome news and it is hoped that other law makers will soon see wisdom in his affirmation (Daily Observer, 1 May 2017).
If Liberia failed to accommodate her overseas nationals with dual nationality status, a generation from now, Liberia’s enormous potential will remain unfulfilled, and our beloved nation within the West African sub-region will remain a place where the few thrive in wealth and the many struggle in poverty.
Let us not forget those beautiful words of Liberia’s National Anthem:
In union, strong success is sure
We cannot fail!
With God above
Our rights to prove
We will o'er all prevail
Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor is an Educator. He is a graduate of Cuttington University, Liberia; Howard University, Washington, D.C and Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel