Fula Community Want National Recognition; Calls for Legislating Fula As An Official Ethnic Group in Liberia
MONROVIA – Fulanis in Liberia are seeking legislation that will make the tribe legitimately recognized as one of the official tribes in Liberia.
The group said its contributions to national development and politics, including the economy as compared to other tribes, are outstanding and therefore should warrant full recognition.
The Fulanis under the banner “Falanis Group of Liberia” have therefore submitted a bill to the Legislature to push that agenda.
According to the group, due to their prolonged stay in Liberia, they have been involved with many development initiatives in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the group at the launch of a book titled: “From Babylon to Fuuta Jalloh” a Fulani Historian Alihaji Surmoroe said any refusal to grant the Fula Community the right of being a tribal group in the country would be a clear violation of their fundamental rights.
“With comparative analysis to other West African nations, we Fula see it as a clear violation of our fundamental right to be a tribal group; whereas others are recognized while we are not”.
The book was launched on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
Surmoroe said the Fulanis tribe was in Liberia long before many other tribes who are claiming rights and describing Fula people as strangers.
“While there are several nationally recognized tribal groups in Liberia, it will interest you to know that we the Fula people who are contributing to the rapid development of the country are not recognized as an ethics group in our own home,” he said.
Surmoroe said the Fula Community continues to face humiliation and other obstacles in the country despite what they are doing for the development of the country.
He noted that the Fula feels discriminated against “Fula in general face severe scrutiny in the process of acquiring national documents and ownership over land which is not the case with our tribal counterparts.”
He, however, disclosed that Fula businesses are legally closed on Sundays and other holidays in observance of other tribes’ days while they as Fula are not respected, something he said Fulanis view as a pretext to force them (Fula) to do because they are not recognized in society as an ethics group which has a very large population.
Speaking earlier at the book launch, the Advisor to President Weah on Islamic Affairs Usemane T Jalloh said they will in the soonest possible time petition the national legislature to make their recognition come to reality.
“We will very soon petition the Legislature on this matter so as to inform them that we want to be given full status as an ethics group in this country,” he said.
He wondered why others will continue to label Fulanis residing and doing businesses in Liberia as foreigners, even though they continue to make immense contributions towards the growth and development of the country’s economy and remain supportive of other sectors or areas.
Recently the Fula Community in Liberia also sounded a caveat against what it terms “unjustifiable threats and attacks” on the lives and businesses of scores of its members across the country by “hooligans”.