Liberians in Columbus to Give “Life-Time Award” to Eminent Wettee￼
MONROVIA — Liberians in the city of Columbus, Ohio and under the banner, Liberians In Columbus Incorporated (LICI) are expected to present their 2022 Life-time Achievement Award to the Eminent Chairman of the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), Mr. Emmanuel S. Wettee. The honoring program will form a part of the Liberian Community’s celebration of Liberia’s 175 Independence Celebration. They will do it on Friday, July 29, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio.
According to the President of the Liberian Community in Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Alpha Tongor, Eminent Wettee will be honored for his lifelong public service and sacrifices to the Community. Tongor further said that Wettee is a voice for the voiceless, who empowers the next generation and serves as an advocate for Liberians across the globe.
“He has advocated for over 10,000 Liberians, who were facing deportation,” Mr. Tongor added. He further stated that LICI will be honoring Eminent Wettee because of his tireless and active service for over 27 years in the Liberian diaspora politics.
He also stated that despite Wettee’s busy schedules, he continues to be a champion for Liberia and still maintains his active roles in various Liberian diaspora organizations, including LICI, where he served as former Secretary General, Vice President, and President. During his terms, he actively advocated for the Liberian community as part of the greater Columbus Community meeting with elected officials and serving as their liaison for the community.
Also as Secretary General of Federation Of Liberian Association in Ohio (FOLAO), he actively advocated for all Liberians at the state and local level.
LICI said Eminent Wettee, being the “doyen” of the Union of Liberians in the Americas (ULAA) National Leadership Council, because of his leadership role and exceptional record across the Liberian Community of getting things done, in 2005 he was appointed Vice President of ULAA and later elected President from 2006 to 2008.
Also among his many accomplishments for his community over the years, LICI further stated that their honoree advocated for three-step processes of the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) that allowed Liberians to remain in the US. “The status was changed to DED (Deferred Enforcement Deportation) that avoided the deportation of over 10,000 Liberians and resulted to the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act under President Donald Trump which led to Liberians gaining green cards and eventually citizenship.”
In his continuous quest to serve, in 2012 he was elected Chairman of the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD) in Washington DC as a conference hosted by the Embassy of Liberia and diaspora organizations to formulate plans to achieve dual citizenship in Liberia.
Liberia’s 14-year civil war caused countless Liberians to seek refuge in other countries throughout the world, subsequently giving up their Liberian citizenship. But Eminent Wettee’s lifelong commitment and success in public service prepared him for his new role as he began working on a global level to establish Dual Citizenship for All Liberians in the Diaspora.
His and others’ effort eventually paid off on Tuesday, July 19, when the legislature passed into law the bill recognizing dual citizenship.
This success came after more than four decades of hard pushes, including many tireless advocacies, negotiations and maneuverings by Liberians living in the diaspora.
Eminent Wettee had said after the passage of the bill into law, “It has not been an easy and smooth journey over the years; but finally Dual Citizenship is law of the land.”
Eminent Wettee, who has been one of the main faces of advocates over the years, reiterated the famous saying: “Once a Liberian, always a Liberian.”
LICI, under the leadership of Tongor, in 2019 purchased an acre land on the Eastside of the City of Columbus to develop a State-of-the-Art Community Center to provide social services to the Liberian Community and other low-income and immigrant communities.
According to him, proceeds from the 175 Independence Bicentennial Gala and fundraiser will go towards the Capital Campaign launched in 2021.
Tongor said they need more donations and anyone wanting to make donation to their cause can do so at licicc.org