Opinion

Dual Citizenship

2 January 2008 at 06:38 | 974 views

By Sorie Jawara, Washington DC, USA.

I believe Dual Citizenship as a subject is important and it is one issue that has not been addressed properly for unsatisfactory reasons.

Previous governments have ignored dual citizenship and each time the matter is discussed with government officials they evade it. Presidential candidates of 2002 including former president Alhaji Tejan Kabbah deviated from the question.

Mr.Paul Koroma,a Sierra Leonean, stated in a documentary that it was a sensitive issue and he would not talk about it. I am still curious to know why this issue is sensitive and WHY THIS issue is a headache.

I am sure governments never understood the importance of allowing dual citizenship or do they fear it would give opportunity to Sierra Leoneans living abroad to come and take jobs from them or revenue will be lost if dual citizenship was approved? Good reasons, but how about the benefits that will be received?

There are many people who want to make African countries their next homes and many of them have potentials that can be utilized for development.

A good example is Mr. Gary Walker. He was an English teacher at Kabala secondary school. He helped many students and during the rebel crisis he rescued many of his former students. He made 15 former students stay in the Gambia until he was able to bring them to the US. He has helped many Africans in Gambia and Senegal, but he could not make Sierra Leone his other country because we do not have dual citizenship approval.

There are many black Americans who want to have a country in Africa as their home but the Sierra Leone government is reluctant to push for it.

Former president Clinton explained the advantages for allowing dual citizenship. Blacks born in the United States will know their roots and enjoy staying in Africa. It will also enable African children by Africansin the diaspora have equal rights in their father/ motherland.

Ghana took advantage of the issue and worked quickly on it. The Nation of Islam and many organizations have made many visits to Ghana and good plans have been tabled to help improve the relationship between the two countries. Many black people are interested in Sierra Leone because of the past history and many of them believe it all started from that place Sierra Leone.

It was through the great efforts of Madam Cynthia of Georgia that facilitated America’s financial help for ECOMOG forces and Sierra Leoneans living at home.

In a letter to former president Clinton she asked for $100 million. She did a fantastic job through other people.
Dual citizenship should be no headache because there are laws that govern it and there are no holes for escapism.

One cannot commit a crime in Sierra Leone and escape justice or the other way round. It will not be like the present situation where people do bad things and travel to neighboring countries and hide. People with dual citizenship status are losing other benefits and they pay more taxes. It is just a matter of one sacrificing for the love of another country.

I hope this administration will review this matter and take prompt action. Sierra Leone should sign for DUAL CITIZENSHIP. One individual told me Sierra Leone does not want to have another set of first class citizens with more economic power. I do not believe this will happen and people thinking from that angle should understand many Sierra Leoneans now citizens of other countries have made great contributions towards improvements in the Sierra Leone. Is the game TAKE MONEY FROM THEM AND DENY THEM DUAL CITIZENSHIP ?

I hope this administration will review this matter properly and act wisely. Nation building should be made of people living abroad and those at home but if government and some people are vicious against those living abroad, the building task will come to a standstill and collapse.

Governments and some of their indirect agents victimized many Sierra Leoneans. One example is Mamusu who was severely beaten and robbed; she sustained losses of over fifteen thousand united states dollars and her US passport was stolen.

Mr. Solomon Berewa could only say, we are sorry it happened and it is bad for the country. It was the end because the matter was dragged in court and she had forget aboutit.

A yuki yuki lawyer manipulated a house deal, the buyer lost Le 14 million and the legitimate owner lost $2000 because he is a citizen of the US. The big shock is the yuki yuki lawyer is now heading the judicial system.

The question is how do you correct the wrong of the past? I hope Dr. KOROMA WILL RE-VISIT AND REVIEW his administration and effect standard policies that will clear doubts in the minds of many people. We are looking forward to have a new nation and we do not want to go back into the past rotten system whereby killers, thieves and crooks are rewarded with high positions. This will justify the past activities and give a green light to do more havoc. This is my opinion and my stance.

Editor’s note: I think a dual citizenship bill was passed in parliament during the last administration. It’s now part of the laws of Sierra Leone, I have been informed.

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