Liberia: We Refuse to Accept Second Class Citizenship In the Country of Our Birth

Published: 9/Dec/2019
Source: Front Page Africa (Monrovia)

By Elder Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, Sr

Jonesboro, Georgia – Historically, Liberia is a country of dual citizens, with the exception of the original tribes, who became citizens in January 4, 1904 based on President Arthur Barclay’s Native Plan. According to the Plan, original inhabitants of the land had to apply for citizenship on the following grounds: “The willingness of applicants to qualify for Liberian citizen by adopting the Christian faith, Western living conditions, and Western standards of conduct, dress, and general appearance. An African, in effect, would have to detach himself from his own customs by completely accepting the Americo-Liberian set of values. Citizenship and voting rights might then follow” (Yekutiel Gershoni, Black Colonialism: The Americo-Liberian Scramble for the Hinterland, 1985, pp. 37-38).

President Arthur Barclay who established the ‘Native Plan’ parents were immigrants from the West Indies. The fourteenth President of Liberia, Arthur Barclay was born on July 31, 1854 in Bridgetown, Barbados to Anthony Barclay and Sara Ann Bourne Barclay. The Barclays immigrated with their ten children to Liberia in 1865 while Arthur was then eleven years old.

The Good Guy Role

Senator Varney G. Sherman gave Liberians in the Diaspora hope with his double messaging – saying one thing and meaning totally different thing. For example, during the kicked off the debate on the Act which called for Amendment in the Alien and Nationality Law, and Dual Citizenship, Senator Sherman, as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, described the laws as “inhumane, cruel and is contrary to the new terms of nationality concepts and practices.”

He added: “…most Liberians, who have taken United States citizenship, did not do so out of hatred for their motherland, Liberia, but due to circumstances that were beyond the reach of some.” These are his words!

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Themes: Dual Nationality, Nationality of Politicians
Regions: Liberia
Year: 2019