Abu Shaw: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 January 2018
This Dual Citizenship issue is not a constitutional tutorial, but a very dangerous political ploy being sponsored and machinated by the APC government, that will backfire big time if daftness is to overcome rationality.
The campaigns carried out by some blind and power hungry compatriots against Diasporans, will not only replace national cohesion with evil and hatred, it will also usher in a devastating emotional and psychological chapter that will surpass even the ten year old bloody civil war in Sierra Leone.
No sane Sierra Leonean would wish for another war in the country as bitter lessons have already been learnt to desist from this evil thought.
That is why the causes of any regrettable conflicts – especially emotionally charged ones, must not be entertained.
Of course, physical wars such as the one experienced from 1991 to 2002 in Sierra Leone can be resolved easily.
But when you compare that to the emotional and psychological warfare that innocent families will go through because of this obnoxious DUAL CITIZENSHIP madness, it’s incredible to even think about it. Such traumas are unsolvable.
Those who are breeding poisonous substances amongst Sierra Leoneans by consciously discriminating against their compatriots in the name of dual citizenship, are letting themselves and the country down. As selfishness rather than patriotism has sadly blackened their mental faculty.
It is even more dubious at this time just few weeks to the general elections, for the ruling APC government of President Ernest Koroma to unleash such controversial and divisive laws on Citizens’ Rights in the 1991 Constitution.
National and international observers believe, the cocky and jittery APC party is playing this dangerous game of divide and rule for fear of losing the March 7, 2018 polls especially to the newly formed NGC party led by the former United Nations Director Dr. Kandeh Yumkella – a patriot from the Diaspora – who is contesting for the highest office in Sierra Leone.
There is no logical reason why the APC is taking this chaotic and unprecedented stance to bar Sierra Leone citizens just because of having DUAL CITIZENSHIP. Blind campaigners must stop using the 1991 constitution as scapegoat to fool themselves.
No amount of divisive strategy will fool the electorates come March 7. Very pathetic that the APC has not only shot itself in the foot as many of their cabinet ministers also hold DUAL citizenship, but this daft action is playing well in the hands of the opposition parties who are adding to their votes on a daily basis.
It’s very obvious that God has destined 2018 for the demise of the ruling party especially considering the catalogue of national blunders and the rife corruption that continue to characterise the APC.
Instead of fighting sincerely to have any hope for re-election, president Koroma is leading an endemically corrupt government where only corrupt ministers and crooked heads of government institutions are protected in their jobs.
Now, with no more tangible ideas in place to convince voters to elect the APC presidential candidate Dr. Samura Kamara, the APC is using the constitution to punish innocent Sierra Leoneans who are now being considered second class citizens in their own country
This is very deceptive, disrespectful, divisive and is a recipe for disaster. When a government disenfranchises a section of its citizenry for selfish political peanuts, nothing is candidly more painful than that.
Imagine, if they succeed in banning dual citizens from holding political office, where will such an evil scenario end? That is the question the blind campaigners must answer.
They will not hesitate to even bar dual citizens from establishing private businesses upon their return to their motherland. This is the question all well-meaning Sierra Leoneans must take note of.
We are talking about peoples’ lives here. About our children and grandchildren. What country do we want for them in the future?
This is the emotional and psychological trauma reasonable and unreasonable compatriots must always analyse. (Photo: Abu Shaw).
As for our daft brothers and sisters who have been brainwashed for political pittance, they must think wisely as posterity will judge them as enemies of Sierra Leone.
A united country is far better than a divided one. Let’s remember the difficulty in curing traumatic experiences caused by psychological emotions.
The best the APC could do now is to respect Diasporans and must imprint in their minds that Sierra Leone families abroad also equally love their country.
Sierra Leone is for all Sierra Leoneans. Believe it or leave it. Dump discrimination NOW in the dustbin of history.
It is actually very sad to see this debate over dual citizenship. But given the Constitution as it is, there is no other way but to debate it. In my view, for a country like Sierra Leone, it makes no sense to deprive dual citizens from right to vote, to sit in Parliament and to be Ministers.
A significant proportion (not the majority) of the very educated and talented individuals, especially between the ages of forty and sixty, most likely have dual citizenship. It is often the only way that such persons can both work in good-paying and intellectually satisfying jobs abroad and continue to keep the citizenship of the country of their birth. Such work and experience abroad does help Sierra Leone and numerous Sierra Leoneans, especially financially.
Sierra Leoneans in power to do so should seek some sensible compromise. One that I would suggest is this: “Persons who were born and registered at birth as Sierra Leoneans and who maintained single nationality past the age of 21 should have full rights of Sierra Leonean citizenship, even if they currently have dual citizenship. Such persons are then free to run for all offices, including political offices, in Sierra Leone. If any of such persons seeks the Presidency and is chosen as President of the country that person should give up the non-Sierra Leonean citizenship immediately and before being sworn in as President. Such a person will not be allowed to return to dual citizenship after leaving office.”
I will always repeat my heart saying. Dual citizenship is very normal in almost all the countries in the world. Why should the president decide to bring this type of stupidness in the country. There is no room for such people in Sierra Leone today.
This type of situation amount to the president with no hope and guarantee to rule the country again. Please Sir / Mr President, can you leave the people peacefully. Sierra Leoneans have suffered a lot in the past ten years. The civil war, ebola and the mudslide have put to death thousands of Sierra Leonean lives.
Is Dr. Koroma interested in starting another civil war? I do not think so. Dual citizenship is a blessing for the diasporans and those living at home. I do hope the learned politicians will hold themselves practically together not to let Sierra Leone fall again. GOD BLESS SIERRA LEONE AND THE PEOPLE.
I am not a fan of Abu Shaw. The Shaw’s from Kenema, especially Abu and his brother Dr. Saga Shaw have the tendencies to always take the wrong sides of things as long as it is to their benefits. Like Abu Shaw, I am also in the diaspora who have decided to naturalize in my current host country.
It is a fact while many countries do not kick against dual citizenship however, in countries like the United States, when you aspire to hold a Federal Job or Security and intelligence-related jobs, you are obliged to renounce your other citizenship. Why should this be different from Sierra Leone?
If you want to be a lawmaker in Sierra Leone, renounce your other citizenship. The constitution does not bar you from contesting if you renounce your foreign citizenship. However, you are banned from contesting as a parliamentarian if you have dual citizenship.
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella who until 2015 had both American and Sierra Leonean nationality renounced his American nationality before putting his name up as a presidential and parliamentary candidate. The constitution has not found him wanting. So why is Mr. Abu Shaw fussing and fighting with this important issue that is enshrined in the constitution to protect the Sovereignty of Sierra Leone?
When Film Actor Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to enter politics in America, he renounced his Austrian citizenship. He was elected Governor of California. Mind you Austria is one of the most developed countries in Europe. Why would someone renounce his/her citizenship of such a developed country? Well, it is the requirements of the USA.
For far too long, Sierra Leone has been very weak in implementing its laws that can protect its sovereignty. Even though I am not too sure as Mr. Abdul Karim Shaw was my classmate, and I believe that Mr. Abu Shaw might be older than me, but can Mr. Shaw be bold enough to tell Sierra Leoneans as to whether or not his late father Alhaji Shaw (may his soul rest in peace) regularized his citizenship when he migrated to Sierra Leone from Guinea in the 70s or probably 60s?
Do you want Sierra Leone to remain like that where every jack and Jill will come one day and the next day becomes a citizen that can aspire for the highest office in the country?
I think this rule should be enforced and not changed. Those who want to go back to Sierra Leone and enter into politics have a way out, renounce your foreign citizenship. Simple.
Why was this rule NOT enforced when APC won the election in 2007? Now they want to manipulate the constitution to their advantage. It will not work with such caliber of people in the NGC. APC and EBK think they are above our sacred Constitution.
This has been the tenets of the APC party since after the 1967 elections, to manipulate the constitution for their self aggrandizement. We know what happened, they were evicted by the barrel of the GU and they left the people of Sierra Leone with a legacy of war, and want to do it again.
This time around Sierra Leoneans not going to tolerate their stupidity. Our people have suffered and we, in the diaspora have suffered with them sending money to pay school fees, rent and food, etc, while we in the Diaspora have our own bills to take care of. Some of my college mates and friends who became Deputy Ministers and Ministers in the current APC are all US citizens. So, why suddenly the fuss about Dual Citizenship?
So, APC comes to the Diaspora to get money for election then deprive us our constitutional rights, as born Sierra Leoneans not to hold office. This is stupidity in its highest order and shows the low caliber of humpty dumpties in current government.
All they know is plunder the coffers of the State and go scotch-free. Commision of Inquiries and Pademba Road Prison are waiting, by God’s grace.
Violating the country’s constitution is a recipe for chaas. Nothing wrong implementing the organic laws of the land. Why KKY? This is not a case of NGC, but our laws. We are all in the diaspora.