Permanent Residence is not an Option

By Elijah Karnley


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
February 17, 2006


I can see that Mr. Mohamedu Jones has given the Liberian citizenship discourse a serious thought, having read his two letters. However, I cannot think of Permanent Residence as an option to stripping any Liberian of their citizenship and I am sure many Liberians would agree. This is out of the question. We can no longer accept any further inverse manipulative strategy from a few former rebels (most) who processed themselves back into politics to continuously set this nation backward as they did for the past 15 years to create selfish hegemony... The issue of Liberian Citizenship cannot be substituted or compromised for permanent residence status. It is unacceptable. While it may seem like an excellent alternative, that is, if it was constitutional, what is the essence? The Liberianization policy is more expedient now than it was during pre-war period.

This is one of the worse consequences I predicted in my last open letter on the legislative issue. If it is that important I was hoping that our legislature would be more concerned about the influx of immigrant from the neighboring countries who are claiming to be Liberians. Since 1990, thousands of people came in to bordering countries. Just the other day I read Liberia’s political and demographic statistics from two sources, indicating that the composition of Liberia’s tribes is a total of thirty-two, while the other reported the number of tribes to be twenty. Did we have an Amaeba-ic fusion of the Liberian tribal system or ethnic make up? Or perhaps there’s been a pyramid reconstruction of our ethnic make up that we forgot to recognize some years back. Don’t get me wrong, I am not discouraging immigration, I am only creating a contrast between what is more threatening within the context of “ immigration”, as in what is more benefiting, speaking of citizenship. Our tribal make up had always been defined, even as a little kid I knew it was not more than 16. The very rebels that destabilized our country and caused our population to be confusing are the ones calling themselves Senators (at least most of them). I don’t understand how we allow these people to still plant tentacles into the flesh of this new Government.

I think the citizenship deliberation is personal and it is based on grudge, envy, and resentment. Disgruntle law makers also see this as a means to protect themselves from citizens whose lives and properties they coveted over the years. We should be farsighted. Liberians should not allow these people with blur visions to distort the back-bone of the Liberian economy and political system, because whether we like it or not, Liberia’s strongest influence abroad are those that have established themselves as citizens and permanent residence abroad, and these are the very lobbyists we are attempting to cut off.. Do we understand what would happen when we turn the very same people against the country?

For two decades we’ve had the worse problems in our country ever, equally so, we’ve had the strongest campaigns in these two decades since 1847, a campaign even our biological connections (Americo-Liberian ) to the US could never have done, because the magnitude of lobby and presence is now intense than it was. The number of Jewish, Mexican, and European –American presence in the US and congress presents the strongest forces and impact on foreign policies and contribution to their individual countries. Their individual countries see it as a blessing to continue to have these people as dual citizens and not make silly decision of stripping them of their natural rights. What is wrong with us? Few years ago when Liberia was a peaceful country and did not need the type of assistance we need now, we did not reject our citizens, why should we do so now in our greatest hours of desperation? Australia, Austria, and even the US with all their wealth still value dual citizenship, except that they limit naturalized Americans from “top secret positions”, which is understandable in the interest of security.

I am calling on all Liberians everywhere to stand against such stupidity for the sake of our country and our families. Generations from now, when these culprits who have created their laws are gone, our children would experience the impact - a melting away of genuine Liberians, who would be absorbed by other countries, while Liberia itself absorbs Ghanaians, Nigerians, Guineans, Sierra Leoneans , Ivorians as citizens, which is already happening. We are throwing away true Liberian professionals and ignorantly asking for liabilities. I call upon all Liberians to take this serious, look on the brighter side and rally through petitions, interest groups, and political parties, not through violence, to resist any amendment and bill that would further destabilize our peace.

Perhaps a second thought to petition UN for the appropriate institution of a war crime court in Liberia to begin the “removal” process of some of these culprits calling themselves law makers would make them sober. God bless us all.

Elijah Karnley
Architect- planner-Project Manager
Atlanta, GA