Don’t Renounce Your Dual Citizenship  – Info. Minister Warns

 

Addressing hundreds of APC Diaspora members who were denied the party symbols to contest the March 7th 2018 parliamentary election on the issue of dual citizenship, at the Atlantic Hall, Siaka Stevens Stadium, last Wednesday 18th January, 2018, the Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Alpha Khan admonished them not to even think of surrendering their foreign passports.

The Minister further admonished the former parliamentary aspirant affected to have faith in the Almighty God over the outcome of the award of the APC party symbol. “It doesn’t make sense for one to renounce his or her foreign citizenship for political appointment which is temporary” said Alpha Khan, noting that there are many advantages that go with having dual passports.

The National Secretary General of the APC, Ambassador Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh also appealed to the APC Diaspora members of the party to remain steadfast and have the confidence that APC cares more for Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora than any other political party.

He recalled that since APC came back to power in 2007, the members from the Diaspora have been offered more opportunities than any other government.

“In the last parliament 53 out of 70 APC parliamentarians were from the Diaspora,” said the APC scribe, while assuring them that Section 76(1a) of the 1991 Constitution will be amended by the new parliament.

The APC, he said, decided to deny Diaspora members with dual citizenship the party symbol to avoid litigations after the elections.

Section 76(1)a of the 1991 Constitution, he said, had long been an oversight by all the previous governments since 1991 but has now been revoked  by a prominent legal luminary in the person of Francis Gabiddon. He said the party does not want to fall into any trap dealing with constitutionality. The APC scribe also assured that there are so many other appointments and opportunities for Diaspora members when the party retains power.

On his part, the APC presidential hopeful, Dr. Samura Kamara emphasised the role and importance of the Diaspora members of the party. He disclosed that when he was Bank Governor, they carried out a case study about the remittances of Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora which he pegged at between two hundred and fifty million United States Dollars (US$250M) to four hundred million United States Dollars (US$400M) annually, amounting to 20-25% Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He therefore pledged his commitment to not only review Section 76(1a) of the 1991 Constitution but to ensure that Sierra Leoneans living oversees have the opportunity to vote and be voted for.

He also reiterated the need for Sierra Leone to join the digital world. “These will be some of my immediate challenges when I become president,” said Dr. Samura. He therefore called on all to bury the symbol disappointments and move forward for the party to emerge victorious on first ballot, come March 7, while emphasizing that the worst APC government is far much better than the best SLPP government.

Earlier, the APC Holland Chairman, Simon Sesay appealed for Diaspora members to be included in the APC campaign team.

Other who took turns to console the Diaspora members   included, the presidential campaign chairman, John Bornoh Sisay and APC U.K Chairman, Mustapha Koroma.