15 April 2019

Sierra Leone: President Bio Urged to Fulfil Promise On Dual Citizens' Right

Chief Executive Officer of Art Resourceful Tourism- Sierra Leone (ARTSL) has urged President Bio to fulfil his promise and ensure that dual citizens have right to vote and be voted for in all elections in Sierra Leone.

Sheka B.A. Mansaray Jr. made the above call last week Thursday during the official launch of a campaign advocating the rights of dual citizens to vote and be voted for ,with the theme :2 -sim is a right; let's change depriving laws at the Pizza Restaurant, Congo Water Junction, East of Freetown."

"Mr President, you promised to ensure that dual citizens will have rights to vote and be voted for. Please we kindly ask your good office to fulfil that promise. It is part of your commitment," he urged.

He said the issue of dual citizenship is a social and economic challenge, but not a political one.

"We would all agree that over the years, our country-Sierra Leone has benefited a lot from remittances from the west through our brothers and sisters," he said.

The ARTSL CEO further urged the president that there shouldn't be a comparative regression in equity of what the past government did to deprive fellow citizens of the country, stating that he should prove his words by letting the Ministry of Political Affairs bring them a bill that will help fellow Sierra Leoneans to vote and be voted for back home.

He said their campaign will be a long lasting, sustainable, achievable, and a reliable one, as the issue affects all shades in the political spectrum of the country.

He added that as an organization that has operated in the country since 2008, they were ready to champion it together with their partners and the media.

"We do believe in interfacing and fund mobilization through partnerships. Therefore, we will not be limited to our internal funds only. We are opening hands to whosoever thinks it's relevant to join the WAR which -access to our rights," he emphasised.

He said the campaign would further be launched in the United Kingdom and that every embassy in Europe has received their letters, stating that the platform has been laid already for global cooperation through their partners in England called the Two Sim Organization.

"For electronic voting, it is very important to see fellow Sierra Leoneans outside of this country to have the opportunity to cast their vote and that will entail or consist the objective of our campaign."

The ARTSL CEO further observed that it's their rights as dual citizens to vote and be voted for as hundreds of them were affected globally.

"I think that is the deadliest corruption I have ever seen. It's not about stealing money that is just corruption, stealing my rights, your rights, is the worst corruption," Mansaray said.

He said they have done lots of research on other African countries where dual citizens vote and have right to be voted for, citing Senegal as one country where people enjoy that right.

He noted that the issue of dual citizenship affected many Sierra Leoneans during the 2018 elections, and urged all to come on board and see the need to change depriving laws against them as they have rights to develop their country.

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