Liberia: Sen. Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence Urges Colleagues to Scrap Cllr. Nwabudike's Confirmation As NEC Chairman

Capitol Hill — Liberty Party political leader and Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence has called on her colleagues to reject the nomination of Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike as chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC).

In a strong-worded statement to the Liberian Senate, Senator Karngar-Lawrence said, in the Dual Citizenship Proposition recently passed by the Legislature and signed by President George Weah, and awaiting referendum, the President and the Legislature agreed that a Liberian born to both or one parent with citizenship of another country will be given dual citizenship, but will not be appointed to certain governmental positions.

This is because, being a citizen of two countries, such persons will also be beholding to dual allegiances, she said.

She said: "Today, the President who placed this proposed amendment before us, has nominated, for our consent, an individual with obvious dual allegiances, a Nigerian-born citizen who has naturalized as a Liberian, to head the National Elections Commission of Liberia, a position of trust and magnitude that a natural-born Liberian, under the Weah Amendment would not be permitted to occupy because of dual allegiances."

Senator Karngar-Lawrence becomes the latest high-profile Liberian to voice her opposition to President Weah's appointment of Cllr. Nwabudike, joining several lawmakers and civil society groups.

Two of her colleagues, Senators Darius Dillon (LP, Montserrado County) and Senator Sando Johnson (NPP, Bomi County) have vowed to vote against his confirmation.

Speaking on a local radio station on Wednesday, March 25, Rep. Jay Nagbe Sloh (CDC, District #2, Sinoe County), broke the party's rank and call on President Weah to reconsider his decision and withdraw the nomination.

Liberia's largest civil society grouping that oversees electoral matters, the Election Coordinating Committee (ECC), in a major press conference on Tuesday outrightly rejected the President's decision and called on him to withdraw

Cllr. Nwabudike, a naturalized Liberia of Nigerian descent had earlier served as the Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC) and Head of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) under this current administration.

Echoing those before her, the Liberty Party Political leader said, it was not expedient to confer more rights and privileges to naturalized Liberians and deny such rights and privileges to natural-born citizens.

"Is this natural-born Nigerian/naturalized Liberian's obvious dual allegiance any less than the dual allegiance of natural-born Liberians? How can we claim to trust the commitment to our country of a naturalized Liberian over a natural-born Liberian? Why should we confer more rights and privileges to naturalized Liberians and deny such rights and privileges to natural-born Liberians? If dual allegiances is bad for natural-born Liberians, how can it be good for naturalized Liberians?" She asked rhetorically.

She continued: "What special skills or unique competence that is required for the Chairmanship of NEC that this naturalized individual possess that is absent in our country amongst natural-born Liberians? This nomination should be withdrawn, or otherwise rejected by the Liberian Senate."

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