The battle that gave rise to the conflict in Cote d’Ivoire between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Outtara supporters was based mainly on the concept of citizenship. There was claim that Alassane Outtara’s parents originated from Burkina Faso. Hence maximum effort was made to deny him candidature to the presidency. Eventually he stood and won the presidential election.
In The Gambia one could sense a wave building up based on a constitutional provision which links birth and descent to determine citizenship by birth. This is confusing many people. Foroyaa wishes to point out to our readers that in 1992 the government enacted a law to enable the President of the Republic to grant special immigrant status to persons who are not citizens of The Gambia to acquire citizenship by registration. Many people have acquired citizenship through this special treatment.
However, there are people who have lived in The Gambia all their adult lives and have their own children educated in The Gambia being accused of being alien. The absurdity in our laws on citizenship should be remedied to avoid alienation of hundreds of thousands of people who consider The Gambia as their homeland.