Citizenship Of Persons Born Before 1965


Many people are giving a wrong interpretation to citizenship by not acknowledging the requirements of Section 8 of the Constitution.

Section 8 reads:

“Every person who, immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution, is a citizen of The Gambia, shall, subject to this Constitution –

(a) continue to be a citizen of The Gambia;

(b) retain the same status as a citizen by birth, by descent, by registration or by naturalisation, as the case may be, as he or she enjoyed immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution.”

Based on this provision, it would be correct to say that if a person was born before 1965 one of his parents and/or grandparents would have to have been born in the Gambia before the person is a citizen. The requirement is that one of the parents or grandparents would have to be born in the Gambia.

In fact, there is also a provision in the Constitution before 1997 for a person born in the Gambia of parents who were not born in the Gambia by 1967 to be registered as citizens.

Foroyaa will look at this issue of citizenship more closely to enable the people to understand the complexity in interpretation.

There are many people who are keeping quite who should fight their cases through the courts to get a decision on the matter of citizenship based on the requirements of Section 8 of the 1997 Constitution.