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Opinions of Friday, 12 July 2013

Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.

Good and bad of dual citizenship.

By: Stephen A. Quaye.

A comment passed on my recent article titled,” ARE YOU ARE GHANAIAN” which was posted on Ghana Web, on July 8, 2013, has prompted me to come back with another piece on citizenship.
One of the comments touched on dual citizenship which permits one to hold national identity of two or more countries as one may be lucky to be accepted in those countries as their citizen.
But before I delve deep into this sensitive issue of dual citizenship as it has become important for me to discuss here and also sought your opinion on it, Kindly let me refer you to what Canada government has stated about the military take over in Egypt and the security of its citizens still living in that country.
Last Tuesday, July 2, 2013 Citizenship and Immigration Minister of Canada, Mr. Jason Kenney, disclosed that Canada has closed its embassy in Egypt amid anti-government protests in Cairo.
He explained” we are very concern with the uncertainty that exists and that is why we closed the Canadian Embassy for security reasons”.
So far 1,800 Canadian citizens there have registered with consular officials who could be evacuated back to Canada as the uncertainty in Egypt rages on whiles those have not yet registered are being urged to do so online as alternately Canadians may want to begin their Egyptian Exodus.
Citizen and Immigration minister Mr. Jason Kenney said something which must stir everyone’s mind and he said,” if they referring to Canadians are already in Egypt and feel unsafe, we encourage them to come back to Canada” that is their country of citizenship.
The second story is about three Canadians in San Francisco plane crash which was reported by the 24 HOUR newspaper on July 8, 2013 in Toronto and reads,” three Canadians were onboard the asiana airlines Boeing 777 that crashed while landing at San Francisco airport last Saturday.
According to the story, it was not known whether they were among the passengers who were hospitalized but the consulate general of Canada in San Francisco remains in close contact with local authorities in ready to provide consular services to these yet to be identifed Canadian citizens. America has also closed its embassy there.
Now from these two stories that I have given you, what have you learnt from it? There was no where in the stories that dual citizenship was mentioned. Canadians should come back home period.
Dual citizenship is not a bad thing at all since it gives the bearer the opportunity to travel between the countries he or she is accepted as a citizen without queuing for visa and also paying any visa fee.
However, dual citizenship can be very dangerous especially when you are caught in uncertainty such as the one currently going on in Egypt. Can you claim to be a Canadian or Ghanaian?
One may have used the other side of the dual citizenship to enter a country which the other side of the citizenship does not permit and when it happens where one is caught in a troubled zone may be left to survive on his own.
On such danger as it poses, I have on several platforms warned persons who seriously want to apply for dual citizenship not to do it.
If you are not a Canadian or American for you to prepare for evacuation as those countries prepares for its nationals, you need not to be worried because Ghana’s Ambassador to Egypt Alhaji Said Sinare, has indicated that the embassy is in constant touch with Ghanaians to ensure their safety and protection from ongoing revolution.
The ambassador said Ghanaians are insulated from any trouble and has asked them not to come out from their closets [houses].
“The situation is tensed and bad for the Northern African country. I have asked Ghanaians to be in their houses till the confusion recedes” Alhaji Sinare at least has assured all that Ghana is doing something to protect its citizens.