Earlier in the month I had posted two articles related to Nasser Ayoub, a Lebanese born and raised in Seirra Leone, lobbying to gain citizenship within the African country.

The local press there had portrayed Nasser’s struggle as a struggle for all Lebanese in Sierra Leone. That, according to the comment Nasser left on this blog post, is not the case:

hello..
i never said i was speaking on behalf of the lebanese.. you can archieve all my statements..
i said i want my full citizenship right..
i said the constitution is a bit racist when it comes to CITIZENSHIP IN S/LEONE..
my mother islebanese though, and i hold a BRITISH PASSPORT, BORN IN SIERRA LEONE, WHICH SHOULD GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO BE A SIERRA LEONEAN..
THANKS

Nevertheless, it seemed to have upset a few people, especially Samir Hassanyeh, who’s claimed to be the President of the Lebanese community there.

Nasser goes on to say:

PLEASE VISIT THE BBC FOCUS ON AFRICA, AND http://WWW.SIERRAEXPRESSMEDIA.COM, AND FOLLOW UP..

A search of the website provided leads to a story titled: Nasser Ayoub may have a point – Info minister:

Information minister Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo has told journalists at the government’s weekly press briefing last Thursday that NasserAyoub has the right to demand for his citizenship rights.

Kargbo who was responding to a question posed to him by  a journalist on the government’s position  on the controversial  citizenship debate said,  “I listened to his claims, he has the right to demand for his citizenship. All I can say is that this is already part of the draft of the reviewed constitution and you know that when a constitution is reviewed there are certain entrenched clauses which require a referendum,’’ he said whilst adding that “the new position of government as to what will determine an individual to be a citizen of Sierra Leone is already incorporated into the draft.

Basically, the point is that Nasser is demanding citizenship for him and his family. He was never on a mission of naturalization for all Lebanese in Sierra Leone. It seems to have been a case of sensational journalism mixed in with a little Chinese whisper.

Nasser Ayoub: Setting the record straight

Nasser Ayoub: Setting the record straight