Grand Bahama Attorney Osman Johnson is sharing his views on Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis’ commitment to bring citizenship legislation to the House Of Assembly.
In an interview with ZNS News Johnson said, “one need only consider the thousands of individuals in this country who do not have a passport, who rely on affidavits and other forms of documentation in order to establish some kind of tenuous status in this country. It is a travesty and I think it is about time that the government does address it. It really should have been addressed hitherto.”
Johnson also thinks that the decision by the Privy Council as pertains to the citizenship of children born to single Bahamian fathers is an example of why the court should remain the highest in the land. ”The Privy Council has essentially come in and interpreted for us the provisions of Article 6 of our constitution which quite frankly we have sufficiently well trained jurists and members of the bar to have done so ourselves. But again, this is why fledgling democracies and emerging new nations like ourselves, only fifty years, fifty one years this July since independence, we require the kind of oversight and governance if you like in some regards from an independent authority.”
The Attorney further opined that, “the difficulty for the government really will be in retrospectively bringing this provisions into effect and in processing what will no doubt be thousands of applications for passports which will be submitted in the next few months or as soon as the legislation comes into force.”
Johnson says he commends the government’s steps and supports the Prime Minister’s intentions regarding this issue.