Alexander B, Cummings, Jr. Stepped Up To Say Something. And He Did Just That With Clarity and Boldness.

Posted July 30, 2023
by Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh

I am exhausted.

Though exhausted with Liberian politics, I refused to allow my exhaustion to keep me away from writing about the issues that are a part and parcel of that country’s existence dear to my heart.

See, Liberian politics is like the food that you vowed never to eat again because it makes you sick in the stomach, but you continued to eat it anyway because you grew up eating that particular food that ends up making you miserable.
Liberian politicians and presidential candidates remind me of that bad food. You want to leave them alone, but then again, you don’t want to leave them alone because you are passionate about the issues, your homeland, and the survival of your people.

Either these guys are too scared to challenge a sitting president whom they want to unseat, they are not passionate enough to vie for the position of president, they are incompetent, or their handlers who are supposed to be the walking brains behind the candidates, are as ineffective and clueless as the candidates, making me believe that these advisors are incompetent and only there to make a living out of mediocrity.

Presidential candidate Alexander B, Cummings, Jr, who heads the Alternative National Congress (ANC) political party, and is running on his party’s ticket, broke loose from the bunch that wants to lead the country after the 2023 elections, gave a scathing July 26 policy speech that contrasts him with President George Manneh Weah.

This speech was long overdue, and Mr. Cummings was able to take advantage of the July 26, Independence Day national event to directly take on President Weah, who out of sheer arrogance and overconfidence of an October victory, was not in a hurry to debate his political opponents, exactly the same strategy he used six years ago when he ran for president.

If Liberians don’t think the absence of debating an incumbent president is an affirmation of the smelly status quo that has hindered growth, development, prosperity, and empowered the unaccountable imperial presidency, then Liberians must as well don’t vote but hand the presidency over to George Manneh Weah for a second six-year term.

Mr. Cummungs was on point when he acknowledged the shortcomings of the Weah administration and rightfully tried not to blame all of the nation’s problems on President Weah, but laid the blame for the country’s current problems of runaway corruption, the lack of safety, and security, stunted growth and the lack of opportunities for Liberians to climb any ladder of success in their own country on George Weah and his administration.

“Admittedly, Liberia’s decline did not begin with President Weah,” he acknowledged, ‘but made bad everything he inherited’ from previous administrations, Cummings said.

“We are in serious trouble, my people.”

“Liberians are struggling. Our nation is struggling with political instability and economic insecurity. Things are getting worse,” Cummings said.

“Liberia is 176 years old. Liberia is blessed with fertile soil and good weather, yet, we cannot feed ourselves.”

“The government is corrupt, wasteful, divisive, irresponsible, and cannot be trusted to obey its own laws. Even worse, the administration does not know what it is doing.”

“Under President Weah, our country is adrift. Our diplomatic passports are possessed by international criminals. We have lost our way. Even worst, the Weah administration does not know what it is doing, and it cannot inspire a reset of the nation’s compass so that we find our way to a bright and united future,” Cummings said.

“The educational system is a shameful mess. The healthcare system is a disgrace. And the justice system is a joke. We cannot even trust the government to fill in and investigate and impartially interpret our laws. Under President Weah, our country has become increasingly lawless. Lawlessness is a serious threat to democracy and a risk to any nation’s stability and security.”

Cummings also noted, “Our peace is shaken. Too many Liberians are living in fear. Too many are jobless. Too many are without employable skills. We are ranked among the poorest and most corrupt nations.”

Mr. Cummings did not forget to emphasize his management and leadership strengths when he gave a nod to his many travels in foreign countries during his decades-long stint in senior management at the global Coca-Cola company where he led and managed a global team, which he rightly should tout as an asset in his run for the presidency.

I applaud Cummings’ Independence Day ‘26 biblical Saul-like conversion to finally stand out among his colleagues and step up his political game by boldly speaking out and bringing at least some passion, sanity, and clarity to his campaign which has been missing during these many months.

Even though Alexander B. Cummings attacked President Weah on many critical issues during his Independence Day speech, I did not hear much in terms of practical solutions that will give the nation and the Liberian people relief when he becomes president.

So, where has Alexander B. Cummings been during these many months when the Weah administration defiantly and mockingly challenged the nation’s humanity and sensibilities, as the president consciously globe-trots the world with no meaningful results in return, no press conference, no oversight, and no accountability, even as he (George Manneh Weah) and his sycophantic apologists dare us to do something about their overbearing behaviors.

This speech and others of its kind touting his agenda and vision for the country and riped with policy prescriptions should have been given from day one of his campaign to define him and separate him from President Weah and the other presidential candidates and set the tone for the campaign.

Instead, we have been reminded constantly of a laid-back, impassive, and less talkative Alexander Cummings, whose lack of words on key national issues reminds us all of President George Manneh Weah, who hasn’t shown that he can talk to calm a weary nation in times of crisis.

Cummings’ other hurdle is that he reminds Liberians – the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf haters, of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the enlightened, well-educated, and well-traveled first-elected female President of Liberia and Africa, who led the country dismally into the ground through incompetence and bad leadership.

With his polished image – well-traveled, well-educated, and enlightened as well, this could be a cloned and packaged image of the former president, who fooled many to reach the Executive Mansion.

The obvious lack of fire in Cummings’ belly, and his snail-like approach to running a campaign, is also a turned-off. 


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