Alexander B. Cummings, Jr. “I Am Not Running for President for Just Good People” 

Posted November 1, 2022

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh

Political campaigns are about contrasting ideas, vision, compassion, and a resounding message of hope that uplifts a generation and shows the seriousness of the candidate.

A bad message with a terrible optic requires a mop, a broom, and cleaning liquid to sanitize what the candidate said, done, and meant, and it takes away the meaning of the message, while a good one elevates the campaign and validates the candidate as a serious person worthy of the office.

What is the purpose of a message when it has to be explained later or mopped up for clarity when the individual could have done a better job the first time to not be seen as lacking sound judgment, cold, and out of touch with the painful reality of the deadly 14-year civil war, and the decisions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

These adjectives seemed to fit Alexander B. Cummings, the presidential candidate, what he stands for as he continued to run for president, and further explain his judgment and decision-making skills, his fitness for the office, his dubious embrace of former warlords, financiers, and avowed sympathizers and apologists of a brutal civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Liberians, left hundreds of thousands homeless and exiled, and nearly evaporated the Liberian nation from the face of the planet.

In Liberia, sadly, candidates for elected office in the three branches of government are left to say and do anything unchallenged without paying a political price only to be elected and reelected to an office that the individual is often unqualified to hold but is expected to occupy for six, seven, and nine years, respectively, to begin a painful, and pathetic tenure that makes life a nightmare in Liberia.

If and only if the Liberian electorates were educated politically and do their homework, independent in their thinking, are bold and daring politically, and take the process seriously because it is about their lives, their futures, and the next generation, these Liberian politicians would behave and be the compassionate adults in the room.

In Liberia, however, voting and elections are often based on tribal, clan, family lines, friendship, and stomach contents, and not on ideas and the qualification of the candidates, as the culture of impunity reigns supreme making the Liberian people who are at the mercy of these politicians their own worse enemies.

This brings me back to presidential candidate Alexander Benedict Cummings, Jr. and his judgment and strategy of inclusion, and his admission that he also gave a cash contribution of $25,000 to a key warlord, Prince Y. Johnson, in the name of education, in a country where unremorseful former warlords and their friends run amok, taunt survivors, and even run for office and are elected to key offices.

Appearing on the internet-based Focus on Liberia, Mr. Cummings admitted to donating funds to the notorious former warlord, Prince Y. Johnson in 2017, but denied the amount was $55,000 as previously reported, noting it was actually $25,000 that he contributed to Mr. Johnson’s university.

Whether Mr. Cummings donated $55,000 or $25,000 of his own money to this unrepentant killer, Prince Y. Johnson, for whatever reason is a problem.

Alexander Cummings just contributed to lawlessness in Liberia in the name of donating to charity, but actually to support a former warlord.

Mr. Cummings also displayed gross insensitivity and a cold, brazen, shameless grab for possible votes in Nimba County, Prince Johnson’s base, believed to be rich in votes.

Putting Prince Johnson on such a platform and saying it so loosely as if the donation to this wicked man warrants rousing applause and a pat on the back helps to nurture the culture of impunity in Liberia, which is a fundamentally flawed strategy for a presidential candidate.

Mr. Cummings’ admission that his campaign brought onboard individuals (with questionable backgrounds) as “volunteers” amid the TRC report to work with his team even as presidents and other politicians shoved this settled report under the rug out of political convenience, raises public awareness about which side Alexander Benedict Cummings, Jr. is on.

Which side is he on, anyway?

Is Mr. Cummings on the side of the killers and their friends or is he on the side of the Liberian people, grieving family members who have suffered all these years and decades and haven’t had any apologies, justice, or closure for the deaths of their loved ones, and the suffering they endured along the way?

“I make no apologies,” because “they (campaign team) are people that supported us,” Mr. Cummings spurted out as he bunts criticism that swirled around his campaign since he made the chilling announcement about his campaign team.
“ I hear criticism of the people but I am not running for president for just good people,” and “if any Liberian wants to support me, they are welcome, but I make no apologies,” Mr. Cummings said.

Mr. Cummings also talks about ‘evidence’ because these people volunteered to ‘support us and if the evidence leads to you, the consequences are based on facts,’ but he believes in accountability.

You would think because Liberia is currently a dysfunctional country with zero law and order, zero safety and security measures, zero credible institutions, and a country where bad people roam around freely, the message from a major presidential candidate who is interested in change will not be as reckless and nonchalant but would strive for genuine change.

Recently, Alexander Cummings got into a letter-writing contest with President George Manneh Weah, in his words, to offer ‘constructive recommendations.”

According to Mr. Cummings, he challenged President Weah to a debate to call him out for his lack of leadership, but he got no response.

When a (Liberian) presidential candidate comes up with a public challenge in the form of a letter, and not a press conference or a policy speech that puts the incumbent against the rope and contrasts their ideas and vision, reflects poorly on the challenger who is as weak a candidate than the incumbent he wants to unseat. 


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