Has CDC Lost Numbers Game? ‘Two Million’ Man March Falls Short
Monrovia – Depending on who you ask, George Weah’s declaration day was either a hit or a miss.
Social Media Has Field Day as ‘Two Million’ Man March Falls Short – Depending on Which Side of the Aisle You’re on…
But for Liberia’s main opposition party, the Congress for Democratic Change which has always pride itself on numbers, records of past parades and celebrations became the gauging point Thursday as rival political foes took to social media and the streets of Monrovia to dissect whether the party that Weah built, still has the numbers to back up its most popular party label.
Advice and comments came unsolicited from the least expected places. “CDC will pull a crowd as always…enough to fill the party headquarters.
Next time, just don’t put a number in front of it. Call out your partisans and do your thing. Have a good day,” jabbed Israel Akinsanya, a former chairman of the opposition Liberty Party, on his Facebook page Thursday.
Pointed Jabs: Boasts vs. Reality
Akinsanya’s pointed jab took a cue from the CDC’s own declaration that it would pull two million people into the streets to hear Mr. Weah receive his petition and make his declaration to contest the 2017 Presidential race.
“We expect a historic assembling where hundreds of thousands of CDC partisans will gather to petition Ambassador Weah who will declare that he is standing in the race for President and he is going to be Liberia’s next commander in chief to clean the mess Madam Sirleaf and Boakai have created”, boasted Mulbah Morlu, the party’s Vice Chairman for Operations and Mobilization.
Taking a jab at Akinsanya, Clarence Weah Zicoborler retorted: “Israel you are case in court, I know every meaning of every words you use in your post, and also what you are saying, but like I said stop the crying and get ready because this time, your will not have anything to say, we have closed all the gap that was opened in 2005 and 2011”.
Thus began the countdown
But as early as 9 am, bloggers, bystanders, passersby and even talk-show host got in on the act, giving play-by-play analysis and photos showing an empty CDC party headquarters in the early hours of the morning.
“9: 30 am: Not Movement Yet” #Blueday: Blogged Boakai Fofana, host of the Breakfast Show on Capitol FM.
Robert Wilson posted: “Time is running out CDC. We are watching with eagle eyes. It’s almost 10am. No Impact.”
‘Numbers Not CDC Problem’
Darius Dillon quipped: “Anyone who thinks CDC will not “pull crowds” today is living in another world. CDC can always “pull crowds”. But even if you were passing through like this ALP pickup, you are in the “crowd”.
Dillon would later tell FrontPageAfrica that he was actually being politically sarcastic in his comments but blamed the party for stirring its own pot. “They (CDC)can put themselves in trouble. You can easily put the crowd today at around nine thousand or ten thousand, which is still a good show. But I still think the 2014 Weah Senatorial rally drew a much bigger crowd than this.”
For Dillon, a sticking point many took home was that for the first time, it appears that many of those in the crowd did not pay for their own T-Shirts which has been the norm for a CDC rally. “For the first time CDCians were demanding T-Shirts before they could march. This is a first. In past marches, they made their own T-Shirts. It is something I think will give them food for thought going into 2017.”
Reactions ranged from CDC had lost its morale to Mamensie Kabbah who boasted by day’s end when supporters thronged the grounds of the party headquarters, by declaring: “Stop the Lies, number has never been CDC’s problem”.
Others like Hamed Sifonic took the talk show host to task for distorting the numbers. “Boakai M. Fofana Sr.
The fact that you, in your capacity as a journalist is yet to live up to your commitment to update our post that was deliberately intended to distort the fact that Liberians in larger numbers overwhelmingly gathered at the CDC headquarters to listen to Amb. George Weah declared his intentions to contest the presidency of our nation not only highlight the level of falsehood in the journalism society of our nation but the effect it brings on the right to inform.
One can rightly be hopeful of redemption of a broken society, but all such hope dies when the watchdogs of society are just as bad. Please live up to your commitment. Your propaganda effort was poor journalism.”
Some bystanders tried to explain away the failure of the party to pull the two million as promised on the choice of day for the event.
“The choice of day was a factor. Thursday is a working day and people are unlikely to leave their jobs to turn out. They should have made in on a Friday or Saturday,” said Pewee Mulbah, a shoeshine boy.
Blue Day Fever
But CDCians would not be denied. G. Moses Harris was convinced that the crowd show was a validation point that the CDC is still a relevant political party.
“CDC is really the masses party, evidence of what we are watching to. Hahahahah. Today is really the Blue Day. CDCians are committed kind of people. CDC all the way… 2017 is our time.”
Others like Unkul Paul saw similarities between the numbers put up by Weah and the CDC Thursday and what other political parties have been able to draw in recent weeks.
“This is what we call Politics. We must appreciate the Democratic Process of gathering and demonstrating numbers and stop the blind condemnation of any and everything another Person or Party does that we do not support.
A fortnight ago, the ALP was launched, and it also demonstrated Numbers. I am in admiration of our Democratic Space. Brumskine and his LP too will soon display numbers, orderliness and procedures as they gather and muster their Party in preparing for the 2017 Question.
Also, the UP, too. And then the MPC, of Simeon Freeman will soon show her Democratic adherence in the Market Place of demonstrating Numbers, Orderliness and Procedures; and then the ANC of Cllr. Clement/Cummings; and etc, etc.”
With Weah’s declaration in the bag, many are unsure how far Thursday’s CDC rally will impact efforts by other political parties to form a coalition in a bid to stop the ruling Unity Party from a third term.
But as the crowds disappeared into the dark Thursday night, concerns will no doubt be shifted toward CDC’s financial readiness and political maturity as evidenced by the debate over of all things, numbers and the popularity game that has been the party’s trump card for bargaining.
Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]