Monrovia – Mr. Alexander Cummings, the political leader of the Alternative National Congress appeared upbeat about changing the discourse of entrenched corrupt practices he says continue to pose serious impediment to Liberia’s progress.
Mr. Cummings, who is contending to win the nomination to head the ticket of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) in the 2023 Presidential elections, spoke when he returned from the United States of America Wednesday, to a rousing reception at the headquarters of the Liberty Party.
Wednesday’s welcome ceremony was marred by controversy in the hours leading to the program.
Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, political leader of the Liberty Party took the party’s chair Musa Bility to task for allowing the ANC leader to be welcomed at the LP’s headquarters.
Senator Karnga-Lawrence declared in a statement that “she had absolutely no knowledge” that the ANC was going to use the LP headquarter.
Senator Lawrence also claimed that she had received complaints from various layers of the party, including majority members of the National Executive Committee, Women and Youth congresses, County Chairpersons and District Coordinators, over the action of Mr. Musa Bility to host a welcome program or the ANC Political Leader under the guise of an invitation from the party’s National Executive Committee.”
Senator Lawrence described the action as a flagrant violation of the LP constitution and did not meet the approval of the leadership and grass-root representation of the party.
In response, the LP Executive Committee said it took exception to the repeated actions by the Political Leader to undermine the decisions taken by the NEC in line with Constitutional requirements and to put out statements that serve to cast a negative light on the NEC and the LP.
Said Chairman Bility: “The LP NEC is the highest decision- making body outside of the LP National Convention or Special National Convention. The LP NEC is charged with the responsibility and clothed with the authority to administer the day-to-day affairs of the LP. This is a fact that the Political Leader refuses to respect. Over the past several months the Political Leader has exhibited this behavior, in so many of her actions, with wanton disregard to its ramifications against the Party. The LP NEC has officially written the Political Leader, with copies to all the LP structures, warning her to desist from continuing on this path, a warning she has chosen to disregard.”
Mr. Bility said the ANC did in fact write the LP and requested the use of its headquarter to host a program for its Standard Bearer, due to the fact that its own headquarter could not accommodate the number of persons expected to attend the program.
Addressing the gathering Wednesday, Mr. Cummings threw pointed jabs at the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change-led government of President George Weah, he accused of creating a system too unbearable for citizens.
Mr. Cummings averred that the Weah administration is being plagued with systemic corruption, for which he said will not be allowed to go with impunity. “We are not going to let the Weah-led government get away with the sufferings faced by citizens and this change we all see the yearning for is a must. We will make sure that the system which has kept us down for the past 174 years is changed.”
Mr. Cummings said the sufferings endured by Liberians are enormous and the only way to put an end to such menace is by changing the system.
The ANC leader emphasized that it is important for members of the opposition collaboration to stick together and resolve lingering differences.
While he expressed hope of becoming Liberia’s next President, Mr. Cummings noted that he is optimistic of ensuring that resources in the country benefit citizens themselves, rather than a selected few, if given the chance in 2023. “As your leader, we are committed to bringing a leadership that will put an end to stealing money that is supposed to benefit everyone,”, he maintained.
At the same time, Mr. Cummings told members of the CPP at the program, that instead of being focused on internal wrangling within the collaboration, it was essential to focus on improving the status of Liberians.
For his part, the Chairman of the Opposition Liberty Party Musa Hassan Bility described Mr. Cummings as an orderly man who has brought a new dimension to the political discourse in Liberia.
As such, Mr. Bility believes that Mr. Cummings is the right option to head the CPP Ticket for the 2023 Presidential race, as well as for the survival of CPP.
“We tell the ANC thank you because you have proven yourself to be orderly. That is the quality of leadership Cummings brings to the discourse and you have distinguished yourself and we believe that you are the best candidate and best person for this country,” Mr. Bility stressed.
The occasion comes amid serious bickering in the CPP between the Chairman and Political Leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), Benoni Urey, and the Alternative National Congress over the use of a non-binding scientific Voter Perception Survey (VPS) proposed by the ANC.
The latest confusion has created a split within the CPP.
The controversy erupted, when the political leader of the All Liberian Party, Mr. Urey alleged that the CPP Framework document had been altered.
In his allegation, Mr. Urey stated, “Madam Chair, this letter essentially seeks to inform you that the All Liberian Party (ALP) has reliably learned that certain portions and clauses within the organic framework document of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) have been dubiously, viciously, and purposefully altered allegedly by some nefarious individuals within the hierarchy of the CPP – and replaced by ‘Alien Clauses’ to engender ulterior motives.”
In the wake of mounting public debate and uncertainty regarding two versions of an investigative Committee was set up, comprising J.S.B. Theodore Momo, Jr., National Chairman, ALP; Augustine Fredricks, Vice Chairman for Inter-Party and NEC Affairs, Liberty Party; Atty. J. Cole Bangalu, Vice-Chair for Inter-Party and NEC Affairs, Unity Party; Cllr. Jafar Baikpah, ANC; and Mr. Mohammed Ali, Secretary-General, Unity Party.
While findings of the report are yet to be released, but lingering in the corridors of the public domain, the head of the opposition CPP, Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, says the official final document has been completed and is now being forwarded to lawyers for review before it can be released officially.
“Our committee presented the report today, we received the report, we reviewed it and so we decided to send the final report to our CPP lawyers for verification; so, we are not going to report on that until the verification is done,” Senator Karnga-Lawrence said.
Mr. Cummings has vehemently denied tampering with any report.
From the report obtained by FrontPageAfrica, it is observed that the investigative committee reviewed the original Framework document first signed on May 19, 2020, and after the conclusion of the validation process on April 25, 2020; an amended copy that resulted from the lawyers’ review and dated April 25, 2020, and the copy of May 19, 2020, was filed with the National Elections Commission (NEC) on July 14, 2020.
Both Mr. Cummings and former Vice President Joseph Boakai have committed themselves to bridge unity within the CPP although skeptics are unsure.
It can be recorded that ANC and the Bility faction of the Liberty Party recently boycotted a turning over of CPP Chairmanship to Boakai on grounds that there were discrepancies.