Liberia: Alex Cummings Urges Pres. Weah to Focus on Improving Living Conditions in 2021 Instead of “Competing with Local Musical Artists”

Mr. Cummings stated that for the past years, the Liberian Chief Executive has busied himself singing and merrymaking, while the vast majority of his citizens continue to suffer

MONROVIA – The Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, has challenged President George Manneh Weah to place a keen focus on his enormous task of improving the living conditions of Liberians and moving the country forward, instead of competing with local musical artists.

Mr. Cummings stated that for the past years, the Liberian Chief Executive has busied himself singing and merrymaking, while the vast majority of his citizens continue to suffer.

Since his inauguration in January 2018, President Weah has produced four songs including: Coronavirus, Wokie Wokie, Mr. Liar Man and Happy Birthday.

The tracks Mr. Liar Man and Happy Birthday were released days after the conduct of the December 8 senatorial election.

But in his New Year Message to Liberians, Mr. Cummings maintained that despite the numerous challenges confronting Liberia and its citizens, President Weah has allegedly failed to hold officials of his government accountable.  

“There is an increase in violence and insecurity in every part of the country. The banking sector is suffering from a liquidity crisis. Government employees are not being paid their reduced (harmonized) salaries on time. Our President is busy singing and merrymaking while our people are suffering. No one is being held to account for the abuse of national resources and power – our people are undergoing many difficulties”.

He claimed that the manner and form in which the country has been governed over the last few years by the Weah led government have caused many to wonder “where we are headed in the remaining three years of his administration”.

According to him, the country’s economy is broken with no immediate solutions from this government, unemployment rates have skyrocketed while businesses are shutting down.

Mr. Cummings indicated that though the CPP or members of the opposition community cannot enforce immediate redress to the challenges citizens are battling on a daily basis, the CPP will continue to offer solutions to the Weah-led government and hope they will listen and do the right things.

“I hope the President will focus more on the enormity of the task at hand and forget about competing with our local artists. We cannot keep doing the same things and expect different results”.

Time for reflection

At the same time, the CPP Chairman has urged Liberians to see their entry into the year 2021 as a time for reflection and to plan for the days and year ahead.

“As we celebrate the New Year, I hope that we will focus on living an exemplary life of love and oneness. Jesus taught us over 2,000 years ago to feed the hungry and care for the sick. Let us, therefore, be our brother’s and our sister’s keepers”.

He called on Liberians to remember that there is more that unites citizens than divides them.

Mr. Cummings said citizens, regardless of political affiliation or religion should put aside their differences and work together for the collective good of their beloved country and people.

“And while we call for unity among our people, we have to ensure that justice and equal rights are the hallmarks of the kind of Liberia we envision in 2021 and beyond”.

He continued” “We should all take this time of celebration to focus on how we can work to make Liberia better for everyone. We do not have the luxury of time to waste. We have to get to work and pull our country out of this rubble and push it forward”.

For sometimes now, President Weah has been heavily criticized for amusing himself by engaging into the production of worldly songs to support pageantry, and throw rants at his critics, among others.

Most often, the Liberian leader is seen at occasions and political rallies dancing to the beats of the popular song, “Zombie” produced by Liberian artist, Trille, in the midst of unending economic constraints, the escalation in the prices of basic commodities, lack of employment opportunities, delay in the payment of civil servants salaries, among others.

His political opponents have requested him to forget about the Liberian presidency (a job they claimed is bigger than the Liberian leader), and focus on his musical career.

Prior to producing multiple songs and falling in love of late to the song “Zombie”, President Weah was one of the fans of Liberian musician, Edwin D. Tweh, alias “D12”, who resides in the United States.

As evidence to that, D12 was invited by the Liberian government to perform at Liberia’s 172nd Independence Day Celebration held at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

He was hand-picked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After his Independence Day performance, D12 also performed at the Old Road Joe Bar Market dedication ceremony upon the request of President Weah on August 7, 2019.

The Liberian Chief Executive danced “Born to Win” at national programs and events organized by both the government and his Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) party.

Edwin D. Tweh, alias “D12” was paid the amount of US$30,000 by the Government of Liberia, through the National Port Authority (NPA) for performing and dancing his song ‘Born to Win’ after the Independence Day festivities.

The US$30,000 Ecobank check to D12 reads: “For service rendered to the NPA from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020”.

The move by the government was criticized by Liberians on grounds that the money should have been used for other developmental purposes and local artists promoted in the wake of a shattered economy, instead of  paying huge sum to a Liberian artist residing in the diaspora.

On the other hand, supporters of President Weah continue to support his involvement in the production of music and his style of amusement, with a claim that the Liberian Chief Executive needs to “stress-free himself at times” and dancing to the beats of Liberian songs during public gatherings shows his “love and support” to local musicians.