‘Roguish Government’: ANC Political Leader Urges Liberian Government to “Stop Stealing”
Ganta, Nimba – The political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings, has again come out strong and firing at the President George Manneh Weah-led government to curb corruption and stop the stealing.
Report by Alaskai Moore Johnson, [email protected]
Mr. Cummings, who is very noted to be cool, cozy and a diplomat when dealing with issues of national concerns, didn’t have on that posture as he took his national debate straight to the Liberian government.
“In just 14 months, we recognize and call out the rampant corruption and stealing of this Weah CDC-led government. If this country is to move forward, the government needs to take critical decisions for the benefit of the people,” the ANC political leader emphasized.
“Curb corruption and stop the stealing! This cannot be emphasized enough. For many years, you have heard corruption called many different names: from ‘Public Enemy #1,’ to ‘cancer’, but most importantly, you have felt the negative effects of corruption in every sector of our society and ultimately in your lives.”
Mr. Cummings spoke very late Saturday, May 5, night when he was re-elected by the over 150 ANC delegates to stay in his post as the political leader, of the ANC at its 3rd National Convention, which was held in the bustling, commercial city of Ganta, Nimba County.
According to Mr. Cummings, the critical decisions that the government must make to benefit the people include, “first stopping the massive stealing and looting. They must without delay begin to hire competent people and dismiss the incompetent cheering squad.”
The ANC’s Political Leader further urged the government to provide concrete answers and explanations to the Liberian people on what happened to the US$25 million dollars allotted for the mop-up exercise and the alleged missing L$16 billion.
He also challenged the CDC-led administration to hold accountable all those involved in the mop-up exercise, including the Minister of Finance and Development Planning as well as the Governor of the Central Bank – and not to engage in ‘selective justice’; adding: “We demand equal justice for all.”
Speaking on the theme, ‘The Alternative Liberia Deserves’, Mr. Cummings stressed that until Liberians can tackle corruption as a government and people, the quality of basic services like education, health, electricity, food production/agriculture, etc. will remain poor or non-existent.
Over the years, the debate on the nation’s Educational system across the broad spectrum has been about transitioning from a ‘messy education system to a better one’. While that debate is still ongoing, Mr. Cummings said, “We continue to see serious decline in the quality of instruction, low incentives for teachers and worse still, woeful decline in budgetary allotment to the sector. In order to improve our educational system and prepare our workforce for the rigors and expectations of employers in the 21st century, we must prioritize ‘sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics’ (STEM).”
He told the audience, predominantly partisans of the ANC, the Cummings Africa Foundation, which he and his family founded, in collaboration with partners, is providing support to the Alex Cummings School of Science and Technology located on Du-port Road, Paynesville.
“Similarly, our support to the Nimba County Community College for example and several other institutions of higher learning around the country as well as the Foundation’s scholarship schemes, prioritizes the sciences, as an example of what needs to be done across the educational sector. Our young people must see education as key to their success and as the catalyst that holds a wholesome future for them in the new Liberia.”
On the political front, he told his audience, which also included ANC partisans watching him live via the internet that Liberia has witnessed numerous political experiments since independence based on the choices its citizens have made.
He confidently told them that the ANC will be the choice that will lead Liberia into prosperity and development. “The ANC can assure you that together we can make it happen for our children and our children’s children because frankly speaking, it is no longer about us. It is no longer about the Alex Cummings’, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s, Joseph Boakai’s and George Weah’s of our time; it is about the future of our children and our children’s children.”
Mr. Cummings, who is a former Executive of Coca Cola Worldwide, stated that the true measure of leadership is planting trees under whose shade he/she will not sit. “It is about time we start doing things differently to create jobs, improve healthcare, education, invest in agriculture and focus on developing our people and our country,” he added.
The ANC’s leader, who says that he is the next alternative for Liberia, stated that amid the challenging global economic situation in 2017, Liberians expected new and fresh ideas to improve their livelihoods when they voted in the Weah CDC-led government. “They were mistaken!” he said.
“The jobs are not forthcoming, businesses are folding up, and our new leaders have embarked on a journey of ‘self-serving economics’ that seems to be working only for them. The cost of living is becoming unbearable by the day while a cabal of inexperienced and incompetent people pillage the National Treasury and are enriching themselves to the detriment of the broad mass of the people.”
According to Mr. Cummings, Liberia’s economic woes are far from being over because those at the helm of power simply lack the basic understanding of statecraft to manage the affairs of the country. He emphasized that no Liberian should engage in the tactics of scaring investors away by their actions and inaction and expect the very investors to trust them. “Disturbingly, how do we expect to fix the economy when the government’s Economic Management Team is built around a Finance Minister, who is obsessed with philosophical platitudes? What has become of the cliché as coined and used by President Weah that: “Liberians will no longer be spectators in their own economy”? Those were mere words from him with absolutely no hindsight, least to mention any kind of commitment to act on it.”