Cummings and Boakai’s Possible Collaborating Already Causing Panic in CDC
Panic is spreading in Liberia and on social media amongst CDCians that opposition leaders Joseph N. Boakai of the Unity Party, UP and Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress, ANC, are closing in on a deal to form a joint ticket in this year’s Liberian presidential elections. True or not is anyone’s guess.
This fear is amplified a day after FrontPageAfrica newspaper carried a banner headline: “Door Not CLOSED”, quoting Mr. Boakai from a VOA interview on a possible collaboration between both men. Mr. Boakai is currently visiting in the US.
Mr. Boakai is to head the ticket and Mr. Cummings will be his Vice President, according to sources.
If true and already dubbed the “Dream Team,” supporters in both parties are predicting a one-round TKO of incumbent Weah who is seeking a second six-year term.
Many in the opposition camps have been pleading with both men to resolve their differences and unite, putting the interest of the nation above their individual desires for the presidency.
Compounding the fear in the CDC camp is the bitter acrimony brewing between President Weah and his former biggest supporter in 2017, the influential Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Johnson who is seeking a political divorce from Weah’s crumbling CDC marriage with other parties.
Both Johnson and Weah who pastor their own respective churches have been engaged in what is now known as the “Battle of the Pulpits” on Sundays, pointing fingers at each other for perceived greediness, untrustworthiness, corruption, and being killers; all to the amusement of UP and ANC supporters.
Rev. Senator Johnson has repeatedly accused President Weah of “stealing $7.5 million of Nimba County Social Development funds.”
Bishop Dr. Weah countered by accusing Senator Johnson of being a “mass murderer” from Senator Johnson’s days as a rebel leader and of soliciting “bribes and blackmailing” him.
Senator Johnson, who is from vote-rich Nimba County says when did Mr. Weah know that he Prince Johnson was a killer? “Did he Weah not know I was a killer when he begged me to rally the Nimba to vote for him in 2017 which is second only to Montserrado County? Johnson fumed.
Rev. Johnson also has implicated the Weah regime in the unsolved murders of four government auditors and has of late accused the government of plotting to kill him, a charge President Weah has denied.
The war of words between the two preachers is expected to intensify with reports that other ruling coalition parties are on the fence with one foot in and another foot out.
Observers believe that a Boakai- Cummings ticket would be insurmountable to defeat by the CDC. Sticking points in the deal are over cabinet posts for each side.
Other Liberians are calling on JNB and ANC to broaden the coalition to make room for popular Human Rights activist, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe of the Liberian Peoples Party, LPP. and senator Nyonohblee-Karnga’s divided Liberty Party.
Mr. Gongloe, a former Solicitor General and Labor Minister is popular with young voters, students, Labor Unions, and Market Associations and is also from vote-rich Nimba County. He is also known as “The Poor Man’s Lawyer, having represented people over the years who could not afford to pay for his legal services.
We should also not forget the US government that has repeatedly slapped sanctions on top government officials including top aides of President Weah for corruption and human rights abuses.
Then there is US unhappiness with the Weah regime for selling Liberian diplomatic passports to Islamic Jihadists and other rogue characters engaged in drug trafficking.
In the last three months cocaine worth over $100 million has been shipped through the Freeport of Monrovia from South America; thanks to the US government for deflating the source and the traffickers who were arrested in Monrovia.
Also for the first time, Liberia will introduce a new system of voting: the Biometric Voter Registration system which is data-driven to prevent a voter from voting twice or more times as in previous elections. It is worth mentioning the Biden Administration has donated $20 million to Liberia for this year’s elections.
During the Biden Africa Summit in Washington last December, President Biden urged President Weah and other African leaders to hold free and transparent elections, failure to, US Ambassador to Liberia Michael McCarthy has promised more targeted sanctions on individual Liberians.
Jerry Wehtee Wion
Retired Liberian Journalist
and Political Commentator
Washington DC, USA