Liberia: Disruptive Cummings Throws CPP Into Chaos
What do George Manneh Weah, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, and Benoni Wilfred Urey have in common? Each dislikes Alexander B. Cummings. The guy is disruptive.
By Julius T. Jaesen II, [email protected], contributing writer
For a long time, George Weah has been planning to run against Joe Boakai. Old, tired, sick, and “parked” for so long, Joe makes for the “perfect” opposition candidate any unpopular president will ‘lick their lips’ to run against. The Oldman is quiet on many of the missteps of the Weah administration for good reasons. Weah can easily prove Joe committed the same missteps, if not worse.
From corruption to tribalism, there is no criticism Joe can seriously assign to George Weah that Weah cannot produce documents of VP Boakai’s participation in as well. Even the passage of the law to divide the money to legislators to use unaccountably happened under VP Boakai’s watch over the Senate. The receipts and returned cheques are in the possession of President Weah to prove that the VP, as President of the Senate, ate his share. While everyone was loudly mad that the legislature could be so insensitive, Joe was noticeably silent.
The Weah CDC knows that Joe, as a candidate for the opposition, will offer the country a scenario of a younger George Weah running against an older, sicker, and tired version of himself in the former VP. Neither George nor Joe can claim to be a change candidate or a political outsider. In an election in which the country is desperate for change, Joe and Weah offer no hope in sight. Running against a change candidate in 2023 is not what Weah and his CDC are planning to do. A surging Cummings is disrupting President Weah”s 2023 Reelection Plan.
For Joe, he has always seen the CPP, a bigger political platform than his Unity Party with which he lost massively against George Weah in 2017, as one built for his coronation as Standard Bearer. Joe believes the position of Standard Bearer is his, and all others must scramble and pay for his agreement to be named running mate.
The Oldman enjoys being bowed to, and sees the presidency, not as a chance to serve the country but to get the power he has always craved to be able to settle the many deep-seated personal grievances he carries inside, including against many who unknowingly calls him “friend” and “uncle”. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who named Joe, a long-time family friend as her Vice President, got to see the real Joe when he thought he had a firm grip on replacing her as President.
Joe is also desperate for the presidency because it will help him financially. Joe made himself and his son the financial officers in the 2017 campaign. Together, they mismanaged and squandered the many contributions that came to the campaign, spending minimally on the campaign itself. Today, Joe is broke, and desperately needs the Presidency to “care for himself”, again. A surging Cummings is disrupting Uncle Joe’s Financial Insurance Plan.
Benoni Urey’s dislike of Cummings is visceral. Benoni just has to hate Alex. Alex reminds Ben, even if he does not mean to, of Ben’s shortcomings. Alex is Ben’s crowd of boys. While Alex is easy-going, accomplished, smart, and doesn’t show off, Ben is the exact opposite. Ben is brash, has a balloon forego, and is desperate to be seen as the “leader” of his generation.
Sadly, boastful Ben is broke and scared. On the promise of getting his name off the sanctions list, he bellowed support for the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia. But the evidence is overwhelming that Benoni Wilfred Urey was the closest to President Charles Taylor, so much so that he was treated as and regarded to be the Prime Minister during much of the troubling years for the country. Of course, he is desperate to turn his back on the former President today. But the evidence of his influence and power, at the time, cannot be easily turned back.
Urey needs a sick Joe to become President especially if the Oldman, as secretly promised and agreed, will reward Ben’s slavish loyalty with the Vice Presidency. Benoni hates spending on the Oldman. But, like Prince Y. Johnson, Urey knows that political power which he cannot get on his own and needs Oldman Joe to help him get is his only shield from prosecution, and a long-term jail sentence.
He also knows Joe is older than he says he is and is battling several challenging health conditions. So Benoni has publicly attached himself to Joe while privately admitting to friends and relatives that he knows the Oldman is weak, indecisive, and tribalistic but he has to support Joe for CPP Standard Bearer because “the Oldman may not even live long to serve out his term. As Vice President, I will take over as soon as he dies, and be President.” A surging Cummings is destabilizing Urey’s plans for his long-term security and power grab.
A surging and disruptive Cummings has plunged the CPP into chaos. Joe’s coronation is doubtful. Weah and his CDC are concerned. Boakai and Urey are scrambling looking to throw the kitchen sink at Cummings. Weah and his CDC want the commode included. Politics make for strange bedfellows! Watch out for Part II…