Liberia: Alexander Cummings Tells George Weah Government to ‘Stop the Stealing and Looting’
MONROVIA – If members of the ruling party had thought that Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, the political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), who is very noted to be cool, cozy and a diplomat when dealing with issues of national concerns will remain that way come what may, they might have mistaken.
Report by Alaskai Moore Johnson, [email protected]
He is probably no longer that Cummings at least as his appearance and tune on inarguably the nation’s biggest and widely listened to radio talk-show showed on Thursday, January 10, morning.
“The stealing has got to stop. You cannot have a leaking pocket and try to add more water. There is a leaking pocket because of the stealing and corruption in government and that has to stop,” Cummings stressed.
Appearing on the Henry Costa morning radio magazine program, The Costa Show, the ANC’s former standard bearer in the 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections, called on the Weah-led administration to hire “more competent” people, who would know what to do to resurrect the country’s failing economy.
“By every economic measurement, the economy is failing. It is not working for the people of Liberia. Inflation is everywhere. Prices are going up. This government has made an ‘F’. I don’t have to say it for the Liberia people, they are feeling the pinch and what makes it worse for me, there seems to be no plan to fix it by the government,” the ANC political leader emphasized.
On whether President Weah has reached out to him personally so that he can offer suggestions on what he thinks is the way forward, he stated: “Not at all.” However, proffering suggestions on how the economy can be fixed, he said, “First and foremost, the stealing has got to stop. Beyond that, the Government of Liberia has got to hire more competent people and put them into places that they are going to perform than we can focus on the medium term issues including agriculture.”
Mr. Cummings, who Thursday, took on an unapologetic and undiplomatic tune calling ‘a spade a spade,’ told the thousands of Liberians both at home and abroad, who were listening to the show that “it is appalling to see the kind of looting that is taking place in the country.”
He stressed that Liberians should be angry that their country is being looted; adding: “The lack of impunity on the scale it is happening should be totally unacceptable.”
According to him, the way the country is being led under President George Weah, shows the level of “incompetence;” further adding: “If the President can say when the competent are not available, the incompetent take over; what kind of leader says that about his government publically?
“To loot the national treasury of this country for personal gain is appalling and Liberians should be upset. This is your money being spent for personal gains.
“What is most of an affront is that they are doing it right in our faces in total disrespect to the Liberian people and the level of impunity at which it is happening is unprecedented in the history of this country. There has been corruption since the beginning of this country but this level where just after a year in power should make every Liberian upset because they are taking and acquiring properties.”
The ANC Political leader in further comments described the George Weah Government as a complete opposite to what a good leadership is about around the world; adding: “The roguish behavior has to stop.”
Mr. Cummings didn’t mince his words when he stated, “Leaders should eat last.”
“Liberia is a complete opposite of what leadership should be about. Our leaders go to the table and illegally eat first. This speaks to the lack of caring; using a million dollars on travel in a government that professes to be ‘pro-poor’ is a sad joke.”
He vowed that when he becomes President, he will prosecute officials who would be guilty of acts of corruption and past officials who had been found guilty of looting the state.
On President Weah commissioning of Ambassador George Patten as Liberia’s Ambassador-designate to the United States without the Senate confirmation, Cummings described it as an act of arrogance and disrespect to the organic law of Liberia. He indicated that he would be surprised if the US government honors such appointment from Liberia.
“We should all be alarmed by this distrustful act against us.”
According to Mr. Cummings, because of this government’s ineptitude, Liberia’s passport is not as powerful as it was under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Missing Billion Saga
The ANC leader hopes that the American report of alleged missing L$16 billion will not be watered down.
“I hope the report is released and done so soon. I hope the report isn’t watered down because of geopolitical reasons and if people are caught in it, they should be punished according to the law.
“We should not let this L$16 billion and the US$25 million that was intended to do the mop up exercise of excess liquidity just go like that. There has to be consequences according to the law. Liberian people this is your money.”
Just after one year in power by the CDC-led administration, he thinks that there are worrying signs as to the directions of the country. He added: “As it appears, there is no interest and strategy by government to change the direction of the country and give Liberians hope.”
According to Mr. Cummings, the government of President George is becoming very unpopular soon because of their behavior and bad governance.
A United Opposition
He agreed with most of the callers for them who are leaders of the opposition bloc to form a united opposition in coming elections. Though he believes that this will allow Liberians take back their country, he thinks, however, it is too early to choose, who heads the bloc.
“I think we need to come together on a united opposition. But the way I see it now it is not to rush with ‘who heads the opposition now?’ But we can begin to come together on common issues and 2020 will be a good test.”
War Crimes Court & Dual Citizenship
“Liberians want justice both for economic and war crimes; Liberians want to end the culture of impunity and Liberians want reconciliation. We need to hear what this present government says about its stance about the establishment of war crimes court.” On dual citizenship, he stated that he supports the action for dual citizenship. He, however, stated that some Liberians are right to be apprehensive about the call for dual citizenship: “When they look around and see who is in charge of their economy, they feel scared. We are not going to force things now,” he stated.