Liberia: Cummings Visits Boakai in aftermath of His Ailment and Calls for Re-Collaboration
MONROVIA – Just when the public generally thought both men could no longer meet eye-to-eye, Alexander Cummings on Thursday paid a courtesy visit to Amb. Joseph Boakai in a bid to wish him a speedy recovery after his weeklong stay at the ELWA Hospital.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The visit also comes amid calls for both men to reach a compromise and reunite on a single ticket – with Cummings going second to Boakai – for the purpose of having a formidable force to defeat President George Weah in the first round of the October elections.
In reaction to the visit, Cummings’ former chief of office staff, Isaac Vah Tukpah, wrote on Facebook:
The MESSAGE is clear. ABC has again demonstrated leadership and shown that the opposition is a BIG TENT. He believes there is a space for 2 or 3 candidates and they can compete with respect, integrity, and civility.
Please, flamethrowers and instigators who support ABC or JNB, take note of mature politics. Let’s focus on this corrupt government; the national issues; the qualities that differentiate our candidates from the rest and make them the best; the civic and voters education; the biometric voters registration; taking a unified on the corrupt census; being observers and participants every step of the way in the chain of custody for the development, printing, transportation, and deployment of the ballot boxes; rules of engagement for peaceful, non-violent elections; and collaborating on ensuring protection of opposition votes.
If we do these things, Weah is a one-term president.
However, FrontPageAfrica gathered from within Cummings’ camp that the visitation does not in any way means that Mr. Cummings is considering backing down on his presidential quest to go as running mate to Amb. Boakai.
Last week, former Maryland County Senator, John Ballout, stressed the need for a united opposition for the pending presidential and general elections. He believes that a ticket that will carry former Vice President Joseph Boakai as standard bearer and Mr. Alexander benedict Cummings as vice standard bearer will be a one-round winnable ticket.
In his justification, he said owing to his experience in politics, former Vice President Joseph Boakai who served two terms is the most prepared to redeem Liberia. He added that Cummings being a person with the greatest understanding and knowledge and capacity to transform this country can make a good Vice President.
“It must be reminded that in politics and political arrangements, no one gets everything and in the midst of harsh political realities, there must be room for compromise for the sake of political strength,” he said.
Sen. Ballout’s recommendations followed similar made by Taa Wongbe, former aide to Cummings. Wongbe noted that “it’s time that Cummings realizes he cannot win the 2023 election by himself and with Boakai in the race, so the VP option to Boakai is his best route to the presidency. If he really loves Liberia and believes the people are tired suffering, he must sacrifice his ego for a united opposition.
“VP Boakai also needs to realize that the ticket the Liberian people are hoping for is Boakai/Cummings. As an elder who is notoriously inconsistent in making decisions, he has to take the lead in pushing for that dream ticket, but Urey is seen by many as the major obstacle to this. Anything short of the dream ticket will ruin Boakai’s quest.”
However, in a recent controversial open letter to the Unity Party, former Peace Ambassador and Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee called on Amb. Boakai to retire from politics and focus more on his health and his grandchildren.
Nobel Peace Laureate Gbowee said the former Vice President deserves to spend some time with his grandchildren rather than being involved with the rigor of politics amid his ill health.
“In the interest of peace, development, and the future of Liberia, I would like to ask you all to kindly allow Uncle Joe Boakai to retire from politics and focus on his health.
“He deserves to spend his golden years interacting with his grandkids, enjoying family time,” she wrote on Facebook.
She also called on the Unity Party to reconsider its partnership with other political parties and form a merger that will provide viable political option for the Liberian people.
She insisted that Mr. Joe is in no position to contest the upcoming election.