Liberia: Opposition Leader Cummings Says Attack in Grand Gedeah Orchestrated by Leadership

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SUPERINTENDENT IN THE KNOW? “The superintendent came this morning, made no explanation, no apologies. He came and said you need to leave; we will escort you out, but you need to leave. I have no proof, but I believe the Superintendent is responsible for what happened here today. Again, I’m alleging it because I don’t have proof but nowhere else did this happen – and if the Superintendent of this county didn’t want this to happen, I believe it would not have happened.”
– Mr. Alexander Cummings, Alternative National Congress, Collaboration of Political Parties

Monrovia – Mr. Alexander Cummings, leader of the Collaboration of Political Parties(CPP) and head of the Alternative National Congress is accusing the leadership of Grand Gedeh County for an attack early Thursday when aggrieved supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) staged a protest in the county, demanding the unconditional and immediate departure from the county of Montserrado County Representative Yekeh Korlubah(ANC, District No. 10).

Speaking to reporters shortly after the incident, the CPP leader said while it is understandable that small political stuffs do occur from time to time, the attack Thursday crossed the line and was clearly orchestrated. “We have these small political stuffs, you know – we were not allowed to use the halls in Fishtown etc. But that’s politics. But to come to Grand Gedeh and to have rock throwing, threatening our lives. It’s just unacceptable. We have a constitutional right to be here, to express our points of view, we did so peacefully.  And to have some Grand Gedeans – and I believe this was orchestrated, this was not spontaneous, to come and threaten us, it is just unacceptable. This is not the Liberia we all want to live in, we all are striving for, we all trying to improve.”

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Thursday, before the B-2 Guest House in Zwedru.

Representative Kolubah, who is a strong critic of President George Manneh Weah, is currently in Grand Gedeh following the climax of a trip to Maryland County along with his political leader, Alexander Cummings, prior to the celebration of Liberia’s 173rd Independence anniversary.

‘Behavior Unacceptable’

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Thursday, before the B-2 Guest House in Zwedru.

Mr. Cummings said such behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated lying down.  “We will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our country, it is completely unacceptable. That we cannot come to a county, spend a night, have meetings and move on. This was orchestrated – and every Liberian need to know that the CPP, we are going to stand resolute, we are going to stand firm. In this December elections. We are going to put up the best candidates and we are going to support those candidates so we can change the direction of the country. We will not tolerate this sort of behavior and any attempts to revert the votes of the Liberian people, we will fight.”

The ANC and CPP leader said he and his team were passing through the county after spending the Independence Day celebration in his hometown, Maryland County, and were on their way to Nimba and then Monrovia when they were interrupted.  “We are very disappointed by what happened this morning. You know, we traveled to Sinoe, we made a stop, Grand Kru, we made a stop. We spent some time in Maryland, my home county, we also spent some time in River Gee – and we had none of these incidents.”

“We will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our country, it is completely unacceptable. That we cannot come to a county, spend a night, have meetings and move on. This was orchestrated – and every Liberian need to know that the CPP, we are going to stand resolute, we are going to stand firm. In this December elections. We are going to put up the best candidates and we are going to support those candidates so we can change the direction of the country. We will not tolerate this sort of behavior and any attempts to revert the votes of the Liberian people, we will fight.”

Mr. Alexander Cummings, ANC, CPP

Mr. Cummings explained that several meetings were planned in the morning with the CPP leadership in Zwedru. “We were trying to have our meeting this morning with the leadership of the CPP. So, we met, and we just had a meeting with them. And that was part of the plan, part of the strategy, was to have this conversation – and we were determined to do that. We had planned to leave late morning, early afternoon and now we will begin that process to continue our journey into Nimba and then ultimately back to Monrovia.”

Mr. Cummings assured Liberians that members of the CPP will never be run out of any county, including Grand Gedeh. “We were determined, and I was determined that we would go through our process as was planned. We have done that and now we start the process of our departure.”

No Intervention from Superintendent

Asked whether the county’s superintendent Kai Farley tried to intervene or break up the attack, Mr. Cummings said, the Superintendent did not. “The superintendent came this morning, made no explanation, no apologies. He came and said you need to leave; we will escort you out, but you need to leave. I have no proof, but I believe the Superintendent is responsible for what happened here today. Again, I’m alleging it because I don’t have proof but nowhere else did this happen – and if the Superintendent of this county didn’t want this to happen, I believe it would not have happened.”

Superintendent Farley, it can be recalled, is an ex rebel ruthless killer with the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), a rebel group during the Liberian civil war, responsible for seized and looted Liberia’s fourth largest rubber plantation in the Sinoe county as well as killing several innocent Liberians.

Prior to his appointment in 2018 by president George Weah, Farley served as member of the National Legislature from Grand Gedeh’s District 3 (now changed to 2) between 2006 and 2011.

On Thursday, Mr. Cummings expressed disappointment that the only attack on Rep. Korlubah came in Grand Gedeh. “I do not know but Honorable Korlubah accompanied me all through this visit. So, it’s not like this is the first time he’s come to Grand Gedeh. I cannot speculate except my assertion and allegation that this was orchestrated by the leadership of this county.”

He however noted that he does not believe that all of Grand Gedeh  supports what happened Thursday. “I believe this was orchestrated by the leadership of the county – and this was designed by the leadership of this county – and there are a few people here who are rock throwing and threatening our lives but I believe that most of the people of Grand Gedeh are law abiding, are peaceful people and they welcomed our presence here today but it is unfortunate that the leadership here caused what happened here today. Most of the residents of Grand Gedeh are peaceful and law-abiding Liberians and a lot of them are supportive of the CPP. In every situation, you will have people that will not agree with you, you will not have 100 percent and that’s ok, that’s acceptable. In fact, in some place, majority of the folks will not agree with you, but I don’t believe that is the case here today and I believe these people do not represent Grand Gedeans – and I really believe they do not.”

CPP More Determined Moving Forward, Cummings Says

Mr. Cumming added that Thursday’s incident has embolden him and the CPP. “By the way, we are going to be determined and undeterred to have a presence in this county because of the behavior that happened here today. We will not be deterred. Let the Grand Gedeans know, let the Superintendent hear this, let the Liberian people hear this. We are even more determined to make our presence felt in Grand Gedeh because of their behavior. We are going to have a candidate in every county, the CPP will.  our goal is to win majority of these seats in the December elections. And we will be even more determined to support that candidate.”

Asked whether the attack was in retaliation to Rep. Korlubah’s repeated insults on President George Weah, Mr. Cummings disagreed. “Honorable Korlubah has been with me to all my visits. We had no incidents in Sinoe, no incidents in Grand Kru, no incidents in Maryland where we spent several days, no incidents in River Gee where we spent a couple of days. Everybody has their style and approach. Honorable Korlubah has his style and approach. By the way, I want to remind Grand Gedeans that Honorable Korlubah is doing this on their behalf, on our behalf, not for any personal aggrandizement. So, I think that’s an excuse. I don’t support that. And he’s been warmly welcomed by the way – throughout the Southeast. So, that’s why I think this was all orchestrated. Had it been left to Grand Gedeans themselves we would have had a peaceful conversation, we would have left here on schedule, we are going to leave here on schedule – and nothing would have happened. To the people of Grand Gedeh, I want you to know that we know that most of you don’t harbor any ill will against me, the CPP, Honorable Korlubah – that this was architected – and we understand that.”

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