Liberia: Cummings Meets Obasanjo

Mr. Cummings (right) and former Nigerian President Obasanjo met to “rekindle a 25-year friendship.  

The political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) has met with the former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo to discuss the leadership needs of Africa.

The meeting, according to an ANC release, which was at the invitation of Obasanjo was geared toward the two men “rekindling a 25-year friendship, and to discuss the need for competent and experienced leadership on the African Continent.”

“The two leaders used the opportunity to also discuss the current state of affairs in Liberia. Cummings then asked for increased international support and attention for Liberia, and briefed the former President on his vision for Liberia’s inclusive economic growth, long-term security, and sustainable peace and democracy.” 

“For his leadership and contributions to Liberia’s peace and democracy, President Obasanjo is favorably regarded by Liberians, and has been decorated with the nation’s highest distinctions,” the release said. 

For his part, the ANC release added that President Obasanjo thanked Cummings for his continued contributions to Africa’s economic growth and development, including creating thousands of jobs, support to small businesses, and providing opportunities for women and young people, during his time at Coca-Cola and long thereafter. 

“The former President affirmed that Cummings’ background and experience were, in fact, the qualifications for leadership Africa needs, and encouraged Cummings to continue in his bid for the Presidency. 

Obasanjo, who is widely acclaimed for returning the country to sustainable democratic order, praised Cummings’ strong reputation in the international community, especially in international corporate and business circles, from which he noted, that Liberia will undoubtedly benefit from foreign investments, job creation, and improvements in the overall standard of living of the Liberian people, according to the release.

He, therefore, “assured Cummings of his continued friendship and support.”

The release added that the meeting came on the margins of the dismissal of all charges against the ANC leader, after almost 6 months of trial by the government. 

He pleaded not guilty, condemned the charges as false and politically motivated, and was forensically cleared of any wrongdoing by an independent international  investigation presided over by the respected British lawyer, Cherie Marie Blaire, after more than 5 months of the trial.  

Cummings is challenging incumbent President George Weah and former Vice President Joseph Boakai for the leadership of Liberia in elections slated for 2023. 

The two men, according to the release, first met each other 25-years ago, when Cummings served as Managing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria with responsibility for all of the Coca-Cola Company’s operations in Nigeria. 

Cummings subsequently became President of Coca-Cola Africa, managing a total of 56 countries and territories across the African Continent. 

He was subsequently promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, with responsibility for Coca-Cola’s business functions across 200 countries around the world. In this role, Cummings managed several thousands of employees worldwide, with an operational budget of almost $1 billion, which is nearly twice the size of Liberia’s national budget.