By William Q. Harmon and Hannah N. Geterminah
The political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander Benedict Cummings, and some of the party’s stalwarts on Friday, March 29, 2019, lambasted members of the Liberian Senate who voted to convict embattled Associate Justice, Kabineh Mohammed Ja’neh, for failing to protect the image and the interests of the state.
The ANC political leader rebuked those senators, some of whom had earlier spoken against the illegality of the impeachment proceedings, for what he termed as greed and their blatant disregard for the organic law of the country, the constitution and for trashing the confidence of the Liberian people for personal aggrandizement.
His comments, coming minutes after the guilty verdict against J’aneh was announced, provoked an outburst from scores of ANC supporters chanting, “Shame on them! Shame on them! Shame on them,” which reverberated across the headquarters of the ANC.
Said Cummings to the assembly, “I want you all to join me let us sing shame on them because they feel they are bringing our country to public disrepute; but it is them that the shame is on.” He called on Liberians to vote out of office, in the coming 2020 senatorial elections, all the senators who voted to convict Justice Ja’neh.
The ANC officials and the partisans had gathered at a ceremony where two members of the House of Representatives had come to officially join the party. They included Larry Younquoi of Nimba County District #8 and Beyan Howard of Lofa County District #5. They bring to four the total amount of lawmakers, from both the lower and upper chambers that have joined the ANC. The others are Rep. Thomas Gorshua of Grand Bassa County district#5 and Senator, Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu County.
Cummings said that the action of the senators does not only affect Mr. Ja’neh, but the most impacted, negatively, is the country’s democracy, the rule of law and the constitution. “This is a sad time for Liberia and Liberians. We must stand up as a people for the sake of our country.
Some partisans also indicated that Ja’neh’s conviction signifies that President George Manneh Weah is bent on planting seeds of discord in an already volatile society. They branded the impeachment proceeding as “unconstitutional and a great injustice.”
Many began to sense too many irregularities after the appearance of former justice Philip Banks.
“This process was not about Kabineh J’aneh, it is about our country and the people because, as it is often said, injustice to one is injustice to all. These Senators have let us down because of greed,” said Emmanuel Dartoe, an ANC partisan.
Esther Mulbah, another partisan, noted that President Weah is setting a bad precedent that will come back to haunt him. “He [Weah] should not think that he owns Liberia and can therefore do anything at will. The people are watching and will speak at the appropriate time,” she said.
Dartoe agrees and perceives that President Weah doesn’t mean well for the nation as he is now indulging into activities that would have no impact on the Liberian populace.