Cummings Doubts Weah Administration’s Ability to Succeed

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Mr. Cummings is being certificated by one of the Rotarians

“I don’t know whether CDC understands the enormity of what they have taken on.”

Many would say that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) administration is still very young, but along with that comes many questionable actions and decisions by the President and the governing party and, according to the political leader of the Alternative National Congress, (ANC) Alexander B. Cummings, these early happenings have brought CDC’s ability to govern into question.

Mr. Cummings made specific references to the quality of the appointments made so far by President George Manneh Weah, some of which lack integrity, qualification and no semblance of moral rectitude. He then mentioned the recent questionable loan agreements that the government has brokered with companies that have been brought under the spotlight for lack of performance or shady deals.

Serving as a guest speaker at the Rotary Clubs of Liberia quarterly meeting at a local resort in Monrovia over the weekend, Cummings noted that the early signs in Weah’s administration are just not good, but worrisome for a country whose people desire so much to better their lives. “The early signs are not good, there seems to be no strategy and a clear vision from the ruling party,” he said.

He said the government that is leading the mantra of a Pro-poor agenda or government for the poor, is yet to convince the masses that it would work in their favor. “We are disappointed because we are seeing the repeat of what we all promised to change when we all were in opposition. There seems to be no substance in the administration,” soft-spoken but articulate Cummings said.

He questioned the quality and abilities of many of the top officials that the President has appointed so far. “Look at the qualities of most of the officials who have been appointed in government. These are not encouraging at all. How can these people represent a country that needs to be taken seriously?” he asked.

Cummings, a man who excelled at the pinnacle of corporate America with Coca-Cola as its Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), wondered whether President Weah and his CDC understand the tasks that the Liberian people have entrusted unto them.

“I don’t understand whether the CDC understands the enormity of what they have taken on. We wish them well but we have no level of optimism. So far, there is no assurance that the future will be good. We are not optimistic at all,” he said.

He added that most countries, especially the “ones we all admire and want to emulate, are led by their best and brightest people but unfortunately, the case is different here.” But he told scores of Rotarians who had gathered, “Let us not give up on this country.”

ETON and EBOMAF Loans are Disasters

Responding to questions about his take on the two financing agreements that have been ratified by the Liberian legislature, Cummings termed the ETON and EBOMAF loans as two big political mistakes.

“Loans by definition are not bad, neither is building of roads for our people. I’m from the Southeast and will be happy to see the suffering of our people alleviated, but this is not the best way to proceed,” he indicated.

With these questionable financial agreements, the ANC political leader noted that the Legislature, the Ministries of Public Works and Justice are doing the Liberian people more harm than good—putting the country in a situation that will be an embarrassment for future leaders.

Mr. and Mrs Cummings and some Rotarians at the meeting

“These institutions are failing the country,” Mr. Cummings said. He said there should have been detailed feasibility studies of these roads projects before knowing the total that is needed to connect the counties.

“The lawmakers may be taking brown envelopes to ensure the passage of these questionable loans, but do they know how much the shareholders of these companies might be making out of these deals?” he asked.

He noted that some of these are happening in the country, especially at the level of the National Legislature because of the lack of vibrant political institutions.

He indicated that Liberian political institutions lack discipline and until these can be strengthened, the political system will continue to let the masses down. “We don’t actually have political parties in this country. People join political parties because of its expediency and what they stand to benefit, but not because they believe in the philosophies of what those institutions stand for,” he told the Rotarians.

Every Liberian, especially political leaders, knows what the problems in this country are; but the obstacles are how to go about solving them and the presence of political will, Cummings noted, adding: “Many of our young people are poor and uneducated. This is worrisome and should be the primary problem that we need to address.”

William R. Dennis (far left) and other Rotarians

Mr. Cummings, who professed that he has a very deep love for Liberia, indicated that he is in the process of rebuilding the ANC to make it a model of a vibrant political institution in the country. “Everything that I have is because of this country. I’m on a rebuilding process of the ANC. I want to institutionalize it as a vibrant political institution.”

Meanwhile, the ANC strongman challenged Rotarians to continue their good work in the country. “You have been doing marvelous jobs by helping our people, especially the underprivileged. Please continue to do it because this country now needs every hand on deck.”

22 COMMENTS

  1. I hope he really means what he said, because all he said regarding the state of affairs in Liberia is true . He summed it all in a nutshell. The lack of integrity on the part of politicians and GOL officials is ruining this country.
    GOL must learn the seek the interest of it’s citizens, and Liberians must begin to hold their leaders accountable!

  2. What is the difference are you making since joining the political scene in Liberia Mr.Cummings? After election your ANC has gone in coma across the country. So what are the new ideas and visions you have brought in our political dispensation?Law of logic says before you criticized an object ,you must be an expert of that object. If you don’t have anything to say , shut up because you have not brought anything new to the table.

  3. There have been feasibility studies on the roads to the extent that government is aware of the total number of unpaved roads across the country and the cost of getting them paved. I saw former Minister Gyude Moore do an elaborate presentation on it at a cabinet meeting in Bomi and recently saw another more detailed presentation done by Minister Nyenpan on it at recently held Cabinet Meeting in Buchanan, Grand Bassa.

    • Emmanuel – would you be kind enough to provide a link to this study or info on where it is publicly available. It would help calm some of the public’s doubts and nerves.

      Since these are going to be coastal highways connecting the various counties, I would assume the quality to be no less than the Somalia Drive and with four lanes.

      The Somalia Drive road is costing almost $100 million for a 13.2km road (almost 8 miles stretch) when completed. What I do not understand is how all these roads connecting the counties, which will stretch more than ten times the span of the Somalia Drive combined, will cost $536 million to construct. It is my understanding these roads when completed are going to have “rest stops” and “roadside service areas.” From this same amount we are going to have “mini soccer stadiums all over the place and vocational training centers.

      The point is the $536 million seems inadequate for the level of construction being portrayed in my opinion. If this being the case how did the government arrive at this amount for the level of work mentioned? What are the studies?

      I think the president means well and the government is singing the right songs, but the process by which the government is going about is what troubling. I really don’t think Liberians are against development but given the history on past administrations on deliverables, the public has every reason to raise concern especially when you see the replay of past administrations’ errors.

      I think this president has a good heart for the country, but he ought not to allow friendship to cloud his good judgment when it comes to the nation. Give jobs to people because they can be trusted and can deliver on time and not because they shower you with praises. That will make him an effective and efficient president…

  4. Mrs. Margaret Thatcher was her Conservative Party’s shadow Minister of Education while they were the Opposition when her tough love proposals to public school education earned her “Iron Lady” from a reporter of the Soviet Tass newspaper in London. This suggests that ANC leader Mr. Alexander Cummings doesn’t have to be President of Liberia in order for a bulb to light in his head about the indispensability of major roads to the economic viability of his main constituency – the southeastern region!

    After all, some of us who aren’t politicians were discussing these road projects with Liberian civil engineers since the matter was first broached in the early 1980’s. And as lately as 2016, I received briefings from one about the need to start before the environmental impacts of a rapidly warming climate make matters worse.

    Seemingly, were Mr. Cummings committed to infrastructural development in the southeast, he would’ve funded “detailed feasibility studies of these roads projects” with the monies few media pundits leading opposition to them are going nuts over. Not to mention that as a Liberian expected to be knowledgable about international finance, the ANC leader didn’t propose other funding methods that won’t be “shady”. The next election comes up in 2023, but, for now, most Liberians are looking forward to seeing jobs and roads.

    • Did they ask him for advise? You think one can just get up form outside and start telling government what to do. Government have to reach out and seek out the advise from people they deemed as expert in a certain area. Have you ever hear anywhere in the world where a single individual build road? Even in the west where there so many millionaires and billionaires, they do not spend money building or fixing roads in their own community then you want Cummings to build road throughout a whole country. You honestly thing a feasibility study done in the eighties is relevant in 2018 where there has been new roads and need for new roads to be built? Do you even know if previous feasibility studies was doctored up due to corruption? This is why it’s important for this government to do it’s own feasibility studies to make sure it is not over borrowing. They also need to make sure the loan is coming from a good source and that it will not over burden the feature generation.
      Cummings is only being concern. We all should be concern for the sake of our president and most importantly our nation. President Weah is not like any other president that is why we should all, including the media, voice our honest opinions to make sure he makes the right decision.

      • ED Bee, I stand corrected if this is incorrect. But at the conclusion of the electoral process, Mr. Cummings was emphatically clear about his lack of interest to be a part of the CDC led government in any shape or form. Such stipulation leaves little or no room for the gov’t to seek his help.

        Moreover, Mr. Cummings does not need a title or position to champion a Liberian cause. If Mr. Cummings is to lead Liberia in any future, he will have to do more than just criticize Weah. He should do things that might earn him credibility with the Liberian people.

        Again, I put to you, it will take way more than criticism to win the trust and confidence of the Liberian people. And clock is ticking.

  5. What does one expect from this LYING HUSTLER Alexander Cummings who has hired Rodney Sieh of FPA! An Alex Cummings who would LIE that he would provide 100,000 jobs in three months, only because he sensed been a BIG LOSER in an election, HAS ABSOLUTELY NO INTEGRITY. ITS AS SIMPLE AS THAT. An Alex Cummings who would hire young people as well as other adults to work for him during the elections; but then refused to pay those he hired because he ended up a BIG LOSER, does not only not have integrity. He has a criminal mind.

  6. Mr. Sylvester Moses is showing some biases here, why should an individual Liberian shoulder a project that a government in power failed to considered before getting itself monies to undertake? if this government wanted to do a good job, it would have done the feasibility studies and determined the what it would cost to do it. Loans are considered “Shady”, because official of this so-called “Popular Government”failed to disclose all of the information about them and the borrowers . What are they calling “Sovereign Guarantee”? Is it not in the cloud? All good government transactions should be in the open. Mr. Moses biases come here because had been very critical on the past administration of EJS and here he is supporting a government that is now stepping wrongly and he is not man enough to say it. Let be fair in the process of discussing issue. OK.

  7. I think this is the change the Liberians were yawning for. The CDC only promised change but there was no clearly defined change. It could be positive or the opposite. Now that yesterday is better than today. We wish them well in their saga… Liberia is the buttom line.

  8. Well, with all of these n other stories, the best we can do is to pray for n wrapped arms around Weah n his government. I didn’t vote for Weah but he’s now the president for Liberia n all Liberians. Let’s avoid all of these criticism n put ideas n suggestions together. Together we can succeed.

  9. What can we say, the future will determine who is telling the truth…Liberians, some of us trust his Excellency President Weah to deliver as promised because he is Liberia’s common denominator.

  10. Do not put the cart before the horse. Questionable financiers(Eton) , rubber stamp legialature (brown envelopes), no feasibility study for coastal highways or intercounty highways (public works), substandard roads (possibility). A recipe for disaster. Where is the transparency and accountability in these initial financial transactions. A playground for pro crooks ? Let the disbursement begin. Help us lord, our children’s future to be mortgaged? Munyan CDC posterity will judge you. Where there is no vision the people perish.

  11. Mr. Cummings, I am very surprise to hear you say that the loan is not in the interest of the Liberian people. Have you sit down to think about the suffering masses in the southeast of our country? No! You have never. I remember when you were the Vice president of coco-cola world wide and chief executive in Africa to be precise 2009. In that year, you earned over 4.9 millions united states dollars. The question here is, what did you do to improve the suffering condition of the people if where you came as claim by you? The only time we see you guys (politicians) coming around to do things for us, is when election is in the corner. But let me say these few words to you: “liberians are no longer fools”. Their eyes are open to the attitude of you guys (politicians) being wolf in sheep clothes. Caution! Take time before you end up like Brumskine of the LP.

  12. During the 2017 election season, an anonymous source stated that Cummings’ father was misidentified.

    Confused?

    Okay let me clarify.
    According to an anonymous source, Cummings’ dad was born in Pleebo, Maryland County, but not the village that’s often identified by Cummings as being the village where his dad was born.

    It’s all politics!
    A few people sat in on this strange development. A guy who listened to the source said, “it’s all politics. Cummings’ family is from the Southeast, particularly, Maryland County. Y’all trying to politically sabotage the gentleman”. Well, I kept my cool. All I said was, “Shoot, I don’t care where he or his family came from. Whether he’s an Americo-Liberian, a Mandingo-Liberian, or Via-Liberian or any ethnic Liberian, I couldn’t care less. A Liberian is a Liberian.”

    However, Cummings’ claim that Weah may not succeed is all politics. Cummings is entitled to free speech. But I hope Cummings is wrong. I hope Weah succeeds. During the last 20 years, Liberia has gone through a whole lot of difficulties. I hope that the right decisions are made. I hope that Weah will not become autocratic. I hope that high-class government officials and members of the Liberian legislature will forego malfeasance and will prove to the outside world that we’re worthy of something. I hope that the schools will run well. I hope that good reliable roads will be constructed. Finally, I hope that I will not be perceived by my compatriots as being a political neophyte.

  13. Your meaningless rhetoric is for your small number of followers who cowardly put up their hands for you after the dust in liberia political sojourn has transformed to air that we can breath now. I cannot blame them as we liberian like new things that we can run dry.. believe me you will run dry and shrink more. Where was this so called advocacy of yours when liberia was at the mercy of Charles Taylor when men could put their family and lives at risk and stand up to him, men valuable houses were destroyed and relatives were savaged again and again but you dare not leave your coke distribution portfolio to stand up for liberians. Where was your little statue when journalists and human right preachers were mistreated and literally damaged because of their stand for justice and fair play in liberia, where were your sweet talks when all we painfully could hear from liberian war Lords was we will fight until the last man die. You did nothing and hide your little self behind your Coke bottle while liberians destroyed Liberia. Yes we know its prudent to question the source of such massive loan and the agreement attached to it but it doesn’t take rocket science and so called brain like you to know the problems of our country which the CDC led government has pin point to solve that is roads roads and roads and all other things will follow. We are aware of beautiful narrative for things to twist and turn in your favor in politics when you are not at the helm of power. However the beating heart of liberia will not be mere words from a little man but the practical development from a giant who has stood the test of time to talk less and do more of what we expect… doing his your positive part for liberia.

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