“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.
“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.”
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.”