Cummings Endears Himself to Electorates

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Mr. Cummings speaking at the 2nd DDC Presidential Debates (Photo: Nick N. Seebeh)

By Joaquin M. Sendolo and William Q. Harmon

Like in the words of former US President Barrack Obama who said few years ago, “If you cannot strive to convince those you want to govern, how would you endeavor to govern them?” The presidential candidate of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, is making efforts to answer this question in a more positive way.

The ANC political leader has taken upon himself to get to every nook and cranny of the country, using every available platform to speak to the Liberian electorate why he is best suited to lead the country at this time.

Truly, Obama’s statement resonates with core values and the mission of the former Coca-Cola Chief Executive who on Tuesday distinguished himself as the only candidate to have participated in the two presidential debates organized by the Deepening Democracy Coalition.

Obama’s statement also points to those who are at the front of the queue in the presidential elections but are not willing to avail themselves to convince the citizenry why they should be given a shot at the nation’s highest office.

Though many thought that the absence of the perceived three top contenders for the presidency, Liberty Party’s Charles Walker Brumskine, Unity Party’s Joseph Nyuma Boakai and Coalition for Democratic Change’s George M. Weah, would have overshadowed the DDC’s second debate, Mr. Cummings, Dr. J. Mills Jones of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) and Madam MacDella Cooper of the Liberia Restoration Party (LRP), the lone woman in the race, stepped up to the platform and made their cases to the Liberian people.

Presenting his argument, Cummings said the fastest way to address the underdevelopment of the country, create wealth and take Liberians out of poverty is to robustly invest in the country’s infrastructure.

“And the fastest way to fix electricity, roads, water connectivity and cellular and internet connectivity is to attract investors to have the public, private partnership and we believe that by attracting investors we’ll get paid overtime to do we have to do,” he said.

At the end of the day, he said, Liberians want to have roads, electricity and running water in their homes and if “we can use private money to do that and we pay over time, I think Liberians will be receptive to the idea.”

Tuesday’s debate marked the DDC’s 2nd, at which candidates were quizzed on the state of the economy, youth and women empowerment, security and justice and peace and reconciliation and of course the economy.

The debate was attended by three of the seven invited candidates, with MacDella Cooper of the Liberia Restoration Party (LRP) joining Cummings and Dr. Jones.

However, George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party (LP), Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP) and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP) failed to show up.

The real deal?

After the debate, the Daily Observer spoke with few people who felt that Cummings endeared himself to the Liberian public. “I love the level of intellectualism at this debate. They are all putting forth great ideas. Dr. Jones got a good understanding on how the economy should be fixed but Cummings has come with a clean hand and I think that’s one advantage he has in these elections—the manner in which he is also addressing the critical issues is another plus for him,” Emmanuel Karway said.

“And we all are seeing how the young people are becoming to love him. They see him as the answer to their problems. He has very practical resolutions to the many problems the young people are facing in this country,” Karway noted.

Claudia Williams, an ANC supporter, said, “I think we have some advantage that other political parties may not have. One of these is Mr. Cummings’ who offers Liberians a true alternative—a true difference. The messages of our candidate are resonating with the Liberian people.”

Liberians are yearning for change, she said, “and Cummings is the symbol of the change that we want—and I think Liberians see him as someone who is like one of them who grew up in this country and got most of his education here before his success on the international stage,” she said.

“Mr. Cummings knows practically that hard work is required to win the presidency,” Mardea Wheigar, an undecided voter said, “and hard work will also be required to lead and transform our country. So I think he is setting the example by availing himself to these platforms and it is great not just for him, but the ANC and I can say Liberia as well.”

‘Dr. Jones Part of UP’s Poor Performance’

The ANC leader also said that Dr. Jones cannot be exempted from the poor performance of the Unity Party (UP) led government, because he once occupied a senior and lucrative position.

Cummings remark came when Dr. Jones asserted at the second presidential debate yesterday at the Paynesville City Hall that Unity Party should not be reelected because of poor budgetary performance and financial waste.

Dr. Jones served as the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) for two terms and later made use of the banks’ financial inclusion policy to give out thousands of dollars as loans to marketers through a system of village savings and loans throughout the country, which earned him the title ‘Poverty Doctor.’

Responding to Cummings’ statement, Dr. Jones said the Central Bank is independent of the government and is occupied by financial professionals who only regulate policies that are already in place and do not play any major role in the economic decision of the country.
He said on many occasions the CBL provided advice to the government on policy issues relating to the economy, but their pieces of advice were ignored.

Dr. Jones, meanwhile, indicated that the Coca-Cola Company that Mr. Cummings once worked for as Vice President is laying off thousands of people, to which Cummings said the company, employs more people around the world than most institutions.

The audience listens attentively to the presidential candidates at the 2nd DDC presidential debates. (Photo: Nick N. Seebeh)

Candidate MacDella Cooper also made a strong case with emphasis on the empowerment of Liberian youth. “They have been neglected and rejected so they need to be empowered and reintegrated into the larger society,” she said.

MacDella Cooper at the 2nd DDC Presidential Debate

She noted that the young people are the most valuable assets in the country, and as such, they need to be fed, schooled and empowered and adequately prepared to take up the mantle of leadership in the future.

She noted that her government would prioritize agriculture, eco-tourism and the fishery sectors—adding that these are the areas with the most potential to develop and bring Liberians out of poverty.

In the end, the three candidates demonstrated a great deal of the urgency that Liberian electorate should be examining to get their leader on October 10.

15 COMMENTS

  1. DR. J. MILLS JONES MUST BE COMPARED TO LIBERIA’S MOST EXPENSIVE ” DIAMOND ” WHICH CAN NEVER BE TRADED FOR LESS… HE HAS DEMONSTRATED AND PROVEN HIMSELF TO HIS FELLOW CITIZENS THAT THEY CAN BE ASSURED OF HIS EXCELLENT LEADERSHIP TO TAKE LIBERIA TO A HIGHER DESTINY. HE HAS MADE EVERY EFFORT TO ENCOURAGE ALL LIBERIANS THAT THERE SHOULD BE NO DOUBT – HIS VISION OF PROVIDING ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT IS GEARED TOWARDS UPLIFTING HUMANITY AND THE LIBERIAN ECONOMY, ENHANCING THE PARTICIPATION OF ALL CITIZENS TO BECOME PROFESSIONAL NATION BUILDERS BASED UPON STRATEGIC STUDIES ENABLING LIBERIANS TO DEVELOP THEMSELVES AND TOGETHER SUPPORT THIS NATIONAL APPROACH TO ELIMINATE POVERTY, INJUSTICES AND CORRUPTION.

  2. This Cummings guy is just blind when it comes to a stateś national governance. The last time he indicated that there is nothing as the constitutional design of checks and balances, and so “no branch of government has the right or power to question another branch of government”!.

    Now being ignorant of the fact that “the Central Bank is independent of the government”, he is imputing the MISRULE of the ruling Unity Party on the Governor of the Central Bank Mills Jones; when the governor was never a partisan of the Central Bank. He Cummings has even left the Coco Cola factory in ruins; and now wants to mortgage our economy under the ploy of privatizing major and strategic public corporations and utilities. Its so good he is already rejected by the electorate.

  3. CUMMINGS, BRAVO! GETTING TO EVERY “NOOK AND CRANNY” OF LIB TO GET YOUR PLATFORM ACROSS TO THE MASSES (WITH SUCH MESSED UP ROAD) WILL TAKE JUST ABOUT ANOTHER 6-YEARS! BY THAT TIME, JOE BOAKAI’S TERM SHOULD BE OVER, AND YOU WILL BE PREPARED TO RULE LOB WELL!

    • So you want to tell us you have still not discerned that Boakai is going on retirement, now that the very Legislature who endorsed him are now made a reverse and dump him after established evidenced that his actual age is 83 years! If Liberia wants any good from the next administration, you better put in power George Weah who will always remain accountable to the masses and not accountable to the masses but with the elite as would have been the case if Boakai were ever elected instead on going on pension. Besides the following of the Coalition of Democratic Change is to fill with the grassroots and the masses that they shall see it as a mandate to build us a great nation!

      • The real issue here Tamba, is who has the capability, experience and proven track record to lead our country for the next 6 years. It is not about sentiment or popularity. Weah doesn’t have any of these qualities to lead. It is about the issues and who is most qualified.

      • Mr. T. Alexander Tamba III if that’s the name you preferred, but you misclassified your title to 0ne-one-one(111). That cannot be the 3rd…..tell us where you find the evidence that Boakai is actually 83 years and not 72. Did you advised Gray when he went on the radio station to spewed that nonsense? What does age has to do with qualification and patriotism if Mr. Boakai is even 83 years old? Are you a member of the CDC? You may want to take Senator Prince Johnson audio advised to George Weah and CDCians.

    • So you want to tell us you have still not discerned that Boakai is going on retirement, now that the very Legislature who endorsed him are now made a reverse and dump him after established evidenced that his actual age is 83 years! If Liberia wants any good from the next administration, you better put in power George Weah who will always remain accountable to the masses and not accountable to the elite as would have been the case if Boakai were ever elected instead on going on pension. Besides the following of the Coalition of Democratic Change is to fill with the grassroots and the masses that they shall see it as a mandate to build us a great nation!

  4. Go everywhere. Let Weah take himself to Europe and Boakai fly in plane over Liberia, you take the car and go everywhere and see how this government has failed us. Boaki was part of the government and did not do a darn thing, just sleeping everyday. He is too old and feeble. As for Weah, ha, ha, that is too funny.

    • Moses, I know you love yourself, but Liberians aren’t ready to hand the country over to stranger. Cummings will be awarded the certificate of the “Most Traveled Candidate,” but he’ll not be given power because he paid school fees for people. Philanthropy doesn’t ask for payback and reward for kindness. It is unethical and ungodly.

      Boakai too old and feeble. Do you know what you’re saying? Go and read article 51 of your 1986 constitution and determine the role of the vice president instead coming online to spew misinformation because of your ignorance.

  5. This Cummings guy is just blind when it comes to a stateś national governance. The last time he indicated that there is nothing as the constitutional design of checks and balances, and so “no branch of government has the right or power to question another branch of government”!.

    Now being ignorant of the fact that “the Central Bank is independent of the government”, he is imputing the MISRULE of the ruling Unity Party on the Governor of the Central Bank Mills Jones; when the governor was never a partisan of the very corrupt Unity Party of Joseph Boakai and Varney Sherman. He Cummings has even left the Coca Cola factory in ruins; and now wants to mortgage our economy under the ploy of privatizing major and strategic public corporations and utilities. Its so good he is already rejected by the electorate.

  6. You are not truly INDEPENDANT; WHEN/IF the very MINORITY who were your COLONIZERS, would like/want to control your “POLITICAL LEADER SHIP” This election, is a matter of “TRUTH DEMOCRACY” and PRIDE for Liberia’s Indigenous People; who made-up a vast majority of Liberia’s Population. For the most part, Liberia have been a polarized Nation. No doubt! J.Nyumah Boakai will unify our one Nation, Liberia like we’ve never known before. Vote JNB; for a “BETTER LIBERIA”.

  7. Honestly why are most of us discussing like little kids? Most of those who are either Vice Presidential candidates did work in the UP administration, what contributions in a positive way did they make during the period of their tenure? Were they positive for the country or themselves? I’m also very aware of the fact that most of those claiming that the UP government was corrupt were party to the process, made their monies and jumped out in certain cases now formed their own political parties.
    The big question is where did they raise their funds from? Most of them were not business people nor inherited money from their family.
    We know they stole from us and because there are no real checks and balance in the system, fingers are just pointed at the UP government.
    We know them, they are masquerading in other parties today and pretending they are Angels and with a solution and answer to Liberia’s problem.
    Some of these individuals are still in government, salaries still been made available to them with no service to the people and can insinuate about corruption.
    Some have also stolen government vehicles, changed the plates and want to claim they are clean individuals and not corrupt. Can u imagine paying just five thousand dollars for a fifty thousand plus dollar vehicle, which belongs to government? They expect the next government to buy a fleet of new vehicles with the tax payers money for their Ministers.
    I could go on and on to expose most of what some of these unscrupulous ministers are doing to our country.
    Now, I’ve heard a lot of talk about the age of Boakai, some claiming he’s eighty three and in certain cases even more. My simple question, what is the constitutional requirement for an individual to qualify for candidature? If he or she is qualified by requirement then why the noise?
    I personally think we should desist from creating a situation to devide us instead of forging forward.

  8. Who is Alexander B. Cummings? What manner of a man is he? What are his leadership skills? Does he have the temperament to lead a failed state to a successful economic recovery? What skills does he bring back to Liberia from his corporate years at Pillsbury as Chief Financial Officer and up to his retirement from Coca-Cola as Chief Administrator for Global Affairs?

    These are some of the questions I wanted to know about Alexander B. Cummings. Therefore, I did a background search on this man to know what type of leader, if he succeeds in becoming the president of Liberia, he will be.

    To be neutral, I did not search Cummings’s own website because his information made or made not be tainted. Therefore, I went to neutral websites to do my background check of this man.
    For public information, I went to: Wikipedia; BlackEntrepreneurProfile; Executives.findtheCompany; Board of trustees …Clark Atlanta University.

    It is amazing how modern technology allows anyone to find a wealth of knowledge on people, or people who are running for political office, or particularly any high position in Liberia.

    After searching so many media outlets, I could not find one professional malpractice on Mr. Cummings after his forty years of international experience, and the time he returned home and worked for two years at the Liberian Development Bank, until the end of the 1970s.

    His positive attributes represent the manner of man he is. He has used his hard-earned wealth and business acumen for philanthropic causes: to support his home country Liberia during the civil war, during the Ebola crisis, and globally towards the fight against HIV/AIDS. He was instrumental in the establishment of Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. His Cummings Foundation has helped many Liberians achieved technical and higher education through his scholarship and human development goals.

    This man has an incredible administrative record……dealing with assets worth $182.9 billion dollars and over 100,000 employees. He serves on the executive board of his alma mater Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia where he obtained his MBA degree in Finance in 1982. For the sake of time, his accomplishments are too numerous to list in this comment session.

    However, during this debate, I agree when he said, “The fastest way to fix electricity, roads, water connectivity and cellular and internet connectivity is to attract investors to have the public, private partnership and we believe that by attracting investors we’ll get paid overtime to do what we have to do.”

    One of Liberia’s economic deficiencies is the Government inability to run utility companies. The government should set the utility regulations and let private enterprise compete in the utility sectors…..that is a speedy way and more efficient way to regulate monopoly and cater to the supply and demand chain.

    In this technological era, we need to do a background check on every Liberian running for office; this will reveal the characters of these people.

  9. For goodness’ sake Alpha Conneh, you should stop fooling the Liberian
    Peop0le. All that you asked of Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, you mean to
    say that a man worked his way up the ladder of becoming Senior Vice
    President of the world Coca cola does not have leadership ability? Give
    me a break! You are the kind of writer who bent on misleading the
    Liberian voters. Of all the Presidential candidates, who is clean from
    corruption? You know very well that there is not a dent on Mr. Cummings
    at all. And he is the only candidate who is free of corruption. Since everybody,
    including the Government and the international communities, agreed that
    Liberia’s lack of development is the corruption. Then it makes the only sense
    that Liberian voters must choose the candidate who is cleared of corruption.
    And that is Mr. Cummings. They need to try somebody who is cleaned indeed!

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