Team Cummings for Liberia (TCL), claiming to be a grassroot organization which is courting Mr. Alexander B. Cummings Jr. to consider a leadership role in Liberia, has expressed disappointment by what it called “third rate journalism” exhibited by the Daily Observer newspaper in a story published in its 22nd edition.
Referencing the Daily Observer story titled, “I Carry An American Passport”, TCL said in its rebuttal that at no time did the Daily Observer newspaper contact “Mr. Cummings or Team Cummings for Liberia for their side of the story but chose instead to quote unknown and anonymous sources throughout their report.”
TCL admitted that “The town hall event happened in September, 2015 but the Daily Observer chose to carry the story in late December, 2015.” TCL did not refute the content of the report as to whether Mr. Cummings admitted being an American citizen, but simply wondered about the intent of divulging such information.
TCL said, “Did the Daily Observer attend the occasion in Minnesota? What is the source of the direct quotes attributed to the Mr. Cummings in which he is quoted as saying that “he carries an American passport because he is an American citizen?”
TCL also said, “Is there a transcript of his admission that is available to the Daily Observer reporter Omari Jackson?”
In that report, which was also reported by NewDispensation.com, Mr. Cummings was quoted as saying, “I carry an American passport.” TCL further said, “The fact also is that Mr. Cummings is still a private citizen, employed in the private sector and has not declared any intention to contest political office.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Observer was contacted yesterday evening by a member of Team Cummings for Liberia in the United States and via telephone and email, requesting that the TCL’s rebuttal not be published as requested, and that the newspaper should allow it to die down. The TCL member said the content of the rebuttal “is not representative of the overall communication team.”
It became apparent that there was confusion among TCL ranks, regarding who is responsible for what and how concerns should be addressed. However, a late night phone call from TCL’s contact in Monrovia confirmed the position of the rebuttal.
The Daily Observer notes that its story was not published with malicious intent, and is in no mood for a fight with anyone this festive season. The newspaper believes that Cummings’s honesty and transparency about his citizenship status, indicates a paradigm shift from other existing and would-be politicians who lack the ‘testicular fortitude’ to be honest with themselves, let alone the Liberian people, in the quest for political office. And while Cummings has yet to disclose any political direction, he is in a strategic position to influence the debate on the dual citizenship issue for Liberians at home and abroad, and potentially set the country on a path toward greater unity and opportunities for all. This, in itself, could unearth an undeniable legacy.