A Critique of Cummings’ Performance and the Health of Our National Politics

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Our dear country is faced with a dilemma – a weak and uninspiring opposition versus an unimpressive government. Observing the current Liberian political scene is like watching two lazy and poorly-prepared teams take to a field – both having spectacular opportunities to make meaningful gains. Yet, they are screwing up at catastrophic levels to the utmost disappointment of their spectators.

When it was announced that the Current Chairman of the CPP, Mr. Alex Cummings, would be hosted on a popular Talk Show amid the Recast Budget Fiasco, the overwhelming expectation was that the country would have been treated to a time of soul-searching and thoughtful deliberations.

Frustratingly, instead of Cummings focusing attention on the critical question at issue which is the demise of transparency in government, he went on defend Dillon’s disrespectful comments against his Senate colleagues; even at that, Cummings’ performance was dismally pathetic. He appealed to emotions than to reason, and revealed himself to have been either not so informed, or not so ready for Liberian politics!

Aware that the relevant provisions of Liberian Law (Code of Conduct & Judiciary Law – Title 17 Liberian Code of Laws Revised) and precedent don’t support Dillon; I, like many others, expected a skillful leadership maneuver on the part of Cummings, who should have exercised moral courage in the first instance, by chastising Dillon’s less than thoughtful comments. And subsequently argue against the disproportionality of the Senate’s response. But, Cummings failed, making his presentation on the 50-50 Talk Show to appear as though he was endorsing the use of vulgarity in legislative proceedings as opposed to a commitment to legislative decorum.

The other painful and frustrating thing was that Cummings did not stay on message, neither did he push, with any sense of seriousness or intensity the lack of transparency in Government, especially the broad-day violation of Sections 14 and 18 of the PFM Law, which provides for the Budget being made available to the public immediately following its submission to the Legislature.

The National Budget is the second most important document, next to the Constitution in our country. And so, when budget law is blatantly violated, all Liberians should be up in arms, or the duty of the opposition leader, if he knows, is to ensure the Government’s feet are held to the fire in respect of the law.

When Liberia signed onto the OGP, it made a bigger commitment to promoting transparency and accountability in government. The effort was aimed at ensuring that with a click of a mouse, a citizen could locate relevant portions of the Budget he/she was desirous of searching for. How come this is disappearing before our eyes? And an opposition political leader in Cummings cannot forcefully draw attention to this?

It is needless to lament the catastrophic mistake associated with Section 10.11 of the CPP Framework document since it is now an over-flogged issue.  But, how could these people not sense that our people would have rightly perceived Section 10.1 of the Framework document as exclusionary?

I have drawn attention to these pitfalls not in any desire to show superior knowledge; far from it. But, it’s important to make the point that our national politics is in danger of slipping into mediocrity if those with political dexterity, clout and experience sit idly by for different reasons.

Imagine, what the opposition or the government would have looked like to have the likes of Hon. Lewis Brown; HB; Augustine Ngafuan; Kofi Woods; John Morlu; James Kollie; Amara Konneh, etc. actively on board? It is a crying shame that we are standing on the sidelines, while the country wobbles.  We cannot afford to make our children think that politics is for flunkies, charlatans and sycophants.

These individuals are not the only persons. There are many others out there, maybe without money, but certainly the right ideas to turn our country around. Our country is crying out for ideas, knowledge and experience. The current options on display are uninspiring and lack sufficient knowledge of our country to deliver on any meaningful hope for change.

It’s time to acknowledge this, and do something about it, even at the risk of the backlash of the noisy Facebook mob!

10 COMMENTS

  1. Why we keep sugarcoating our problems and don’t like accepting responsibilities? Are you really serious to accused Cummings of supporting Hon Dillion’s condemnation against his fellow senators for their nonsense recently? When are we going to stop this type of loyalty and say no to stupidity? When something is dirty, say it is dirty or when something nasty, say it is nasty. Hon Dillion simply spoke out his mind out of frustration, considering what happened to passing the recast budget. Whenever someone ack stupid, there is no better way of saying it that they acted stupid. Don’t beat around the bush as people often say in Liberia. Say it the way it is and be set free consciously.

    The agenda to remove Hon Dillion from the senate by fellow senators is very dangerous and detrimental to our political institutions of Liberia. The people of district 15, situated in montserrado county elected Hon Dillion to represent them and here we have few group of men, calling themselves senators or lawmakers trying to over turned the people voices because of political indifferences best known to themselves. This is a very bad precedent and those that are involved need to abort this hearing for the betterment of Liberia moving forward. Senator Amah Jallah also expressed his frustration about the recast budget but in different way. So this is what the Liberian people actually wanted and that is, to be informed, I mean well informed about what is going on in session and Hon Dillion is doing just that. Please stop the sugarcoating and say it right and good things will happen in Liberia.

    • Isaac, Alex Cummings´ intellectual weakness, his ignorance, or been a political green horn as some refer to him, and his political idiocy, hypocrisy, immaturity, and unpreparedness for politics, are nothing to new to anyone in Liberia today. But, Isaac, you too also have allowed emotion to becloud your reasoning, when you assert that:

      “Imagine, what the opposition or the government would have looked like to have the likes of Hon. Lewis Brown; HB; Augustine Ngafuan; Kofi Woods; John Morlu; James Kollie; Amara Konneh, etc. actively on board?” WHAT!!!!!!!!????? ARE YOU INSANE?????

      My friend, please do not associate John Morlu with your fellow opportunists! Were not these the same thieves, and opportunists (including you Isaac Jackson, Lewis Brown, H. Boima Fahnbulleh Jr., Amara Konneh, Augustine Ngafuahn, etc. etc.), in the immediate past government???

      Oh, we get it! For your opportunist mindset, national governance is like the “IE/Barrolle rivalry? Or you chop today; tomorrow is my time to chop.”

      Amara Konneh and Augustine Ngafuahn were miserable poor church rats when they entered government. For the few years they stayed in Ellenś government, they built overnight mansions and became millionaires. Your stupid self criticized Ellen and her government all while you were jobless. When she employed you, you became the defender of her corrupt cartel.

      Once employed by Ellen in her government, Lewis Brown defended and extolled everything he criticized when he was jobless. H. Boima Fahnbulleh Jr. on top of advising everything which he criticized when others were in government, he defended all such corruption and police brutalities in order to keep his job as National Security Adviser.

      Kofi Woods criticized Benoni Urey and Charles Taylor “yesterday”. Today, Kofi Woods is more than a bag boy for Benoni Urey! Please do not associate John Morlu with your fellow opportunists! Again, Isaac, you too also have allowed emotion to becloud your reasoning,

      ISAAC, THESE ARE THE SELFISH AND IGNORAMUS MINDSET OF YOU OPPORTUNISTS THE DIPLOMATIC COMMUNITY AND ECOWAS AND THE UN ARE AWARE OF; FOR WHICH THEY HAVE SINCE TRASHED YOU PEOPLE AND YOUR HIDDEN AGENDA DISGUISED AS PROTESTS.

    • Isaac Jackson believes he is playing politics to get back his government job, even if at another commission or ministry. Cummings stupidly believes by defending Dillonś political stupidity, he Cummings would be painting himself a fine public image and gain favor from the public.

  2. Dillion is a great Senator. Removing Sen. Dillon from the senate will further undermine trust in the Liberian Senate.

    • I say, “wonders never end”! Look at “pot telling the tea kettle about its blackness”! Here is an Isaac Jackson who just few years ago in the past government, defended the most corrupt government in Liberian history!!!

      Also, Isaac Jacksonś own lawyer had to dissociate himself from this very Isaac Jackson because he Isaac Jackson went so rude and indisciplined to the extent of publicly insulting the Chief Justice of the whole country, although the clown claims to be a diplomat.

      But few weeks after, this very Isaac Jackson is saying this to someone:

      “Frustratingly, instead of Cummings focusing attention on the critical question at issue which is the demise of transparency in government, he went on defend Dillon’s disrespectful comments against his Senate colleagues”!

      Let me not be misconstrued! Darius Dillon is not fit to be a Senator! His demeanor smells! He is too corrupt and too much an opportunist! He must be thrown out.

  3. It surprises me how most Liberians have not learnt anything from our nearly 200-year history. How can we move forward if our issues are discussed with tainted-vested-interest lenses? I think this article is one of the best I have read in years. What it pointed to is the need for an opposition leader to show character through preparation before such a talk show. Have different researchers on the law, foreign policy, agriculture and other topics and let them inform you. Check the information and with the internet these days it is easy to find information. It may not be so easy in Liberia, but do you know something… the bible talks about diligence. Seeking diligently and working diligently will leave a lasting legacy.

    Some have a penchant for quick-fix, but remember that nothing good comes easily. Leadership requires investment in knowledge (the bible says my people perish for lack of wisdom). Seek wisdom and you will see how it helps in your quest for leadership and how it helps your leadership to move your people ahead.

    Until the leaders of our country and the potential leaders make learning the centre of what they do so that their actions and decisions are evidence-based, Liberia is going to continue to be a country with all the resources it needs, but one that is begging for handouts. Is that what we want?

  4. Dear Mr. Jackson,

    Take heart!
    I understand your frustrations and feel the pains you endure. I share in your desperation to see a better Liberia.
    Indeed, politics in our dear Liberia is now for the flunkies, the charlatans and the sycophants. They will do anything to bring you down physically, mystically or mysteriously if you dare point out their ineptitude, ignorance and inefficiency.
    Politics in our dear Liberia is now for those who can dare to use vituperations on anyone without fear or remorse or respect for their own parents.
    Politics in Liberia now is not based on the contents of your character and ideals but on the most vicious exemplifications and demonization of public service.
    While the rest of the world reward merit and hard work, Liberia settles down for just the opposite.

    Given the gloomy context and atmosphere prevailing in our dear country Liberia, the solutions must come from the technocrats.
    Alexander B. Cummings is not a politician to hold charismatic radio talk shows to show off his loquacity; we have had enough of such leaderships.
    Liberia does not have a state budget, why waste a precious time talking of such? Why waste your time quoting Transparency Codes if our lawmakers do not even know how the budget was drawn up and how it would be spent?
    If the people’s representatives lack such basic information, can you the common man ever have an iota of such?
    If you perceive the national budget as the second most important document, know that the first most important document is even footed on by the last and present administrations. So then, why should a person waste precious time on such blatant violations?

    Everyone knows there has been embezzlement and that such delinquencies continue to date. What do you expect a technocratic, meek and well-groomed opposition figure to say or do? Use vituperations or outlandish war cries or threats like the other people?

    Do you think the game being played against Dillion is a fair one? As much as I stand on the fence with the senator, he has proven to be audacious indeed by speaking out against some ills and malpractices within the senate. I firmly believe he’s troubling the normal course of malefic trends, that’s why they have undertaken this diablerie against him to unseat him.
    But if they know what I know, they better unseat him through the ballot box or else that pandora’s box they are opening may close on them.

    Mr. Jackson, what you need to do is to join the train of change to bring real change to our country come 2023.
    We need to leave a nation-state with our children and grandchildren. We need to dare to impose change and improve the livelihoods of all.
    Cummings embodies the change we aspire to for all. Reserve your criticisms, he’s on a rocky and snarly field where every word that comes out of his mouth must be carefully weighed and spoken.
    He’s become a thorn in their flesh. They would like to see him stumble and fall and gleefully lament him in their sects or cult groups.

    If you desire change in Liberia, pray for Cummings. Do not castigate him!

    No more war in Liberia

  5. Why do you think he has mouth to talk ? He got his salary with bonus. But the government says when it comes to the job, he should move his heart away from that.

  6. Atty. Isaac W. Jackson, worked for Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the most corrupt Government that Liberia has ever seen and had. Is Atty Jackson preaching about fair-play, transparency and good governance in Liberia? God, please lend Liberia and our people your immeasurable GRACE!

    Cllr. F. Jayweh

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