By Jones Mallay
The political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander Benedict Cummings, Jr., seems to be Liberia’s newest political “Redeemer” with 44 new campaign recruits in his grasp. This message is not new. The late President Samuel Doe also said, “He was the long-awaited Messiah” until Liberia ended in hell-fire. But on the contrary, the ANC leader is preaching “real change” that led to 44 wise men and women formation. The new brand wise men and women who received Cummings blessings got praises: “These Liberians reflect not just a rich pool of talents but also the rich diversity that is Liberia.”
Archival records have shown that the ANC leader has extraordinarily impeccable and excellent managerial success skills, as the West attests, where he was tried and tested as a Western leadership model. The ANC leader seems to be a fine man; nevertheless, he hasn’t been tried and tested within the Liberian political corridors hijacked by known hardened corrupt political criminals who might sooner or later contaminate Cumming impeccable achievements over the years.
The ANC leader may deny that Liberia is a normal society formed on honest practices, meaning that 9 out of 10 Liberian politicians, business tycoons, church leaders, student leaders, and school leaders are not corrupt, and the ANC’s vision has come to stay. However, the ANC leader’s vision of “Real Change’ is not the first, nor will it be the last.
For instance, in 1944, the late Pre. William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman’s vision was “Open-Door-Policy” for Liberians nowhere. In 1971 the late President Richard Tolbert’s vision was “Total Involvement Higher Heights.” It didn’t yield any tangible results before his assassination. In 1980 the late Samuel Kanyon Doe’s vision was “Redemption and Development.” The result was a civil war. In 1997 Former President/NPFF leader Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor’s vision was “Power to the People ” which added more to poverty.
In 2006 Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s vision was “Keeping the peace, restoring basic service and improving the country’s credit rating” her regime became a nightmare. In 2018 President George Mannah Weah announced his vision as a “Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development,” which has made ordinary Liberians extremely poor. Dreams by all standards are not new in Liberia; the will to enforce them with sincerity depends on those surrounding themselves with the leader.
The ANC leader is symbolically a host attracted by potentially dangerous viruses that could easily make him politically paralyzed and disabled. Cummings surrounding himself with complex characters has consequences and a prize that he might pay politically both in the short and long run. George Weah once told his supporters at a CDC festivity before he was elected President, “I will recruit the best brains in Liberia to help me run my government.” But it turns out that President Weah is recruiting college drop-outs, corrupt politicians, political praise singers, and ex-rebel fighters, some of whom have become extra luggage and liabilities on President Weah himself.
The irony here is that if the ANC icon desperately needs supporters, which every politician does to fulfill the famous maxim that in democracy, number counts, how does Cummings reconcile his vision with anti-change supporters? The ANC leader will need to be mindful of how he goes about nurturing his political congregation. The preaching of the “Real Change” vision by the ANC leader, on the one hand, and finding interest in political prostitutes who commute from one party to another is mind-burling.
Does the ANC boss’s “Real Change” mean dancing with Liberians with dubious characters? Does it mean welcoming Liberians with corruption allegations with blood on their hands, directly or indirectly, due to the Liberian civil wars?