By Lincoln G. Peters
Ex-president Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s former Information Minister Amb. Lewis G. Brown has endorsed the presidential bid of opposition leader Alexander B. Cummings.
Mr. Cummings heads the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the relaunched Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) after two constituent parties pulled out of the once formidable opposition bloc.
Amb. Brown, a founding member of imprisoned former President Charles Ghankay Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP), says he prefers Cummings for the presidency to incumbent President George Manneh Weah and Liberia’s former Vice President Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
The NPP now headed by incumbent Liberian Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor is a constituent party of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Amb. Brown told a press conference Monday, 12 September 2022 in Monrovia that his decision to endorse Mr. Cummings is because of his ability, competence and integrity to transform Liberians with real change.
“This is why for the next president of our country, although I am a member of the National Patriotic Party of Liberia (NPP) which is a member of the ruling coalition, I endorse and have decided to support Mr. Alexander B. Cummings as president of Liberia,” said Amb. Brown.
Amb. Brown described Mr. Cummings as the bright choice for the changes Liberians must make to realize the tomorrow they seek.
Brown said he stands with Cummings because he has the character, temperament, depth of understanding, integrity, and leadership credentials to move the nation into a future of hope and real change.
According to Amb. Brown, Mr. Cummings has the courage to push all Liberians to do what is right for all because his examples draw all to draw new standards to do better.
He hailed Mr. Cummings’ boldness and vision, fresh ideas and the courage to continue to fight when it seems easier to surrender and the quality of leadership experiences he has achieved to be able to get things done.
Amb. Brown noted that he stands with Mr. Cummings because Liberia must change its dysfunctional system of government rather than continue to manage it.
“I stand with him because in 2023 we must elect a leader to be president rather than to elect a president we somehow hope must become a leader even if we believe change is difficult which it is,” he added.
The former Information Minister suggested that setting the right example at the top will inspire good behavior at the bottom.
He argued that he is also aware that the power of the president is extremely impactful and influential in determining how the government performs, and what the nation is capable of becoming and achieving.
Amb. Brown insisted that if Liberia is to become better, and if Liberians will do better, it will matter who becomes the president, senators, and representatives in 2023.
He urged that it must seriously concern the citizenry what their leaders’ work hobbies are, and what their temperament, values, experiences, competencies, and grievances are.
But most importantly, he said, the citizenry must be seriously concerned about what their views of other Liberians are and why they truly desire to lead or represent the country.
He noted that there are times in a nation where citizens must choose what is right over what is easy, saying he is hopeful that in 2023, there will be Liberian citizens choosing what is best for their nation before they let themselves be partisan, fighting for what is best for their individual parties.
“My fellow citizens, throughout our history, we have rightly resisted the dominance of one tribe over other tribes,” he said.
Brown urged Liberians to continue not to accept the establishment of one-party rule in the country.
“Too many have suffered, bled, and died so that our country can be better … We have all shared in the birth pain for a new society of inclusion, broader participation and democratic governance and yet even today, we still lead by dividing, excluding, and witch hunting each other on line of tribe, religion, gender and political association,” he lamented.
He warned that this is wrong because it seats the country for inevitable collapse.
“We are wise to learn from our past rather than justify repeating them,’’ Amb. Brown cautioned.