By: Naneka A. Hoffman
Veteran Liberian statesman, diplomat, and economist, Dr. Togar Mcintosh Gayewea, recently threw in the towel and left the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, declaring support for opposition Alternative National Congress Political Leader, Alexander B. Cummings. A strategist and development planner, Dr. Gayewea was very crucial in carving a national framework for the CDC that led to its historic victory in 2017.
In these random comments, several residents of Monrovia gave their perspectives on the exit of the expert public servant from the ruling party ahead of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections, and what it could mean for the ruling CDC, as compiled below.
“As a citizen of this nation and a partisan of the Congress for Democratic Change, our learned Council Dr. Togar Gayewea McIntosh endorsed the ANC leader. It’s a normal proceeding for our politicians in our political setting. I think as a professional man in an institution if you feel unsatisfied with certain things proceeding in the institution which is not going down well with you. If you think it is necessary to leave the institution and cross over to another political institution, it is his fundamental right and constitutional right as well. So, I am not seeing it as a problem, because he is not the first person to leave CDC as an institution. So, I think it’s under the guidance of the constitution and under the guidance of fundamentalism. And I don’t think it affects CDC in any way, because there are lots of strategic individuals, CDC still possesses more besides, I don’t see him as a man that has the numbers.’’
“It’s a very trending one, but first of all let me welcome Gayewea McIntosh to the ANC but, as it stands, being around the political circle for a very long time, there is something I come to realize that in fact, big fish in politics at no pointing time can compare with those in the downtrodden, like those in the grassroots political party.
I actually want to commend the ANC for going for a big fish but mind you, what is Dr. Gateway McIntosh bringing to the body politics of ANC? Is Gayewea McIntosh going to bring the number of people behind him? Is Gayewea McIntosh going to campaign for people to follow the ANC? I say no.
ANC should be more prioritized or more focused on the grassroots than the people that are on top because mind you, when the election intensified and gets heated, McIntosh will not put on his political boots and go into the slum community and campaign for Alexander B. Cumming. We welcome it, but Gayewea McIntosh, in my view, is extra to the ANC, he has lost the political face.
He’s looking for a place now to hang his coat so, at least when the opportunity is given to him, he will come back in power and loot from our country’s coffer. The move that ANC made for Dr. Gayewea is not timely, and it will not help them. Alexander B. Cummings should be warned if you want to serve the Liberian people, go for people with influence and people that can cross the geo-political landscape of the country, and Dr. Gayewea McIntosh is not. Looking at the press conference that he hosted recently, how many people did Gayewea McIntosh carry to the ANC? Where are his supporters? In politics, you go for numbers.
Politics is numbers, strategy and finance. So, if he wants to win the coming 2023 elections and you brought Gayewea McIntosh on board, where are McIntosh’s numbers? Gayewea McIntosh is just one man floating from one direction to another. The man doesn’t have anything; trust me, when the election intensified, Gayewea McIntosh will disappear into thin air. All he will do [is] to be behind Alexander Cummings for money to support his habit around.”
“Every individual has his or her own right over their decision. He is an individual; he has the right to associate with any political party at any time as a citizen. But from a political scene, when we are speaking of how do I make of it – his joining or pledging support to ANC presidential bid, somebody will say let’s check back to when it all started; he was a former chairman of the governing of the council of the Congress for Democratic Change, which nobody can argue, but he neglected job from this same government.
The President nominated him to the Governance Commission and he rejected the job; anytime you see signs and symptoms of such thing happening in the body politics or on national scene, you must know that there is something under the sleeve.
So, it just clarifies that Dr. McIntosh doesn’t want to work with the President, and that doesn’t mean in any way to say that the President is not working or is not doing well and will not be reelected, no; it just shows that he does not want to work with the President. Everybody has the right to eliminate their support from the President or anybody at any time. He joined Cummings today, who knows, election is way forward to 2023 that is why it surprises me when people move around petitioning people. I petition you today, for way 2023 elections; anything can still happen.”
The reason is very simple; the Constitution of Liberia gives everyone rights, as per Article 17 of the Liberian Constitution. You have the right to associate and disassociate, I am not seeing it as a problem, meaning that Dr. Togar G. McIntosh has the right to be part of the governing council of the CDC and he has the right to depart. So, it is not a problem and he is not even a threat to the CDC or to any existing ruling government or whatsoever, I commend him for leaving because he exercises his democratic right.’’