The political leader of the Alternative National Congress or ANC, Mr. Alex Cummings has vowed here to support embattled talk show host Henry Costa, who doubles as the leader of the Council of Patriots (CoP).
“This is not about an individual per se but we will support and protect his rights as a member of the opposition and citizen of this country. I want to be very emphatic about this because it could be somebody else tomorrow and that’s just unacceptable in the21st century, in a democracy, to target opposition,” Mr. Cummings told journalists in Harper, Maryland County during a press conference, ahead of his listening tour in that part of the country.
Mr. Costa was reportedly arrested in the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown, as he attempted to board a flight, days after he was denied exit through the Roberts International Airport on allegations that he used fake traveling documents to enter Liberia. His extradition to Liberia is a process which will have to play out. Extraditions, according to legal experts are specifics and must conform to the areas agreed upon by both countries.
Costa’s travel troubles started days after the CoP much trumpeted January 6, 2020 demonstration ended in a bloody clash with riot police who resorted to the use of teargas and hot water canisters to disperse the protesters.
Latest report reaching this paper Wednesday, 15 January quotes the Government of Sierra Leone as saying, as a sovereign democracy, it does not take instruction from any foreign government, and as a strong adherent to basic human rights, it believes Mr. Henry Costa has not violated any Sierra Leonean law or posed any threat to that country, so he is free man.
The statement by the Sierra Leonean government followed report here that the Government of Liberia has requested the extradition of Costa to Liberia.
However, Mr. Cummings said although he doesn’t know all the facts surrounding Costa’s alleged arrest, but the ANC will support and protect his rights like any other opposition member and citizen of Liberia.
“We will support Mr. Costa in making sure that his rights are protected as a citizen of this country and as an opposition member. Today, it’s Henry Costa and Yekeh Kolubah, tomorrow it can be Joe Boakai or Alex Cummings or so. This is unacceptable behavior in a democracy. So again, I’m glad the question was asked”, said Cummings.
Cummings believes that the George Weah-led government is beginning to unlawfully and illegally target members of the opposition.
“I believe that this. . . you know when we issued our last statement on the Protest, we mentioned that this government was beginning to unlawfully and illegally target opposition members and …I say to you that he (Henry Costa) should not be illegally or unlawfully prosecuted because he opposes this government. That is the beginning of tyranny and we will forcefully object to this government or any government who decided or tries to do that,” Cummings added.
The ANC Political Leader arrives in Harper, to kick off a nationwide county tour for the purpose of visiting his partisans, stakeholders and citizens and listening to their concerns. Now dubbed the Listening Tour, Cummings emphasized that while he is unable to address everyone’s concerns and provide assistance to everybody as an individual, he needs to listen to the people to enable him and the ANC address the core issues affecting the people when they are opportune to lead the nation.
Mr. Cummings said he would explore building a house in the county but stated that a physical structure does not translate to benefits for the people. He also clarified that he has provided support to TU University’s radio station, now popularly known across the county as TU Radio but has not done much in recent history.
He reflected on his performance in the 2017 elections in Maryland, stating that although he was overwhelming welcomed, it did not translate to votes as the people of Maryland voted President Weah who has done nothing for them since he took office.
Cummings stated that his criticisms of the government are always about the issues and that the government has had an opportunity to effect change in the lives of the people, if only they can focus on the economy.
He referenced several recommendations made to government on how to make the economy better but to no avail. He also committed not giving up on ensuring that the government does the right things for the benefit of the people. He committed that the ANC wills elect credible candidates for the Senate in 2020 who will go into the legislature with the goal of serving their people and not the goal of getting brown envelops.