Weah “lied to us”
–Cummings responds to 6th Annual Message
Liberian opposition leader Alexander B. Cummings has alleged that President George Manneh Weah has ‘lied to Liberians’ with broken promises, no hope, no change, and no security.
Responding to the incumbent’s sixth and final Annual Message for his first six years term, Cummings alleged that under Weah’s regime, the country runs itself, and prices go up as the hard times keep getting harder.
“To put it simply, after six years of Weah’s leaderless presidency, the State of our Republic is weak with no jobs, broken promises, no hope, no change, and no security,” Cummings alleged Tuesday, 31 January 2023.
Borrowing from a popular Liberian Musician [Jonathan Koffa, alias Tarkun J], Cummings said the President “lied to us.”
On Monday, 30 January 2023, Mr. Weah appeared before the Joint Session of the Legislature to deliver his 6th Annual Message in line with Article 58 of the 1986 Constitution.
The constitutional provision requires the President to report on the State of affairs and present a legislative program to the Legislature on the 4th working Monday in January of each year.
Weah and his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government will be seeking re-election during the October 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
Presidential hopefuls from the opposition including Mr. Cummings will also be battling the incumbent this year.
Cummings heads the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC)/Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) which has a faction of the Liberty Party (LP) as a constituent party.
The CPP leader claimed that President Weah has weakened the country, made Liberians poorer, and continues to internationally embarrass the nation.
For most of the last six years, Cummings said, President Weah was too busy playing, partying, and vacationing.
He acknowledged that it’s ok to play, but also argued that when the President plays too much and does not do his job, the people suffer.
“The President did not know what he was elected to do, and still does not know what the President of our country is supposed to be doing,” said Mr. Cummings.
In an attempt to bring to President Weah’s attention the function of the president, Cummings explained that the president leads the government to determine, for example, whether or not people have access to well-paying jobs.
He continued that the president leads the government to determine whether or not children have access to quality education, and whether hospitals have beds and medicines to treat sick people.
“This is why, when the President does not know what he is doing, the country falls into serious trouble, and the people suffer,” Cummings suggested.
He claimed that because President Weah does not know what he is supposed to be doing, for six years, the country has been running itself.
According to the ANC leader, when a country runs itself, the result is that nothing works.
“ Everybody gets to do their own thing, even if it is against the law. Everything breaks down. Dirt piles up in the streets risking people’s health. Prices go up as the hard times keep getting harder,” said Cummings.
He continued that businesses get harassed with some forced to close down, or forced to sell to the President’s friends.
Additionally, he said every day, there is a new protest for something wrong because protesting is the only way people believe they can get solutions to their problems.
“Streets and communities become unsafe. Crime goes up, ghettos open everywhere, the society becomes lawless, and serious investors either run away or refuse to come to our country,” he noted.
In six years, Cummings claimed that President Weah has dumped the country into a deep hole, and he has no idea how to get Liberians out of the deep hole he has put them in.
He also alleged that with nearly two billion dollars the government has allegedly borrowed, and the way officials have allegedly spent it mostly on themselves, they are not even ‘digging hole to cover the hole.’
“They are wickedly digging new holes and throwing the dirt away! They are making the Liberian people suffer today, and all this borrowing, stealing, and wasteful spending will make our children suffer to pay it back tomorrow,” Cummings lamented.
Cummings believes that President Weah wants more time so he can dig a bigger hole, and make the Liberian people suffer even more.
According to him, President Weah wants more time so the government can steal to make its officials richer while making the Liberian people poorer.
“Well, Mr. President, enough is enough. Nobody stupid here! We will end your failed and leaderless presidency in October. Your sacking loading,” he continued.
He indicated that the presidency is not a 419 business. Cummings reminded President Weah that too many people’s lives depend on the honesty, integrity, discipline, judgment, and decision-making of the president.
“Scheming every day to fool people is not what Presidents are supposed to be doing. Faking numbers to tell us that inflation is low while prices are going up every day will not fool us to believe that the economy is improving,” he said.
The opposition leader said rice, oil, sugar, and even pepper and bitter balls – the prices of every single basic commodity are higher today than they were when Mr. Weah became president.
The ANC leader insisted that no parent needs to be told that the cost of living is rising so that caring for children and loved ones is unbearable.
“No doctor, teacher, nurse or civil servant needs to be told their pay is wickedly “harmonized” so that they cannot even pay their way to work for the month, let alone feed their families,” he said.
He noted that no young man or woman who is frustratingly looking for a job, even after graduation, needs to be told that the promise to create one million jobs is another of the many failed and broken promises President Weah made to the nation.
“No traditional chief, elder, or tribal governor needs to be told how badly and disrespectfully they have been treated for the last six years.”
“Many were dismissed for political reasons, some have not been placed on payroll, and all of them make next to nothing to care for themselves and their families,” he stated.