The political leader of opposition Alternative National Congress and chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Mr. Alexander Cummings, accuses the George Manneh Weah-led administration of wastefully bleeding the country.
He says President George Weah has carelessly and selfishly abandoned Liberians, and left the country wastefully bleeding by bad examples, while encouraging few of his friends to generate and display wealth they never had before, and were not able to declare, prior to assuming public offices. Addressing a live news conference, Wednesday August 05, at his ANC national headquarters in Sinkor, Monrovia, Mr. Cummings, who also chairs a collaboration of four opposition political parties under the banner, CPP, points out that rather than investing in the youth of Liberia by making them productive and ready to lead the country into a better and brighter future, the government is investing in militarizing and inciting them to violence, and teaching them that it is acceptable to lie, steal, cheat, be dishonest, and intolerant of others.
He notes that the youth of Liberia are desperate to improve their lives, but are being misled into thinking that such despicable acts are formulas for success, and a measure of successful leadership.
“In the CPP, we are worried about our young people, and deeply concerned about the future of our country. Thanks to the lack of leadership of Mr. Weah, our young people, who are the future of our country, are being wrongly impressed that education is not important; that without taking personal responsibility and making sacrifices for a greater cause, somehow their circumstances, and the conditions of our country, will miraculously improve”, he expresses.
According to him, the CPP is also worried about women’s participation in politics under the Weah administration, cautioning that in this age of inclusion, any government, political party or coalition which marginalizes women and does not value their participation enough to include them for consideration in an electoral process, is a joke. “That party needs to re-examine its commitment to women inclusion and participation. The current all-male candidates’ slate of the Weah-led ruling party is an insult to Liberian women!”
Mr. Cummings: “Our ship is sinking. Too many of our people are suffering. We are increasingly seeing a culture of moral bankruptcy being promoted with a determination to destroy the last piece of the moral fabric of our society.
This is wicked. It is immoral, and it threatens our long term peace and security. Rather than deliver basic services, foster a unified and productive nation, and care for our people, those given the mantle of national leadership are busying themselves with dividing Liberians. They are too busy enriching themselves that they have either forgotten, do not know how, or just do not care, about the most important duties for which they were elected.”
He wonders who could have imagined that only three years on, the Pro-Poor Agenda of Mr. Weah would be a code to keep Liberians poor rather than lift them out of poverty, saying, as an opposition community, the CPP is deeply troubled by this, which has inspired its birth as an alternative government in waiting.
“For me, and all of us, the suffering we see has compelled us to try to do something different to change it. We have come together because we know that we cannot continue like this. We know that the root cause of poverty is corruption. Where corruption thrives, as it is currently, poverty will rise.
This government is very corrupt. In fact, it is the most corrupt we have had. This is not only the opinion of the Liberian opposition. It is the result of a global assessment. As a result, despite being blessed with many natural resources and endowments, our people are becoming poorer and even more destitute,” the ANC political leader laments.
He adds that the CPP sees the government systematically breaking down and destroying integrity institutions created to fight corruption by either underfunding them or staffing them with incompetent loyalists, noting integrity institutions of government are receiving far less resources now than they were when the Weah administration came to office about three years ago.
He says a comparative analysis of the approved budget of Fiscal Year 2017/18 to the draft appropriations for Fiscal Year 2020/21 shows clearly that the Public Procurement Concession Commission draft budget has been reduced from US$1.4 Million to US$752,754; LEITI from US$553,356 to US$220,849; General Auditing Commission from US$5.3 Million to US$4.5 Million; LACC from US$2.3 Million to US$1.3 Million, and the Governance Commission from US$1.9 Million to US$1.1 Million.
“Similarly, allocations for basic services like health and education, for example, have also seen drastic cuts. While the actual budget performance reports tell an even more alarming tale of underperformance, these cuts expectedly [are] leading to lesser quality of services provided by government-run educational and health institutions. Under this government, not only are we not moving forward, we are actually sliding backward,” he argues.
The comments from Mr. Cummings come nearly a week after he and Montserrado County District#10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah were violently chased out of Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County by stone-throwing and machete brandishing thugs believed to have been mobilized by the governing Coalition for Democratic Change.
The opposition leader and party had on Thursday, 30 July spent a night in Grand Gedeh, an indisputably stronghold of President Weah while returning to Monrovia from his native Maryland County where he had gone to present a CPP senatorial candidate to voters when he was forced to leave that county, an action that has been publicly condemned with calls for full scale investigation.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne