MONROVIA-When the Standard Bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Mr. Alexander B. Cummings sounded the evicting statement to the incumbent that either he leads, follows or gets out of the way of Liberia’s democratic space; it now appears that Cummings choice was the wrong time of the year to travel politically as President George M. Weah has given him (Cummings) a political ‘Ko-lo-pa’ (ruthlessly overturned through stunt).
Kalopay in Liberian parlance is a tactical and swift body movement on a soccer pitch usually done to dislodge an opponent.
Responding to Cummings’ earlier letter of which, through an open letter from Weah, so swift in a manner very unusual, Weah noted that Let me begin by stressing that, “as President of the Republic of Liberia, I have a constitutional responsibility to all citizens, regardless of their political, ethnic, or social persuasions”
According to Weah he has therefore endeavored throughout his tenure in office, to ensure that stakeholders such as yourself (Cummings) have the requisite access that will afford the opportunity to raise views, positions, and concerns that you may have on various issues of national interest with me and officials of my administration.
He also added that when a communication supposedly meant for my attention appears first on the front pages of newspapers and on social media, it is obvious that the intent is to achieve a political objective; an objective that has eluded you at the ballot box. But I am glad that you have finally found your voice.
Touching on the imposition of sanctions of which Cummings has seriously craved, Weah said there is no doubt that the expressed action by the Government of the United States to impose sanctions on three officials of the government is a matter of grave concern that carries a lot of weight; not just because of the strong historical bonds that subsist between the two countries and the fact that they are our traditional ally and foremost international partner, but because the fight against corruption is a key priority of my administration, for which we have taken manifold steps to eradicate.
Moreover, the Liberian Chief Executive pointed out that the bilateral relationship that Liberia and the United States share continues to grow from strength to strength. “As a leader, I took immediate action when the United States recently accused officials of the Liberian Government of impropriety and graft, and I informed the Nation of further pending actions,” he said.
He informed Cummings that he is glad that the United States and other international partners also recognize the strides that Liberia is making toward consolidating democracy and good governance. In recent years, for instance, we have instituted more measures to fight corruption than was ever done when you (Cummings) served in government.
Again, he made it clear that two years ago, his government convened local and international stakeholders to discuss ways in which the historical menace of corruption can be tackled, adding, ‘We also sponsored a major gathering of Liberia’s Judiciary to ponder over statutes that have tended to inhibit the fight against corruption”.
Regarding ton of criticisms heaped on him and his government for weakening the integrative entity of Anti-Corruption, according to Weah, suggestions from these gatherings were included in the new LACC Act recently passed by the Liberian Legislatures has given us much international acclaim, including from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which positively appraised “my administration’s efforts at fiscal prudence, macroeconomic stability, projected growth in spite of global inflation, and other good governance measures in its recent statement on Liberia” he maintains.
Weah then chided Cummings that It is therefore the height of hypocrisy when a person such as yourself, who dined and wined in the very system I am working so hard to fix – and never mustered the courage to speak – now wants us to believe that you have morphed into an advocate of the people – the same ones you neglected during the years of civil upheaval.
Coming down hard, Weah wonders, where was your voice Mister Cummings, when sixty-plus concessions awarded by the government in which you served were found to be bogus, illegal, and inimical to the interest of the Liberian people?
In continuation of his (Weah’s) quest to keep Cummings’ feet to the fire, Weah wonders “where was your voice Mr. Cummings, when the National Oil Company of Liberia was rendered bankrupt”?
He also quizzes the option by saying, where was your voice when cries for the pavement of a short stretch of road from Ganta to Yekepa could not be carried out because your administration – for pecuniary gains – then asked the concessionaire to default on their commitment enshrined in their agreement?
Where was your voice, Weah pierces Cummings’ moral content when the Central Bank was crippling under staggering, unfettered borrowing by the government in which you served, undermining the nation’s strategic reserves and leading to a weakened monetary environment?
This is but the tip of the iceberg of a humongous cocktail of mismanagement, graft, ill-governance, and inefficiency that happened right under your nose, while you maintained a loud and conspicuous silence, Weah intoned.
He explains that a few months ago, you (Cummings) were accused of forgery by some leaders of your CPP group and was afforded the opportunity to go to court and be heard. Now, you are saying that others should be deprived of that same opportunity to due process.
In sharp disappointment to Cummings, Weah informed him let me remind you that the very U.S. Government that you referenced called for due process and the application of Liberian law as was stated by Ambassador McCarthy when he unveiled the designations “we stand ready to support the Government of Liberia in pursuit of its own investigation of corruption in its jurisdiction, understanding that you will apply Liberian law in an appropriate, transparent and timely manner”.
“You cannot resort to selective amnesia in these grave matters Mr. Cummings, because “I, George Manneh Weah, will be putting myself forward for a new mandate from the Liberian people and I am confident of a resounding second mandate based on my solid record of tangible deliverables in spite of huge challenges”.
He then proposes that “Let us take the debate to our people because they are the ultimate decision-makers on the issue of leadership in Liberia. Instead of seeking to use unconstitutional means to circumvent the democratic process, come and face me at the ballot”.
He indicated that never again will Liberia return to the dark days of violence. All those wanting to take state power must therefore submit to the will of the Liberian people because it is only through peace, unity, development, and democracy that our beloved nation can prosper.”