By Julius T. Jaesen II
Founder & Managing Editor
They came in their thousands from every corner and every community across Monrovia. They thronged to the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, where President Weah was inaugurated in January of 2018. They came to take part in the December 17, 2022 “WE TIYAH SUFFERING RALLY.”
They gathered in answer to the call of Alexander Benedict Cummings, Leader of the Collaborating Political Parties and aspiring candidate for President of Liberia in the 2023 Elections. They showed up of their own free will and to freely express themselves. Mr. Cummings had no power to force them to attend. He could not force chiefs and elders to turn out their people and cultural troupes for staged welcome ceremonies. He could not threaten government workers to show up for political gatherings, or else.
Yet thousands were attracted by Mr. Cummings’ moral courage, astute leadership and the rectitude of his fight to rescue Liberia. For nearly two years, Mr. Cummings has been speaking against the stealing of public resources, corruption, flagrant human rights abuses, complete disregard for constitutional constraints and advocating the urgency of rescuing the country, and bringing about real change. It appeared as though he was shouting like a Hermit in the desert.
Some tired professional politicians scoffed at him as a newcomer who did not understand the ways of doing things in Liberia. Some contended that he had no political base in the country. His colleagues in the opposition even colluded with the government to instigate bogus criminal charges in court against him in what amounted to political persecution. Mr. Cummings emerged from that political ‘baptism by fire’ stronger and more determined to fight for the Liberian people.
The rest of the country was taking note. Today, the country is drowning in a sea of hopelessness and despair. Amid a major crisis of rice shortage when most parents and their children went to bed hungry because they could not find food, the President, Dr. George Manneh Weah, chose to leave the country on a 45-day tour of the world at an alleged cost of US$1.5 Million. He says the Government of Qatar gave him a grant of US$2 million. His tour ended in the United States at the US-Africa Summit where after five years in office, the President of our closest traditional ally had a group meeting with him and six other leaders who are facing elections soon.
President Biden told them the United States supports democracy and free and fair elections. Mr. Weah requested and obtained an album of photo selfies with Mr. Biden. Other leaders signed huge contracts for investment and development for their countries. Liberia was not even among the countries that received money under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) despite the government’s touting of its success in meeting the qualifying criteria.
Alexander Benedict Cummings called “WE TIYAH SUFFERING RALLY” at the SKD Complex because that was the place Mr. Weah promised the Liberian people “Change for Hope” five years ago. The rally reminded Mr. Weah of his broken promises five years later. The people demonstrated their determination to rescue their country and to move ahead with real change, inclusive development and sustained growth with prosperity for all.
Mr. Cummings has proven he is on the rise and in tone with the people around the country. His agenda is sound. He is a man of proven integrity and character. Serious investors trust him and he will work well with Liberia’s international development partners. These are requisite qualities for attracting investment and development assistance for the country.
These are required to rescue Liberia. Too rich to be so poor, Liberians deserve better.