“We Will Win the Elections, and Lead our Country and People into a Better Future” – Cummings Addresses the Country
By Democracy Watch
My fellow Liberians:
The conspiracy to stop our Real Change Movement, and destroy the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), has failed. The political persecution to weaken us has made us stronger. As promised, the CPP will be on the ballot in 2023. We will win the elections, and lead our country and people into a better future.
For these and many more, we thank God for His blessings and continued protection. We thank the Liberian people for their outpouring of support and prayers especially over the last 6 months. We thank our partner in the CPP, the Liberty Party, for its continued support, commitment and trust. It must be said that when it was easier to walk away, the Liberty Party stood with and next to us, every step of the way. Last but not the least are the partisans and other leaders of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), who deserve and have our deepest appreciation for their faithful support and abiding trust.
The real aim of the conspiracy against us was to keep us entangled in court with a bogus charge over our heads, up to and including, the period of the 2023 Elections. Obviously, those who are offended by our call for Real Change in managing our country more accountably were weaponizing an eager and co-conspirator prosecution to dishonor and smear our hard-earned reputation. But truth crushed to earth will rise again. The truth was always on our side, and the truth has prevailed.
Hence, after more than 5 months of their political persecution, it became difficult to continue their witch-hunt when an independent report forensically exposed the truth and convincingly cleared us of any wrong doing. It must be said that our persecutors did not want to willingly set us free. They were forced by the truth and lack of evidence, after almost 6 months, to grudgingly surrender.
We thank Omnia and Alaco for their work. It really should not take invitations to international firms to unearth evidential truths in our country. Unfortunately, getting to the truth was never an objective for those whose interest was to politically persecute and smear us. But through it all, we have overcome.
Make no mistake: The lies and betrayals were hurtful, especially those from people we respect and regard as friends – individuals we thought we knew well over the course of many years. But our spirit is unbroken. Our resolve to continue to fight to change the direction of our country, and improve the lives of all Liberians, is unchanged. Now, we must move ahead to continue the work of building the CPP, with serious change partners, to be the vehicle for Real Change in our country.
As we forge forward, we will leave it to lawyers and historians to debate the unprecedented decision, which counters previous decisions of the same high court, to declare a provision in a wholly private agreement as “unconstitutional”. As leaders, we are obligated to honor the decision of the Honorable Supreme Court, even when we disagree. We therefore wish the Unity Party (UP) and the All Liberian Party (ALP) well in their future endeavors.
Regarding the proposed by-elections to fill the Lofa County Senatorial Seat, we trust that the people of that great county will understand and appreciate the CPP’s decision to stand in solidarity with them against the political maneuvers of the Weah administration to overturn the vote of their choice. That choice was a CPP candidate who was elected and denied from being seated.
We heard the people of Lofa speak loudly and clearly. We observed how they stood up courageously to challenge the undemocratic denial of their will; we noted how despite the economic hardship, they organized fundraisers at home and abroad, and even brought out the high custodians of the traditional sacred societies. For months, we saw the people of Lofa stand up in resistance and managed to prevent the government from overturning their democratic will, until some of their own political leaders decided to break ranks for their selfish political interests.
The CPP saw all of these gallant efforts by the people of Lofa County, and we are moved not to participate in the so-called by-election because to do so will be to assist the government achieve its aim of robbing the Lofa people of their choice. The CPP decision is final. We will continue to stand with the people of Lofa even if some of their leaders have now decided to stand against them.
My fellow citizens:
As people of faith, we believe it was God’s will to have us experience our judicial system at work for almost 6 months. Therefore, we make this solemn promise: A Cummings Administration will prioritize the reform of the judicial system. Any nation without a credible system of justice is a nation willing itself into lawlessness and conflict.
Through the political witch-hunt, we also realized that there are many problems to be resolved in our country. There are the vexing problems with the body of our country – the lack of adequate roads, bridges, electricity and the breakdown in the governance systems. Then there is the problem with the soul of the nation – the absence, especially at the level of national leadership, of courage to do the right things for the right reasons, and of honor, integrity, honesty and truthfulness.
Today, I invite the national leaders of our country – political, religious, traditional, legal and community – all leaders, to be enjoined in the cleansing of our nation’s soul. The duty falls on all of us to become better examples because the peaceful and prosperous future we seek depends on the values we embrace and nurture. Most importantly, our children need us to provide them with better examples, and our society needs us to become leaders of higher standards.
This is why, as we focus on moving forward, we will continue to take the high road, and for the good of the country, focus on the future of Liberia, and not the attacks and slights of the recent past, even by our friends and colleagues.
However, we will continue to oppose and disagree with the Weah-led Government, and even members of the opposition, who view public service as a chance to be served, to steal and to abuse the trust of the Liberian people. The mindset that we should take turns to continue to keep our country corrupt and our people poor is offensive and unacceptable, and the belief that politics is a dirty game where the ends always justify the means have only helped to keep our country backward. It is time to change these mindsets and beliefs.
It is time to change these mindsets and beliefs because rich as our country is blessed to be, Liberians do not deserve to be so poor. No family needs to go to bed hungry; no child needs to sit on dirt floors or stand under leaking roofs to learn; public hospitals need to have beds, medicines and modern equipment so that the best care for the sick is available everywhere in our country; and no one who is working needs to earn a wage that is not enough to minimally feed and care for their families.
It is time to change these mindsets and beliefs because rich as our country is, we do not need to be a beggar nation that is constantly looking for handouts, and for others to do for our country what we can, and should be doing, for ourselves. We do not need to have families grieving repeatedly because of recurring mysterious deaths, murders and rapes, including of babies.
it is time to change these mindsets and beliefs because we do not need to accept that our streets and communities are to be crime and drug-infested. We do not need to accept that public officials can only be partisans and incompetent. And we do not need to resign our country into being considered as amongst the poorest, most corrupt and dirtiest in the world.
In the face of all of this, some of our critics often accuse us of refusing to stand in some imaginary line of leadership. They believe we should lower our expectations, settle for doing less work, accept cosmetic changes, and agree to continue governance as ‘business as usual’.
I, Alexander B. Cummings, am running for President to stop ‘business as usual’.
Liberia is bleeding. Liberians are suffering. The recent hike in petroleum prices, which is amongst the highest in Africa, for example, will only add to the hardship in the country, and this is again due to bad management and planning of the Weah-led government. Our country needs help, including in international support and investments. But we also need more than a cosmetic change in personnel to get the international trust and support we desperately need. We need bold changes in vision, policy and leadership. We need the international community to trust us not to steal, disobey our own laws, and manage what we have more accountably and transparently. We need to raise the expectation levels for ourselves, set higher national goals, and work even harder to achieve them.
My fellow citizens:
The future of our country is not buried in its past. Traveling the same road will never lead us to a new destination. Putting love of party over love for country will continue to see our country and our people suffer. To lift our country up, and end the sufferings of our people, we must change. Change is hard, but continuing as we are doing to ourselves, or going backward, will only make our problems worse.
Finally, my fellow Liberians: Growing up in Point Four and in Fiamah, I saw my mother and father struggled to put food on the table, pay the rent, and pay our school fees while helping other families and friends however they could to do theirs. I saw my mother rise to be the community midwife delivering babies and attending to sick pregnant mothers often in the dead of the night. Then during the day, she would push me after school to help her with her small markets which included selling everything from women’s dresses, undergarments and other apparel to dokafleh, to help make up for the teacher’s small salary of my father.
The war kept me away from our country, but in that time, God blessed me to learn and work in many other countries. The experience convinces me that we can be different than what we are today. Many of you continue to hear me say that we are too rich to be so poor. It really is true. Things can be better for all Liberians in our own country. Our children should be able to find jobs upon graduation after their parents sacrificed themselves, some selling like my mother did, to send their children to school.
Those who are old and retired should not have to become beggars and feel abandoned by the country they served for many years. They can, and should be cared for better, as respected senior citizens, after years of service to our country. Our leaders should really be doing better for our country and our people, and because I see that they are not, this is why I have decided to get involved.
We must change – not for ourselves but for Liberian mothers, and fathers who continue to do the best they can, sometimes overworked and overburdened by the things they must do, just to make ends meet; just to get a better life for their children.
To all Liberian mothers, rural and urban, married or single, in you I see my mother. I know and understand what you have to do to carry your families through, everyday. I am running to help to ease the heavy burdens unfairly placed on your shoulders.
A Cummings Administration will change many things to make life better for Liberians. Regardless of tribe, gender, religion or political party affiliation, Liberians will be prioritized for success in Liberia – success in business, sports, music and other forms of artistry. If we cannot guarantee success to Liberians, here in Liberia, we do not deserve to be called a Liberian nation.
Today, we renew our promise to Liberians everywhere: We will do the hard work required for success in 2023, we will win the elections, and we will not let our people down.
Liberia deserves better. Liberians deserve better.
God bless you. God bless I thank you.