‘Cummings Eminently Competent To Rescue Liberia’ -Says UP Stalwart Wisner

MONROVIA – A senior member of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), Mr. George Gyude Wisner, has said the fast accelerating decline of the state of affairs of the country is beyond the capability of someone who does not have the requisite knowledge and managerial skills to manage resources and formulating policies that will normalize and stabilize the battered economy, stressing that the Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP), Alexander B. Cummings, is the only person among the many jostling for the presidency in 2023 who is eminently competent to rescue the country.

Mr. Wisner who formerly served as national secretary general of UP made the assertion on Saturday, September 24, 2022, in New Kru Town, Bushrod Island, Montserrado County when he served as a guest lecturer of the Kukartornon Intellectual Development Forum where he was invited to speak to the group on his stewardship at the National Investment Commission (NIC); why the country has not been able to attract the much needed recognizable foreign direct investment; and his thoughts on the ensuing 2023 general elections.

“The country is in a mess and it is not because I am no longer in government but because I was in the government and I know where the country is. Investors are not just concerned about getting information on the resources or investment opportunities of the country, but are more interested in the governance environment of the country which is lacking under this administration. The investors are interested in the quality of leadership which is seriously lacking in the country. Every gain made under the past administration was destroyed and so because we have not had the investors’ confidence, we cannot have the foreign direct investment we are looking for”, Wisner told the jammed packed event amid cheers and battle cries from his admirers.

Wisner, while elaborating on his assertion why the government has not been able to attract foreign direction investment like the past administration, said the Weah administration failed to realize the basic prerequisite of enlisting investors’ interest that centers around governance which he describes as investors’ perception of leadership quality, adding that the current leadership woefully failed the test right from the inception.

“When a new administration comes to power, investors are interested in the first 100 days deliverables and how it manages to set the foundation on how it will govern; but this government failed the test right from the time the President broke down his building on 9th street and began to erect a new structure; when he decided to build 42 mansions on the Roberts International Airport Highway; when some of his key government officials also joined him and starting constructing private properties all over the place. That is the time they demonstrated to the outside world that investors cannot do business with them”, he said.

The former Executive Director of NIC said President Weah missed out the golden opportunities of being one of the best Presidents this country has ever had because unlike his predecessor, he met an economy already on the rise for prosperity but his lack of leadership ability coupled with the wrong and incompetent persons brought on board to superintendent over key and critical sectors of the economy robbed him of being regarded as such.

He said Weah inherited 135 MW installed capacity of electricity which was above the installed capacity of 65MW in prewar Liberia, as well as 88MW of power generated from the Hydro Project in White Plains, and an addition of 22 MW from the 3 turbines on the Bushrod Island; and that what was needed for President Weah to do was to put in place a mechanism for transmission and distribution of power that will be generated from the sources but failed to do so because he has got no experience, the capacity, and those who worked with him as well do not have what it takes to lead.

“And again in 2005 we virtually did not have an international airport but through hard work and ability to lead as well as the international contacts former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had, Weah was able to inherit a functional international airport but it is the same lack of leadership quality that has made the airport to be struggling with navigational problem”, he said.

The UP senior partisan told the audience which was made up of members of virtually the top political parties in the country, that because of the failure of the present government to deliver the goods and services for the Liberian people, he and others took the decision to form the CPP as the vehicle to drive the alternative arrangement to redeem the citizens from the grip of the CDC “dysfunctional leadership”.

 “We took the idea to the Liberian people and they saw reasons to believe us and they demonstrated their preference during the 2020 senatorial race. The CPP won six seats, the ruling party won four, and the rest were won by people we supported outside of the CPP.

“The government was jittery and we knew they were going to fight back with plans to destabilize the CPP. That was how the government succeeded in disorganizing the CPP. My party, the Unity Party, decided to leave the CPP but we told them it would be a mistake to do so but they insisted on leaving.

“But we told them we will stay back in the CPP, commit our time and resources to the CPP and for those of you who know us of not compromising, we shall remain in the CPP for the good of the country, that is, we are putting the interest of the country above our party’s interest. For now, I have put my party on notice in advance about a year ago, that I am going to stick with the CPP until the end”, Wisner said.

Speaking on why and how he arrived at Mr. Cummings to be the most suitable candidate above the rest of the other politicians who have declared their attentions, Wisner said his decision was based on “the fact that Liberia’s problems are economic and not political”; because the country has had a lot politicians coming around the power structure of the country but unfortunately the predicament of the country goes on unabatedly. He added that it is only Cummings who has the economic solutions to reset the economic development agenda of the country.

“The other critical question you asked; now that we are here, what is my opinion about 2023. That is critical for all of us from various backgrounds. Some of you here are from the CDC, some ANC and some UP, but one thing that unites us is we are all Liberians.

“Liberia’s problem is economic and leadership. We need someone who can bring something to the table, who can provide jobs, who has international influence that can attract investment, someone who can stabilize the economy, not politics.

“Ellen succeeded because she was known to the international community. Cummings has what it takes to attract foreign investors in this country. If you place Boakai, Gongloe and Cummings in front of Bill Gates to explain to him about investment decisions in Liberia, Bill Gates will listen to Cummings more than the others because he understands business and what influences investment in the country,” Wisner stated emphatically.

He also extolled the consistency of Cummings since he entered the political arena, especially in the face of the provocation and negative campaigns meted against him by his colleagues in the CPP. He said Cummings unlike others, despite all the lies mounted against him, said he was not leaving the CPP but will remain to soldier on as that was the only alternative and viable option to the CDC misrule.

Asked whether being a member of UP and supporting Cummings was not a contradiction in terms of sincerity and where his loyalty lies, the tough-talking former Diplomat and career civil servant said political parties are not cults that have binding mandates on their members not to have contrary views on what the rest of the other members subscribe to, but rather institutions that should accept differences and find workable solutions to their common problem.

“I told my party in advance that I will be working for the interest of the CPP; when you see politicians not following their parties to take a decision, it means they are subscribing to the national interest. My decision to support Mr. Cummings is based on national interest and let’s set the record straight here. Former Republican Candidate John McCain did not support Donald Trump but went for Hilary Clinton because he believed Trump did not represent what the American people wanted.

“General Colin Powell, former Presidential aspirant of the Republican Party supported Barack Obama, a democrat over John McCain, a fellow Republican, because he felt Obama had the capability and capacity to lead America compared to McCain.

“When people make these statements, then it means they are putting the national interest first above party interest and it is for the good of the country”, Wisner said.

He also dismissed the insinuation that he founded the Liberia Renaissance Office Incorporated (LOROI) to undermine and undercut the Unity Party and the presidential ambition of Mr. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, the standard bearer of UP, stressing that it was in fact in the living room of the former VP the idea of forming LOROI was started and Mr. Boakai supported it to the hilt.

“I founded LOROI at the time I was almost the de facto COS to the former Vice President. Cummings was not even in the picture then. The intention of LOROI was to provide support to the opposition community under the CPP, be it political, economic, strategic and resource mobilization, and that all the key opposition figures benefited from what LOROI did.

“The formation was in full knowledge, acquiescence and support of the former Vice president”, Wisner said.

He challenged Liberians from all walks of life to step forward to join the CPP so as to wrestle power from the “non-performing CDC-led government. He said Liberians are not strange to the pervasive poverty, high unemployment among the citizens, especially the youthful population; and that the country continues to go down the drain and along with it, a good number of young people who are resorting to drugs as a way of suppressing their frustration.

Wisner said in his conclusion that the government under Weah has in fact served notice on itself that it was not capable of leading the country and that the citizens should seize the moment to fight for real change that will restore the country to its glorious past.

Earlier, Wisner whose address delivered from an unprepared text was praised by the organizers for the way he has conducted his style of politics based on principle over the years as well as his service to the country in various capacities that produced outstanding results without any trace of corruption or administrative lapses.

“We are glad to have in our midst today an outstanding public figure whose works in various institutions in government and private endeavors have earned him a place for honor in our society. He is an honorable man, a career civil servant, diplomat, university teacher and businessman. He represents the new direction this country should take if we must get out of the mess the present dispensation has plunged this country. It is our hope that he will continue to inspire the younger generation to be useful citizens”, the organizers said in their introductory statement to usher him to the podium.

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