By Gabriel F.K. Musu, in Maryland County
HARPER: The populist belief underpinning the Liberian political landscape often favors political actors who wield the greatest influence over their constituency population. This determinant which has played heavily in upping the roles of political influencers and various political kingpins in swaying the decisions of voters in their respective constituencies, is said to be the Achilles heel of Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, standard bearer of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), who, though working tooth and nail to unseat incumbent president George M. Weah at the October 10, 2023 polls, is yet seen by his critics as someone who doesn’t have control of his own voting constituency, especially within his homeland Maryland County. However, as The Analyst has keenly observed from the overwhelming warm reception that the CPP standard bearer along with his entourage received when he entered his homeland Maryland County over the weekend, Mr. Cummings is well ahead of clinching that important southeastern voting bloc that eluded him during the last presidential elections.
Alexander B. Cummings, the Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), arrived at the Pedebo border in Maryland on Saturday, June 12, to an overwhelming and enthusiastic reception from the people of Maryland despite the heavy rains. Though bad roads have nearly isolated the southeastern Liberia region, the unwavering support of the citizens propelled Cummings to make an extraordinary journey through Cote d’Ivoire to enter Maryland.
The inclement weather, characterized by heavy rainfall, failed to dampen the spirits of men, women, and children who eagerly awaited Cummings’ arrival. With dedication and resilience, they stood for hours in the rain, showcasing their commitment to the “movement for real change” in Liberia. Young motorcyclists, farmers, market women, students, elderly people and more who arrived as early as 8:30 am, pledged their unwavering loyalty and determination, vowing to wait for as long as it took for their esteemed leader to arrive.
Amidst the pouring rain, a small convoy, led by Cummings, reached the Pedebo border in the mid-afternoon. The cars disembarked from the ferry first, followed by Cummings, who stood on the ferry, waving to the excited supporters. The sight of their CPP Standard Bearer returning to his home county of Maryland evoked a wave of joy, prompting chants such as “Your leave us, oh… dah Cummings, we want” and “God has answered our prayers.” Cummings, acknowledging the fervent support, disembarked and engaged with his dedicated followers, shaking hands and expressing gratitude for their unwavering support.
Subsequently, the CPP Standard Bearer proceeded to a palava hut in the border town, where he was greeted by the town chiefs in a traditional Maryland kola nut welcome. As Cummings made his way into Harper, men, women and children from various towns and villages emerged, dancing and celebrating the return of their beloved son. At the Pedebo Harper junction, he was met by scores of supporters, prompting Cummings to exit his vehicle and walk alongside the overwhelming crowd towards Harper.
Entering Harper, Maryland County as a hero, Mr. Cummings’s convoy drove through Maryland’s commercial Pleebo City, as scores of supporters from the three political districts gathered in party colors during the heavy downpour of rain to welcome their hero, as the crowd shouted: “Our own na come, rain, rain come down!”
Without any fear for his personal security, Mr. Cummings, under the heavy downpour of rain, disembarked from his vehicle, walked through the main street leading to Harper city as his convoy slowly followed. The CPP leader waved and shook hands with his partisans and admirers who seemed bewildered by the fact that the CPP standard-bearer displayed a common touch.
“I never knew Mr. Cummings was so simple. All I know about him is from social media. He is a real leader,” Samson Nagbe of Pleebo City said.
Former Senator Dan Moriah and other prominent citizens of Maryland County braved the rain as they marched through the streets with Mr. Cummings, in a show of solidarity unprecedented in recent times.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional council of Maryland County, Mle Wah described the arrival of Mr. Cummings as “new hope” for Marylanders and a new beginning; and further concluded that the CPP Standard Bearer arrived home not as a stranger, but as a son.
In Harper, Cummings attended a church service at Full Gospel Church, officiated by Pastor Joseph Jasper, a respected figure from his hometown of Gbeken. Joined by hundreds, notably the youth of Maryland, Cummings expressed his gratitude to God for bringing him back to his home county. He emphasized the significance of starting his trip by visiting the church, stating, “I thank God for bringing me to my home county of Maryland, and I am glad that the church is the first place that I have visited on this trip.”
Undeterred by the rain, Cummings remained energized as he returned to Pleebo. Once again, he was met by a multitude of supporters, whom he joined in marching towards the Pleebo Youth Center, marking the conclusion of an exhilarating and inspiring day. Various individuals expressed their optimism and determination, voicing their support for Cummings and his journey to the Liberia Presidency.
During the event, Alexander Cummings was honored with a certificate from the Motorbike Union of Maryland for his invaluable support to the Union. Chiefs from across the county also gathered at the youth center to conduct a traditional welcome ceremony, officially endorsing Cummings as “their own son” and showcasing their unwavering support.
Cummings will spend an entire week in Maryland, engaging with diverse groups and extending his visit to other southeastern counties. This visit signifies his commitment to understanding the needs and aspirations of the people, as well as his dedication to effecting positive real change.
More updates on the CPP standard-bearer’s southeastern tour will be provided subsequently. Mr. Cummings, while in the Southeast, will visit Rivergee and Grand Kru Counties.
About Alexander B. Cummings
Alexander B. Cummings is the Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and a prominent figure in Liberian politics. Known for his leadership and vision, Cummings aims to create a prosperous and inclusive Liberia through collaborative efforts and sustainable development.