MONROVIA – Liberians may have been given an insight of what the campaign for the presidential bid of Alexander Benedict Cummings, Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) will take when Mr. Lewis Brown, a staunch supporter of the businessman turned politician, yesterday, Tuesday, October 4, 2022 sent out a challenge to Liberians from all walks of life to express their dismay over the performance of President George Manneh Weah and democratically uproot his government in 2023 because they can no longer continue suffering just as he reaffirmed that Cummings will provide the best alternative leadership upon the exit of the present dispensation.
Mr. Brown who was introduced to the audience by the Secretary General of the Alternative National Congress(ANC), Atty Aloysius Toe, moment after Cummings had announced the membership of the Campaign team, tagged , TEAM CUMMINGS, to speak on behalf of his colleagues, spoke extemporaneously yet had the audience spellbound while stating reasons why President Weah should exit the scene in 2023 and Cummings, whom he had earlier endorsed some weeks ago, should be entrusted with the leadership of the country in the post-Weah era.
“Mr. Incoming President, we have come to say enough is enough. We accept the challenge not just to win over the people of Liberia but to change this place for the better. All of us named here today and those who you will name later, will join you in the historic march. Changing a country is not an easy business. We are prepared to make the wisest sacrifice, all of us. Enough is enough. We have to vote them out.
“To all Liberians everywhere, the only person in this race, who has the leadership credential and quality of experience to lead us out of the deep hole that has been dug by this failed President is Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings.
“They say he does not have government experience but I say that is why we want him because the same old experience will not work, we need fresh ideas, we need new sense of leadership and this team as I was driving, I was getting names, saying ‘please include me’, this team will multiply.
“We will sweep the length and breadth of this country. We will challenge them in each of the 73 districts of Liberia because Liberians are suffering everywhere.
“Liberians everywhere, listen to me. We are not trying. This team is too big, too ambitious to try to not win. We are in this to win for the Liberian people”, he said.
Brown who was cheered on at intervals from the impressive audience that also included the National Chairman of ANC and Vice Chairman of the CPP Senator Daniel Naathen, ANC Stalwarts Senator Jonathan B. Sogbie of River Gee County, Atty Lafeyette Gould, Representative Yekeh Kolubah, former diplomat Togar McIntosh, Martin Kollah, Secretary General of the Liberty Party(LP), among others, dismissed the insinuation from some people who in a degrading manner using Cummings’s past performance in 2017 where he was able to garner 7% of the total vote cast in the country to predict that he will not win the election. He said the team will be working for 70% of the vote to take President Weah from the “back of the Liberian people”, adding “we are working to win on the first ballot”.
In a forceful and resolute way, the former Liberia’s Ambassador to the United Nations told the audience that there seems to be fear in the minds of the people against possible attacks or harassment from the government because they are waging a battle to unseat the government democratically in 2023, while also foretelling Cummings of the difficult task ahead that must be met with seriousness.
“I know some people are worried because the President has begun to issue threats but they cannot do anything. He cannot scare us.
“You, Mr. Cummings, you have a big task, the road ahead will be difficult. Members of this team, toughen your skin; they will come after us but as they come, they will fall because I swear to you, they are wrong and we are right.
“History is on our side, we are doing the right thing for our country, even God will not allow us to fail. Have your faith, be strong. This is only the beginning. Victory is ours; victory will be for the Liberian people”, he said amid wide cheers from the crowd of party faithful.
Lighting up the occasion further, Brown who has had a long history of student activism while at the University of Liberia and later on venturing into active national politics, extolled the qualities of Cummings whom he described as a decent and humble man and in apparent reference to President Weah got the enthusiastic supporters of CPP on their feet when he listed some positive attributes of Cummings against that of Weah.
“The last few months I have had the time to work with you, we have seen in you a humble man, a man willing to listen, a man ready to interact, a man ready to put others first, a self-confidence man; not the man who likes to listen to chichipoly, rumors, gossips and keep speech, not the man who feels insecure, a man who is scared of others.
“Today you are bringing people from other parties and not scared of them.
“Unless all of us come together, none of us will go anywhere. This is what this team represents.
“Mr. Incoming President, and we promise you, we will not let you down. We will not let the people of Liberia down. This is the only place we can be somebody and if we cannot be somebody here, then there is something wrong that we must all change”, Brown said and received a standing ovation.
The former Information Minister who some days ago had some harsh words for President Weah while responding to the “unfounded allegations” against him and had asserted that the president is clueless to provide solutions to the many problems facing the country, reiterated his stand and wondered how insensitive President Weah could be to the plight of the people by partying and hosting a birthday bash in the midst of the suffering the people were going through.
“Today, too many people are ready, too many people are disappointed. This President does not appear to be connected to the everyday condition of hardship of our people just like you said.
“While many are looking for one meal, just one meal for the day, mothers searching for food for their children and our President, you are right, Mr. Incoming president, our president was partying, celebrating his birthday with a bash more important than addressing the pain, frustration and anguish and the suffering of the Liberian people.
“We will end all of this in 2023,” Brown vowed
He also told the audience that the team members have resolved to make the supreme sacrifices for the success of Mr. Cummings in 2023, citing Dr. McCintosh who has refused a job offer from the government to be with Mr. Cummings and others too have been refusing “all kinds of things “the government was offering and urged the people to “eat their money, eat it, it is your money, eat it and vote against them”, he said.
One of the exciting side attractions during his speech was the introduction he did to announce the presence of Representative Yekeh Kolubah of District #10, Montserrado County who had an army camouflage bullet proof jacket on, whom he described as “my own younger brother” and the known critic of President Weah received a rousing welcome.
The announcement of the campaign team by Cummings represented a major step to readiness to launch his campaign full time very soon throughout the country.
Pundits are of the view that Cummings will go far beyond his outing in 2017 as a new entrant to the murky waters of Liberian politics with just 18 months to the election. But since his debut that ended in defeat, he has since widened his support base that cuts across all corners of the country.