HARPER: With his Presidential pursuit being energized by the massive reception he got during his recent tour of the Southeastern part of the country, the Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP), Alexander B. Cummings says his confidence level of winning the ensuing presidential election has grown higher than ever before, asserting that be it first round or in the second round, the CPP will sweep the polls to begin the process of restoring good governance and the rule of law as well as carving up policies to ensure economic growth, development and prosperity for the citizens.
Mr. Cummings made the statement in Harper City, Maryland County, when he spoke to the media while providing a synopsis of his visit, what it meant for his presidential ambition and his chances against other contenders, especially the incumbent, President George Manneh Weah who is seeking re-election. He maintained that the President’s weak performance in office has triggered the chances of CPP to democratically unseat the government and move swiftly to save the country from further decline.
“I am confident of winning; our team is working for us to win in the first round, but in the likelihood we don’t win in the first round, we will win in the second round. We are working to support ourselves in the process.
‘It is possible we can be in the second round with any other opposition party like the Unity Party. Weah has done a terribly bad job, the suffering is so much in Liberia and the people are resolved to vote him out. You know cheating aside, it is possible you can have two opposition parties in the second round but no matter how the combination will be, we are confident we will win the election.”
Cummings spoke more about the visit and said one of the main intentions was “for our people to know that we are offering ourselves to serve them as a leader of the country”.
“We came to ask them for their blessing, for their support. We met with our traditional leaders; I went to Gbeken where the Cummings family came from and I asked them for their blessing and support.
“So, it has been a successful visit, very interactive with the citizens of Maryland, River Gee and Grand Kru Counties. And so, I am confident that we will prevail in this part of our country; very confident that we will win in this part of the country.
“I am confident that my home county, my home people, and the Grebo people will support me to be successful in October and begin the process of restoring good governance and economic growth to our people here and in Liberia as a whole”, he said.
Responding to a question which informed his decision of the choice of running mate when he picked Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine as well as not going the way of Nimba for the pick, Cummings said it was true that many persons were looking at Nimba County because of its huge population next only to Montserrado County, the CPP however said he did something unique to produce his running mate and he was excited that the result has been an added advantage to his pursuit.
“We went through a detailed vetting process, and we appointed a committee to do the search. We developed the criteria and part of it was geographic balance. We personally wanted a woman which was our preference after talking to a lot of people.
“We kept the process secret to protect all the people who we were talking to, to protect their privacy and at the end of the exercise we landed on the best candidate for Alexander Cummings.
“We got a woman, relatively young, smart and so we are offering the Liberian people a clear choice, a clean ticket, an integrity ticket, a balanced ticket age-wise, experience-wise and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive to Charlyne’s selection.
“We are very happy with the choice; we are very happy with the selection and we are on the way to victory”, Cummings said.
The CPP leader also gave a summary of places he visited and the reception he got from there beginning from his point of entry into Liberia through Cote d’Ivoire due to the deplorable road conditions in the Southeast.
“From our arrival through Cavalla, although it was raining when we got here, we were warmly embraced by Liberians for which we are very, very grateful.
“We went on to spend time in Pleebo Sedoken District. We went on again to River Gee where we were warmly embraced. We then spent some time in Grand Kru. Everywhere we went, we were happily received and embraced, and again we want to be grateful to our people for the gesture”, he said.
However, Cummings did not spare words mentioning the downside of his visit when he said it was such an embarrassing situation for him to pass through Cote d’Ivoire to visit the Southeast due to bad roads and it was an avoidable thing if the government had prioritized fixing the roads in the Southeast.
“It is embarrassing for us as a country that the road is not passable. We have to go through Cote d’Ivoire and I have to go back through Cote d’Ivoire. I have to cross the border by 5 to 5:30 am local time to go back. It is embarrassing”, Cumming said.
Meanwhile Cummings had expressed his disappointment about the poor road connectivity in the Southeast when he posted on his official Facebook page upon arrival in Maryland County after entering Liberia through Cote d’Ivoire.
“For the first time in my life, I had to go to my county through Ivory Coast. The roads are so bad, we would have gotten stuck for days. How embarrassing! This Weah government promised to bring change and do better than the past government, but unfortunately, they have failed the Liberian people. No one, no citizen, deserves to go through the humiliation and stress of passing through a neighboring country to get to your own county. Liberians deserve better and this is why we are intentional about bringing REAL CHANGE and fixing the mess”, Cummings said in the post.
As an optimistic person who most of the times looks out for the positives in whatever situation he is confronted with, Cummings saw the untapped and huge potential in the Southeast, which when properly harnessed, could bring manifold development in the region.
“By the way, have any of you seen the beaches in Harper, and other parts of the southeast? Magnificent. How blessed we are! We will turn Maryland and the southeast into an eco-tourism hub. I have been to all 15 counties and there is so much we will do to promote eco-tourism across Liberia”, Cummings said.
Of all the problems presented to Mr. Cummings by the citizens, the deplorable condition of the roads in the entire Southeastern part of the country was most repeated, which according to the citizens, when fixed will go a long way to solve almost all of the problems they are confronted with.
According to one elder who was actively employed as a civil servant but has retired and relocated to his village in the region, fixing the roads will give the citizens a new lease on life as almost everything is hanging on the roads.
“I started building this structure which should have been the family house when I was actively working as a civil servant in Monrovia. When I retired, I ran home with the hope that the little I got as saving will be used to finish this building but it has been a disappointment.
“All the building materials I bought in Monrovia are still there because the roads are bad and there is no way I can bring them in. The ones that are sold in the region are like three times the prices in Monrovia due to the cost of transportation because the roads are bad.
“Everything is tied to the roads. Getting drugs to the hospitals, getting instructional materials to the schools, buying goods, taking products from the farm to the market, are all depending on the roads. So, this is a quagmire that needs to be addressed seriously before meaningful development and improvement in the standard of living of the people can happen.
“We are hopeful with what Cummings as a son of the soil has told us; what he will do with our roads when he is elected. And so, we on our part will give him the support he needs to win so that what he intends to do will be possible”, the old man who pleaded with our correspondent not to be named in the paper said.