MONROVIA – As a way of seizing the moment to speak about what his administration will do differently to better the lot of the citizens, the Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Alexander B. Cummings says he will ensure to get Liberia back on track from further drifting downward, by building functional systems to ensure a functioning public service. Cummings’ assertion comes by way of dissecting the recent statement from US Ambassador Michael McCarthy when he lamented the lack of priority by the government to spend on critical services for the people.
“Today, US Ambassador Michael McCarthy released a press statement that addresses the Weah administration’s gross incompetence, mismanagement of public funds, and carelessness in handling the affairs of the Liberian people.
“The issues the Ambassador raised in his statement are not strange to Liberians. It is the daily reality for millions of Liberians across the country”, Mr. Cummings said.
Cummings who has been speaking on a lot of critical national issues in the country said the fact that governance in Liberia has become so rotten under this administration, to the point where the country’s traditional ally must raise these concerns in the press, means to a serious blow to the nation’s image, stressing that Liberia is quickly becoming a pariah state under the failed CDC government.
“Sadly, as President Weah and his cronies enrich themselves, ordinary Liberians continue to suffer, unemployment continues to increase, food prices continue to rise, insecurity worsens, families lose their young ones to dangerous drugs flooding our streets, and thousands of Liberians continue to lose their lives to easily preventable diseases”, he said.
Stressing the importance of the ensuing 2023 general election, Cummings said the historic democratic process is about choosing between the old “politics as usual” that has led the country to where it is today, versus real results-driven transformational leadership that will make an actual difference in the lives of the people.
“Another six years of a Weah administration would severely damage Liberia’s credibility in the international community and leave Liberians stuck in a cycle of poverty and suffering. It would completely drive away our long-term partners and investors. Of course, it is the ordinary Liberians that stand to suffer the most. It is time to show Weah the door. Enough is enough”, he said.
Speaking on the claims of corruption made by Ambassador McCarthy, Cummings said he has pledged many times that he will aggressively fight corruption by empowering the courts to prosecute corruption cases swiftly and fully – especially for officials at the highest levels of government.
“We will remove all barriers to ensure that local businesses grow and create more jobs. We will also implement an aggressive strategy to make Liberia an attractive investment destination for international investors that align with our long-term vision for real change in Liberia”, he said.
In his closing statement, Cummings, who has been moving around the country meeting with the people, said in all of his interactions with Liberians across the country, he has seen and heard of their desire for real change, adding, “trust me when I say that real change is coming very soon”.
It can be recalled that the U.S Ambassador McCarthy on Monday, April 24, 2023 issued a statement in which he stated that he was deeply troubled to encounter multiple county hospitals that received not one penny of what they were promised in the 2022 budget.
“Hospitals on which lives depend, where outbreaks are prevented and suffering is alleviated, did not receive any portion of the US$100,000 or more appropriated by the legislature for them to operate,” Ambassador McCarthy said.
He also referenced a report in the press last week, that the Tellowoyan Memorial Hospital in Lofa County, and other health facilities currently survive “on the backs of incredibly dedicated health professionals, making do with whatever they can scrape together.”
“Lest you think this is the work of one political party, that notion was quickly dispelled by Liberians I talked to,” the US Ambassador had lamented, noting that “the blocking of resources is so complete that it must be institutional: and the lack of any alarm being raised indicates a syndicate involving players at the legislature, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The U.S Ambassador further disclosed that Liberia’s legislature has spent more every year for the past three years buttering their own bread, allocating over US$65 million in 2022 for salaries and operations, while hospitals are without, service centers “withered on the vine, yet, “the 30 senators and the 73 representatives spent US$65 Million feathering their own nests.”
“We withhold 25% of the salaries of our Liberian employees at the Residence and at the Embassy to pay their legally mandated income tax to the LRA. Why are the much better-paid representatives and senators not paying a full 25% of their salaries? Why are legislators and ministers, those living on the top of the heap, given annual duty-free imports that deny the LRA much-needed additional revenue? Is there any reason other than the perverted version of the Golden Rule – “those that have the gold, make the rules”? the Ambassador said.