The Liberian political mosaic is gradually putting up a human face, and the centripetal force making the magic wand is the resolution to put up a national fight against a deadly virus threatening to decimate the already paltry population of Liberia. Liberian politics, particularly in recent years, has had an extremely antagonistic coloration where battle lines are uncompromisingly drawn between the ruling establishment and its opposition counterparts. It has been a do and die affair. But as Coronavirus has struck, and the current wave appears elusive, sense is prevailing amongst some major political antagonists. The first opposition leader who has offered to break the chains of sworn bitterness and hate in these times of national emergency is Alexander Cummings, leader of the National Alternative Congress (ANC). In a nationwide statement recently, Mr. Cummings announced his intent to join forces with Government in the right against COVID-19, and the Chief Executive of Country, President Weah, is not letting the offer to be tabled on political considerations, as The Analyst reports.
As the Political Leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, offers unconditional services to the administration of President George M. Weah in helping to curb the widespread of the deadly coronavirus, the President has welcomed him to join the fight against the scourge, and commended his patriotic effort as a good citizen of Liberia.
In an exclusive interview with media institutions, including The Analyst, President Weah noted that he welcomes the move made by Cummings and he, too, is willing to listen to and work with him, void political obstruction.
“The coronavirus is no joke…Liberians are losing their lives every day to the plague. During a national crisis of this nature and magnitude, all hands of good citizens, void of political affiliation, are required on deck,” President Weah emphasized.
He said this is what good citizens do, recounting that during the EBOLA health crisis he worked with the Unity Party (UP) government to fight against the virus—not because of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf but because, as a good citizen, he wanted to help save his country.
According to him, Cummings’ promised help, if it comes without political undertones, will go a long way in beefing up the health sector and finding a remedy to the looming health crisis.
Recently, the ANC Political Leader took off his political cap and opened his arms to the Weah government in joining ranks with the regime to collaboratively fight the disease.
Cummings’s announced preparedness to help has begun to manifest through his engagements and discussions with international partners about the deteriorating health situation in Liberia.
He is said to currently be in the United States, soliciting help to alleviate the tension on the health sector.
Furthermore, Cummings has made a number of recommendations to the Weah administration in taking seize of the health situation.
He called on the government to recast the budget to provide funding for the purchase of beds, PPEs, masks, vaccines, ventilators, oxygen and massive awareness, and also asked that the government solicit additional support from Liberians in the diaspora and the donor community.
Cummings also call for an increase in the hazard pay of existing health workers and employ more health workers an contact tracers; immediately close all schools and ensure the completion of the semester from home, pending the end of the crisis, and to work with community leaders and community-based organizations to create awareness and help with enforcement of GOL new regulations instead of the use of paramilitary forces.
He also recommended to the government to set up a hotline where people who have families or friends with severe symptoms of COVID-19 can call for help and be linked to the nearest isolation or health center.
“I offer to work with the government in whatever way I reasonably can to help us out of this situation. The Cummings Africa Foundation is open to working with authorities of the Ministry of Health to identify some of the urgent gaps in the national response that we can make some quick interventions to,” Cummings’ statement entailed.
President Weah informed the media that two health committees have already been established to carry out specific functions: Sparkle and Incident Management System (IMS), two committees he is heading.
The Incident Management System (IMS) is the technical and operational arm of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 response, and is made up of only health experts and partners.
For Sparkle, it is made up of experts, government officials and partners, and is responsible to assess the workings and review the activities of the IMS and solicit resources from foreign governments and partners for the response.
Meanwhile, President Weah has extended heartfelt appreciation to the nurses, doctors, physicians, physician assistants, midwives, contact tracers, administrators and everyone playing a role in the health sector, commending their effort and their gallant work of volunteering for Mama Liberia.