MONROVIA: Literally the nation’s capital and its environs were submerged in human floods yesterday, September 7, 2023, as unending swarms of partisans and supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) emptied the districts, communities and neighborhoods of Montserrado County into the Antoinette Tubman Stadium where the party launched its 2023 political campaign. Independent pundits who followed the titanic streams of humans are unanimous in the view that the CDC widely vouched boast for a first-ballot victory is firmly justified and laid bare, and that if there was anything during the 2023 elections capable of jettisoning the opposition community into trepidations and palpitation of their hearts, they have got one in the September 7 human tsunami. The Analyst reports.
The entire county of Montserrado awoke to jostling crowds of citizens, stampeding back and forward in preparation to depart and attend the official campaign launch ceremonies of the ruling CDC at the iconic Antoinette Tubman Football Field. Many of the communities had had a watchnights organized by partisans and supporters singing, praying and celebrating in preparation, bracing for the pending political outing.
The clogged traffics during early morning hours in most of the communities in the outskirt of Monrovia – clogged traffics that were generated by stampeding folks trooping on foot and some in vehicles — soon turned into calm and quiet havens for mostly the elderly and children because by 10pm all or most able-body men and women had already taken their flights towards Central Monrovia.
And by around 12pm, the tidal waves of human torrents completely swallowed up what is commonly known as Central Monrovia. Central Monrovia encompasses Water Street, Ashmun Street, Broad Street, Mechline Street, Perry Street and up to Capitol Hill. All the streets there were clogged and human fogs rendered them practically impassable.
In no time, and apparently to prevent asphyxiations of people due to over-crowdedness, announcements got rife on radio stations and the social media as early at 12am warning that the venue, ATS, as well as surrounding Central Monrovia communities, were already submerged—drowned—in the human floods, and that citizens who hadn’t reached there should turn back or remain at home to watch from the diverse of media outlets covering the occasion live.
Pundits believe that was a result of the massive preparation by the CDC, something that apparently involved long days of planning, lot of resources, energy and time being to build.
According to them, Thursday, September 7, 2023, will long be remembered not just by CDCians, Weahians and supporters of the CDC but also by their rivals in the opposition community as a serious political event to be credited in time to come as a decisive moment for the 2023 general and presidential elections.
The torrential rains did little or nothing to impede the increasing pace of the crowds and their momentum. In fact, most the marchers were chanting the rains were necessary to calm their temperatures from the anxieties and militant fervors.
The celebratory stampedes continued nonstop during the day until 4pm or there about before the Standard Bearer, President George Manneh Weah, and a long caravan of party and government officials and partisans and supporters of the CDC hit the venue.
It was an impressive ceremony held at the Antoinette Tubman Sports Stadium, occasioned by singing, dancing and shouts of battle cries from the enthusiastic participants at the event that will get the people talking about it for a long time to come.
As was evidenced by the tireless efforts put in the planning process for Montserrado County, serious mobilization took place in all the 17 electoral districts and centered around projecting the legislative candidates on the platform of the party and marketing the Presidential ticket to the grass roots in communities, villages, towns and cities in the respective district.
Insiders told The Analyst that various auxiliaries from the party and others empowered by prominent partisans and candidates were all on hand to grace the occasion having either marched to the venue or transported to the program.
Our reporter who covered the program said some of the crowd started arriving as early as 8:00 am donning blue T-shirts and caps with the photos of President Weah and VP Taylor and promotional inscriptions that include, for instance: One Round, The Winning Team, The Development Champions, The Change We Can Trust, etc.
At some time of the day when it began to rain, the surging crowd defied the weather to quit and continuously danced and sang, praising the president in the process.
Before 12 noon, the venue was filled beyond the actual capacity of the ATS prompting the organizers to pass on vital information calling on the people not to bother reaching the venue as they could stay away in nearby communities and streets or better still remain in their communities or converge at available spaces such as football fields to listen to the relay version of the program while celebrating the day to herald the D- Day on October 10, 2023.
“Please if you are intending to make your way to the ATS, don’t bother anymore as there is no space available. People who are even outside of the ATS are more than those inside and they too are eager to be inside to physically witness this historic day.”
Some of the announcers said: “Well, please stay in your communities; organize yourself and go to any available spot like a football field to listen to the program. It will be relayed and you could just be there joyously celebrating this day and awaiting the D Day on October 10, 2023.”
Despite this announcements, interestingly and surprisingly too, it seemed it all served as more motivation for them to keep trooping to Central Town, as people in their huge numbers were still making it there.
Commercial activities were literally shut down as most shops and other businesses could not open for transaction in Central Monrovia, including the ever busy Rally Time and Waterside markets.
Only a few vehicles were seen plying major routes from Central town to suburbs like Paynesville, and they had to strenuously endure the seas of humans on the way.
Reports from our correspondents across the country said the launching was also held in the rest of the 14 counties in the country with hyped fanfares and jubilations.
The arrival of President Weah at the venue sent the whole stadium into a frenzy as they shouted “One Round one Round!” “We want Weah!” echoed from all corners of the venue and all other nearly communities.
Before taking his seat for the commencement of the program, the President went around to shake hands with members of his cabinet and other senior government officials. Then he finally took his seat, flanked by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Speaker Bhofal Chambers, among others
Despite brave faces that members of the opposition may muster to wear in the coming days, there is much for any serious opposition strategists to worry about.
A civil society actor, who saw the CDC display of strength, said: “The human tsunami released onto the streets of Monrovia by the CDC, streaming their ways from far away communities of Montserrado, is something to culture in opposition war rooms for counter-maneuvers, and not something to brush aside and shrug.”
He continued: “But whether they appreciate that or not, the move today has triggered palpitation of the heart because the crowds we saw on this day has never been seen for any reason whatsoever in the streets of Monrovia or any part of Liberia in recent memory.”
Many also agree it would be the disadvantage of the opposition to overlook the September 7, 2023 CDC rally because it clearly lays the ground for their well-sung first-ballot victory.
“It will be a shock to doubting Thomases when big numbers flare up in NEC votes count after October 10,” he said further. “If what we saw today is not disrupted by the opposition and is allowed to be translated into actual votes—even if 80 per cent of those who came out vote right in favor of the CDC—a one-round victory is indisputable and inevitable.”