MONROVIA – The Liberty Party (LP) headed by Musa Hassan Bility and Alexander Cummings’ Alternative National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 took a major step to concretize their political marriage with the formation of a new Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) when they presented the amended and signed copy of the new CPP framework document to their partisans and supporters as well as the public at a colorful ceremony held at the National Headquarters of the LP in Sinkor on Friday, August 27, 2022.
The historic ceremony was highlighted by the level of preparation put in the process, especially the enthusiastic manner in which partisans and supporters of the both parties trooped to the LP headquarters in Sinkor, dressed in white T-shirts with the photos of Messrs Alexander B. Cummings and Musa Hassan Bility, Standard Bearer and Political Leader of ANC and National Chairman of LP respectively, with inscriptions of the names of LP and ANC emblazoned on the T-Shirts.
Despite the heavy downpour of rain, the number of attendees kept surging with members and supporters thronged from the 17 electoral districts of Montserrado and its environs, as well as delegates from the local chapters in the 15 political subdivisions of the country.
Preparatory to the commencement of the program, the National Chairman of LP had earlier received members of the local chapters from the 15 counties in his office where they acknowledged and thanked him for his steadfast stewardship in guiding the party since his ascendency, despite the “distractions and obstacles he has been encountering in the course of rebranding and taking the to the next level”.
They pledged their unflinching support to abiding by the amended framework document of the new CPP as they unanimously endorsed and consented to the instrument in agreement that the Liberty Party will align itself with the ANC and formalize the political marriage of the CPP.
Mr. Bility thanked them the partisans and supporters for their foresight and decision to back the leadership of the party in its decision to forge an alliance with the ANC as the remaining members of the original CPP after the former ruling Unity Party (UP) and the All Liberia Party (ALP) had exited the political structure months ago. He assured them that with the new arrangement, the chances of the collaboration clinching state power in 2023 had become brighter.
Amid the singing, dancing and the usual chants of battle cries and slogans, the overwhelming crowd, some of whom had come as early as 8 am for the program that was slated for 12 noon, kept the arena alive from start to end when the party leaders, other dignitaries and many other very important persons were making their way out of the event.
The arrival of Bility which was later followed by Cummings sent the enthusiastic gathering into frenzy and jubilation as almost everyone wanted to get a glimpse of the ANC #1 partisan, regarded by them as a rallying point of the new CPP that has vowed to restore their hope when it takes power in 2023.
After the initial formalities, the program got underway with a welcome remark from the National Chairlady for Women Wing of LP, Madam Willette Lynsader, welcoming everyone, while expressing excitement for a successful hosting of the program, urging the participants to feel at home while the proceedings went ahead.
Martin Saye Kollah, National Secretary General of LP who introduced the dignitaries at the program, said guests also came from as far as the diaspora to represent the branches of LP and ANC in the United States. Besides Cummings and Bility who were introduced, Kollah also announced the presence of Dr. Togar McIntosh, as well as delegates from other parties, such as the United People’s Party (UPP), the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), who will be joining the CPP, among others.
Also speaking at the program, Senator Daniel Naaten, National Chairman of ANC, described the day as one of the most historic days in the country as it will be marking the resolve of like-minded Liberians who have decided to come together to rescue the country from the sufferings of the ruling government under President George Manneh Weah.
“Liberia is suffering, the citizens have been suffering for a long time and it is time we unite under an umbrella for a common cause. The man who we have chosen to lead us, Mr. Cummings, is up to the task and he will not disappoint us. This is the moment we should seize and take it very seriously if we want real change”, he said.
Dr. McIntosh who spoke later in a somber remark said the country ought to be somewhere better enough, a cause he said he believes in and that is what he wants to work for, promising to say more in the future.
Then came the most important reason of the day, which was the presentation of the amended framework document to the audience which was performed by the Secretary General of the ANC, Atty Aloysius Toe. Toe said based on the experience with the first framework document which led to controversies, confusion and the main cause for the setback for the original CPP of four parties not to succeed, it was important that each of the signatories on the document came forward to state whether the signature on the document was theirs or not.
“After going through this document, I hereby confirm that the signature on this document is mine”, Bility said, and signed on a separate document to authenticate what he said, amid cheers from the crowd.
Senator Natehn, Toe and Kollah in similar manner confirmed signing the documents on behalf of the ANC and LP respectively.
Bility, after receiving the document as the National Chairman based on the arrangement of the agreement, then turned it over to Mr, Cummings who is now the Standard Bearer of CPP.
“We have put this CPP together for the sake of the Liberian people and we have put the ship in the care of Mr. Cummings to lead us. This is a difficult time for our country. With all your experience, Mr. Cummings, I want to tell you that this is the most difficult one; to preside over a broken country, to preside over a divided people.
“We have come to you with this task and we believe you will live up to it. We believe others will come to join us. We believe this is the only option for this country”, he said and got a thunderous reception.
On his part, after receiving the document, Cummings thanked all those who made it possible to bring to fruition the tireless work put in place to agree to work together which was manifested from the amendment of the framework document. He said the challenge now is how to work together as a united family to confront the bad governance under President Weah and work towards making him a one-term President.
“I want to say to you that you, the Liberian people, have given us this document. You want us to stick together, to work together. We the ANC, the LP and the other parties that will be joining us will stay together, work together to make President Weah a one term President. So, this document is yours and I want to present it in this symbolic manner to the Liberian people.
“Let me tell you also that though this document was signed by LP and ANC, it is written in a way to accommodate other parties that will want to join us. We will be reaching everybody to come. “Liberia deserves better. No more will Liberians go hungry; no more will our children not go to school. No more will we allow people to come and steal from us.
“Let me tell you that if you are supporting us or you are for Alexander Cummings and want to come to steal, we are not for you”, he said among other things and received standing ovations and admiration.
The presentation of the amended framework is being seen as a major breakthrough by the two parties in their resolve to keep the spirit of a united opposition together and give a good account of the new collaboration against the ruling CDC in 2023, the task that was truncated after UP and ALP left the collaboration.