MONROVIA – The much publicized “We Tiyah Suffering” rally planned and executed by the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) lived to its billing on Saturday, December 17, 2022, when Liberians from all walks of life massively assembled at the front view of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, venue of the rally to vent their displeasure over the deteriorating state of affairs under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah, just as CPP Standard Bearer Alexander B. Cummings has promised an alternative leadership that will address “the monumental failure of President Weah that has sent the Liberian people into abject poverty, untold sufferings and backwardness”.
Despite some setbacks which the organizers referred to as “threats, intimidations and frustration”, the momentum started building up earlier in the day when Liberians started converging from different directions and localities towards the SKD Sports Complex as early as 8:30 am. By mid-day when the program commenced, the venue had already swelled up to an unbelievable number of the attendees, to the amazement of the organizers themselves.
Amid singing, dancing and chanting of slogans and battle cries, the Saturday atmosphere was uniquely electrifying as various speakers mounted the podium to share their thoughts about the significance of the “We Tiyah Suffering”rally, which resonated well with the people.
“We tiyah suffering” rally highlights
Setting the tone for the rally, Team Cummings Lead Campaigner Lewis Brown held the audience spellbound with his oratory prowess, highlighting why the rally was being held and why the Liberian people chose the SKD Sports Complex as venue of the program.
“Why are we here? Why have we gathered at the SKD Sports Complex? Why have we come from near and far? Why must we brave the threats, the violence, the intimidation, the fear from our own government to be here? Why are we still afraid to be here?
“The reason is two-fold and simple: the first is the truth that too many in this country are suffering and for two long. Too many are going to bed hungry at night. Too many are going to churches for healing. All around the country people are suffering too much.
“So, we have come to where the President promised us that he will end the suffering of the people. This is the place he promised us that he will lead us to a better Liberia. President Weah promised us here that he will end corruption. So, we have come to tell him the “people taya, the people taya, the people taya”, the former Minister of Information said amid thunderous cheers and slogans.
Also speaking at the rally, the Chairman of the CPP, Musa Hassan Bility said that Liberia was at a crossroad and needs the cooperation of every Liberian, especially the opposition community, to unite and confront the ugly situations the Weah-led government has plunged the country into. He stated that instead of the opposition going against each other, they should present a united cause of the Liberian people and find ways to liberate them. Bility further indicated that the rally is a pointer about who really cares for the country in this difficult stage of the country’s history.
“This is to allow Liberians to see for themselves and know who will speak for them; who will brave the storm to speak for them; who will be able to go through what we are going through with them. The silence of those who want to lead this country at this very difficult time in the history of the country will tell you how far they are prepared to go to be your leader.
“Liberians far and near, I just want you to know that the country is facing or has reach a point where it is left to us now – not to the United States, not to ECOWAS, not to the UN, but to us to decide the kind of leaders we deserve.
“We are here today to tell that the only choice left to save this country is Mr Cummings. You have 10 months to decide to take your country to a new height, the choice is yours to decide” Mr. Bility said.
Others in attendance were former Bomi County Senator, Sando Johnson, Sheik Koyateh of the One Liberia Movement, as well as a representative of the United People’s Party, among others.
Thereafter several individuals and institutions mounted the podium to endorse the rally and offer support to what the CPP is embarking upon to speak out for the citizens.
Mounting the podium next, controversial Montserrado County District #10 Yekeh Kolubah, who had stormed the venue of the rally with a good number of his followers in tow, used the occasion to take a swipe at the leadership of President Weah, and called upon the opposition community to close ranks and ensure the defeat of President Weah and the CDC in 2023.
Representative Kolubah, who had addressed Mr. Cummings and his wife Teresa as “incoming President and First lady” respectively, said Liberians should summon the courage to speak out their mind, vowing to soldier on even if it means becoming a lone voice to lead the opposition to victory in 2023.
As for One Liberia Movement Chairman Sheikh Kouyateh, the Weah-led government is practicing nepotism, something that Mr. Weah spoke against when he was in opposition. He acknowledged that the only solution to get the government to listen to the plight of the citizens is a call to action “to tell the government that Liberians are tired”.
Also speaking during the rally, former Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson described President Weah as a leader who has failed in governance. He disclosed that he is not a member of the ANC, rather, he belongs to the All Liberian Party, but noted that after the rally he will decide on his political journey.
One of the political parties that also spoke at the occasion through a proxy was the United People’s Party (UPP), which endorsed the rally, and vowed to be part and parcel of any arrangement undertaken by the CPP to further conscientize the people. The UPP representative assured the Liberian people that the cause for which Liberians have sacrificed will not be compromised. He thanked the government of Liberia for providing security for the citizens.
Madam Sangay Douba, head of the Cross Border Women, for her part lamented the deteriorating situation in the country especially the health sector where when one falls ill and goes to the hospital, the “doctors will not treat you unless you bribe them”. She also expressed disappointment over the lack of viable business activities going on in the country especially the lack of support for market women in the country.
Also making remarks at the rally, Bishop Obediah Allison from the Grass Root Churches recommended that the CPP decentralize the “we taya suffering “rally to other counties. He said with more than 900 membership, the church is also “tire suffering”, adding the church will continue to preach the truth and urged all believers to rise up because enough is enough.
The Association for Liberian Muslim for Peace, a group represented by Mustapha Bility, for their part said the governance of Liberia will not be overwhelmed by dictatorial leadership, decrying that Muslims have been marginalized for long and they are “tire suffering”.
James Zaizay, who represented the National Textile and Tailor Union, said the Union endorses the rally because they are tired suffering. He stressed that this is the first time for the Union to speak, as they call on Liberians to join the Union to support Mr. Cummings. He believes that Mr. Cummings can make a change and make Liberia a better place to live.
Haja Sheriff, Chairperson of the United Liberian Market Women and Superintendent of Duala Market, through a proxy said the market women are really suffering and are tired of suffering. She made a passionate plea to citizens from all walks of life in the country to ensure that Liberia is liberated by electing Mr. Cummings.
The Disenchanted CDCians Association through its Chairman, Alexander Momoson said their group is of the strong conviction that the rally was not about Mr. Cummings but for the Liberian populace. Momoson called on all Liberians to rally and send a resounding message to the government of Liberia that Liberians are tired suffering.
Addressing the well-attended rally finally, Mr. Cummings said he was excited for the success of the rally, whose venue he described as the most suitable place for Liberians to meet and strategize for the benefit of the people. He said, despite of all the odds that were planted on the way to obstruct the rally from being successfully held, the organizers said the platform afforded them to send a clear message to the President and members of his government for the poor leadership being offered the Liberian people.
“We are sending our message to the government, we are sending message to President Weah that the Liberian people are tired of suffering. We are tired of mismanagement of the country, we are tired of not being able to pay our children school fees, we are tired of poor hospitals, we are tired of not being to feel ourselves,” the CPP standard bearer lamented as the multitude erupted in thunderous applause.
Cummings, who was accompanied to the rally by his wife, said that the rally was about telling the President that he will be a one-term president, as well as telling him that he has failed the Liberian people and that he should just excuse the public space for serious people to take over the governance of the country next year, adding that if he was ever asked to grade the president, he will grade him an “F” because according to him, he has failed the Liberian people.
“If we are elected, we will restore good governance for the people, we will restore rule of law, we will ensure economic growth and prosperity, we will create jobs for the people, especially the young people. We will work for the women of Liberia who are the foundation of our country.”, he concluded.