The Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Alexander Cummings, has warned of difficult times ahead, with uncertainty over the pending October 10, 2023 elections and salary payments to civil servants, due to increasing donor fatigue, caused by lack of trust over persistent reports of corruption and gross mismanagement of public resources.
Cummings said Liberians need not be told “that the economic situation is getting worse, and while Liberians are growing uneasy about the hardship, Liberia’s international partners who are trying to help are contemplating giving up on President George Weah’s government”.
The CPP Standard Bearer said persistent reports of stealing, wasteful spending and gross mismanagement by public officials are of serious worry to Liberia’s international partners, who are increasingly getting reluctant and scared to give money to the Weah government for the benefit of Liberians.
“There are uncertainties and grave concern over the pending October general and presidential elections and whether civil servants will be paid due to funding gap,” Cummings stated.
Cummings said there are indications that the hardship is likely to intensify, with soaring prices and lack of jobs and opportunities.
The CPP Standard Bearer gave the warning, Monday, May 1, 2023 when he addressed the nation, urging Liberians to wake up to the harsh realities and make the critical decision, come October 10, to vote out President Weah.
“We have difficult days ahead, but even worse we have a President who doesn’t know what to do, and doesn’t care that too many people are suffering,” Cummings said.
He made reference to the recent scandal unearthed by out-going U.S. Ambassador, Michael McCarthy, in which hospitals were reportedly duped of US$100,000 budgetary appropriations in 2022, prompting massive suffering and neglect of rural dwellers.
According to the Ambassador “the blocking of resources” from the affected rural hospitals was so complete that it must be a syndicate involving officials at the National Legislature, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The CPP Standard Bearer said corruption is pervasive in all government sectors, so much so that even public officials charged with combating the trafficking of drugs are themselves facilitating and protecting drug smugglers in the country.
Cummings said with the deteriorating economic conditions and hardships, a bulk of the five-year budgetary allotments were given to Weah’s five top senior officials, including himself, the Vice President, Speaker, Pro-Temp and Deputy Speaker, ignoring genuine needs of hospitals and public schools.
“We have to get serious to stop the suffering of the Liberian people by first stopping the massive stealing by public officials. This is not just another political talk: this is the reality of our situation,” Cummings emphasized.
“It is one thing for me to talk about stealing in government, the neglect and suffering of Liberians and the irresponsible behavior of our government. But it is another thing for strangers to tell us how rotten, corrupt and irresponsible the government is under Weah’s administration,” Cummings said. The CPP Standard Bearer said he believes that, if President Weah had any remorse or conscience or respect for his Office and sensitivity of his presidential duties, he would apologize, sack the officials involved in the scandal and he himself resign as President.
He said a wasteful and irresponsible leader cannot be expected to run a responsible government, just as a divisive leader cannot unite a nation, saying leadership matters.
He said a weak and indecisive person who will compromise principles only to win must never be allowed to lead Liberia again.
“We will not get out of our difficulty by compromising values and looking for easy wins and shortcuts. Doing the same things over and over will only give us the same bad results,” Cummings cautioned.
He said, Liberia, being blessed with abundant natural resources… vast majority are still living in deplorable conditions because the current leadership of President Weah is mostly irresponsible, careless, divisive and wicked and are only thinking about their chances to steal.
According to Cummings, President Weah is running Liberia like an irresponsible father who spends all his pay on liquor only to beg his neighbors to feed his family and pay his rent and children’s school fees.