“Our Hands Not Inside”–Grebo Elders Distance Themselves From Cummings Tribal Politics, Presidency

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Liberia’s bitter past is replete with indices of the adverse effects of politically induced tribal maneuvering oozing from politicians’ desperate quest for power that caused many people their lives.

   Although the country is on a steady trajectory of peace, the Political Leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress, Alexander Benedict Cummings, is fighting tooth and nail to relive the ugly days while seeking to replace President George Manneh Weah at the 2023 polls by galvanizing partisans of his party who coincidentally hail from the Grebo ethnic group to hold an endorsement ceremony under the banner, “United Grebo For Cummings 2023”, a fortnight ago in the Doe community area.

   The group claimed that they represent the views of all Grebo people from Maryland, River Gee, Sinoe and Grand Kru counties endorsing Cummings for the Liberian presidency. According to them, “their son” would make a better President to take Liberia to nobler height.

   “We believe in you. The people of Maryland are ready to support you to become president,” Jeremiah Neon said.

   Philip Morrison from River Gee admitted that the County coordinator of Maryland County reached out to them to participate in the endorsement ceremony for the Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader’s presidential bid because they “were confused and lacked direction about who would get their support in the ensuing legislative and presidential elections 2023”.

   In response to the endorsement, Cummings said the ceremony laid to rest the argument that he does not have a constituency.

   “You know this nonsense talk about Cummings not having constituents has been brought to bed. We are showing them today and will show them every day that we got constituents in Maryland, River Gee, Grand Kru, Sione, and everywhere in Liberia,’’ Cummings noted.

   “Today is a great day, and so I want to thank everybody for showing up. They have a saying that goes like this: ‘If the house doesn’t sell you, the street won’t buy you,’’’ he said.

   Before the dust settled on the endorsement, however, citizens of Grebo tribe, including elders, youth, women and opinion leaders rebuked the decision to use them as sacrificial lambs to ferment chaos and division considering the fact that the scars of blood violence from tribal divisions fueled by politicians thirst for power at the detriment of the people.

   The Grebo people said the dangerous path Cummings is threading is unrepresentative of the Grebo tribe, and they will not condone acts that are in the annal of history for causing the lives of thousands of their compatriots for the selfish political ambition of one person under the guise of defeating constituency argument.

   “This is the same thing that made the people killed us like chickens. It is no joke,” one of the elders told newsmen emphatically.

   He added that when Thomas Quiwonkpa had issue with the late President Samuel Doe in the failed coup, the Grebo people then under Grand Gedeh were targeted and killed on grounds that they celebrated the failure of his mission. “It was no joke. That ugly memory still lives with us since 1985. So, anything that looks like replica would be rejected vehemently,” the elder emphasized.

   For Eric Wotorson of Maryland County, he said Cummings is using deceit to get political relevance at the expense of the image of the Grebo people that he is erroneously claiming to be a part of. “Cummings is not a Grebo man. He has no connection with Maryland County. He is from Togo. There is nothing in the county that connects Cummings to the Grebo people. He is a liar,” Wotorson said.

   Political analysts are wary that a politician canvassing to relive the country’s dangerous past is a bomb waiting to explode if he ever gets a chance to become president.

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