Cummings Laments Underdeveloped Southeastern Liberia
Harper, Maryland County – Inadequate representation and lack of vision that attends to the plight of Liberians, especially those in the rural counties, is a major challenge Liberian politicians struggle to address year-in-year-out. This situation continues to retard the country’s development and further weakens the country’s economy.Presidential aspirant and leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, has alarmed over the enormous difficulties people living in the southeastern part of Liberia are faced with on a daily basis to make ends meet.
“It does matter to me that the Southeast is cutoff from the rest of Liberia. It does matters to me that our young women are using prostitution for living, schooling and grades. It does matters to me that we have so much corruption in our country,” Cummings said.
Cummings was addressing scores of Marylanders during the commemoration of Liberia’s 19th President William V.S. Tubman birthday in Harper City during a recent visit. The visit, according him, was to reconnect with his people. According to Cummings, Liberia is too old an independent state for its citizens to remain underprivileged.
Cummings lamented that the southeast, the region from he hails, lacks all necessary social amenities that a government has to provide for its people.
“We should believe that this is not our destiny and our economic lives must improve from what it is today, but we have a choice in terms of who we select,” Cummings intoned.
He maintained that Liberia is still backward as a result of constraints it is faced with, emphasizing the need for a quick correction to the said problem.
According to him, the economic status of Liberia and the lives of its citizens can improve on a daily basic if the believe that citizens themselves can do better is prioritized. He said his political struggle will begin from Maryland County. “We believed in Liberia and Liberians, most besides Maryland where we hail from and my work has to begin from here. As the saying goes, if your home does not sell you, the street won’t buy you and if you can’t fix your own home, where will you go,” said Cummings.He called for the support of his kinsmen in Liberia’s in the pending 2017 election. According to him, his election would be a gateway to an improved lifestyle for the people of the southeastern region.
He expressed readiness to uplift Maryland County vigorously develop Maryland County through capacity building and empowerment.
Report by Willie N. Tokpah/ email@example.com
Alex Cummings Ancestral Connection Campaign
It is one of the unwritten rules of politics that is inspired by the following African saying which states “if your own people can’t sell you, no one will buy” and in the west the people say “politics are local.” Therefore when Mr. Alex Cummings’ name first hit the Liberian presidential politics, the first criticism that was leveled against him was his absence from the diaspora Liberian community, especially, the Maryland County US-based community, after living all these years in the US and working with Corporate America.
This absence made Marylanders in the US a bit uncomfortable and could not immediately relate to him when his name splashed on the Liberian political scene as a potential candidate for the Liberian presidency. However, thanks to his family name. The Cummings family is one of the many prominent families in Maryland County, therefore connecting Alex Cummings to Maryland County was quick and easy. However, politically, and for the purpose to garnering the support of the residents of Maryland County has been Mr. Cummings’ challenge. Now that the whole of Liberia, especially, Maryland County’s residents know who he is.
To do that, Cummings launched a quiet ancestral connection campaign going back to his roots starting with his acceptance to serve as keynote speaker for the National Association of Maryland County of Liberia (NAMCAL) at the organization annual conference in Rhode Island in September of 2016. NAMCAL is a US-based organization that is comprised of mostly Liberians from Maryland County, Liberia, living in these United States. Cummings’ presence at NAMCAL’s convention was the spark he needed in his campaign to beef up his support among all Marylanders in the diaspora, including those in Liberia, especially, in Marylander County.
With the help of technology Liberian communities abroad have been brought closer than ever with the homeland, thus, the saying, when Liberians abroad sneeze, the people in Liberia catch cold, and vice-versa. And what many political pundits are describing as a strategic move on the part of Cummings is his visit to Maryland County in November 2016. The NAMCAL convention presence and Cummings immediate visit to Maryland County were done at very crucial times.
The NAMCAL annual convention is the most single gathering of Liberians from Maryland County in these United States at one place and at the same time. This presented Mr. Cummings an opportunity to re-introduced himself to many of his kinsmen/women while informing them of his intentions to seek the Liberian presidency. There is no doubt following the NAMCAL convention, there were flurries of phone calls and emails exchanges among Marylanders all over the world, including Maryland County regarding the Cummings’ campaign.
The visit to Maryland County happened at the time of President William V.S Tubman’s birthday celebration, a time the county residents are most attentive to national and local politics. It was a time of nostalgia about the good times during the Tubman years. Cummings’ visit at this time and his message had the county resident’s ears. While not every single Marylander will be locked steps with Mr. Cummings, however, the way he was received at each of these visits rained some blessings on his campaign for the Liberian presidency.
Maryland County used to be very massive territory that spread throughout Rivergee, Grand Kru and present day Maryland County. Even Grand Gedeh County when present day River Gee County was part of Grand Gedeh County. As a result, many residents of Maryland County migrated and lived in these areas with their families but never forget their Maryland ancestral connection. The Cummings campaign could be on a good start with the backing of Maryland County, the 7th most populated county and with additional support from counties nearby where many residents have strong ties with Maryland County. While every county in Liberia has some connection to Monrovia, the nation’s capital, Maryland, and Grand Kru Counties are the most isolated counties in the country which creates a very unique problem for Maryland County in terms of road connections.
The residents of Maryland County, although Liberian citizens, are very close to neighboring Ivory Coast for commercial activities than Liberia. Many of the folks in Maryland County are said to be bi-lingual, speaking English and French, along with some local dialects in the Ivory Coast. From Monrovia, by road to get to Maryland County, one must drive through Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties, which means a good road network from Monrovia to Harper, Maryland County, will impact more 1 million Liberians within the Liberian southeast corridors.
Cummings’ ability to articulate a clear and bold vision for development in Maryland County will not only strengthens his support among his home county residents, but also will add more support for him among Liberians who live in all the other counties in the southeast. As you can see or may’ve noticed, whatever way Maryland County goes in development so will southeastern Liberia. A strong indication from Cummings about development of the southeastern Liberia will draw support from many southeasterners living in Monrovia, where southeasterners are said be a growing majority, and from other southeasterners living in other counties. In other words, Cummings, while solidifying his support in Maryland County and the rest of the southeast of Liberia by frequent visits accompany by a strong development message, must also develop a national economic empowerment message that will contain specific issue(s) that are unique to each county or region of Liberia. With no presidential candidate in the current 2017 Liberia’s presidential race having a clear shot to win out rightly, Cummings entering the second round with southeasterners behind him will get him to the top. To Cummings supporters, please don’t listen me, I’m just a boy from Pleebo, Maryland County.