We Are Too Rich To Be Beggars: Real Change is Coming
On Tuesday, April 19, our new Director of Communications, Mr. James Kiazolu, organized a sit-down with a few publishers of newspapers in the country and me. I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with the publishers and look to engage with other media executives, as well as community, religious and traditional leaders, young people, women groups, and Liberian worker groups.
It was a spirited discussion around the general situation in the country, including the failures of the Weah Administration; how a Cummings Administration would restructure and improve the economy so that Liberians have more participation and responsibility for the building of our country; how to stop the wasteful spending and mismanagement of our scarce resources; how to stop the stealing by public officials from Liberians who are already struggling from years of poverty; how to stop rising crimes including the many mysterious deaths and murders; as well as provide for the increased security of the Liberian people and their gainful employment.
Gainfully employing Liberians is very important to me because it will change the lives of many and bring relief to so many more in this current environment in which prices of food, transportation, and even dokafleh are rising while incomes are falling, so that even for those who are lucky to be working, it is almost impossible to make it through the month from one pay to the next pay, without borrowing or begging. Liberians are suffering, and the Weah Administration is only making things worse!
We also discussed the CPP and our commitment to keeping our promise to the Liberian people for real change which the CPP represents; the ongoing investigation/trial at the NEC concerning the legally enforceable contractual obligations of two of its members who announced their respective withdrawals; the disgraceful behavior of the prosecutorial team led by President Weah’s Solicitor-General who has publicly indicted the Judiciary for being propelled by political decisions, called for the administration of justice in our country not to be trusted, continues to conduct himself questionably and dishonorably, and has spent government resources wastefully in delaying what is clearly a political witch-hunt that is unsupported by the evidence he claimed to have had to prosecute us.
Finally, we talked about stories about my life, being born to the union of an educator and a midwife, my upbringing from Point Four and Fiamah through Demonstration Elementary School to rise into the leadership of the giant international corporation, Coca Cola, and sit on and even chair boards. We talked about all of these and the leadership experiences these opportunities have provided for me and how it can benefit our country.
Throughout these discussions, I tried to offer a new vision for our country. None, to me, is more profound than to have us lift ourselves from the years of dependency into which we have been trapped for too long, into the actual ownership of our development and progress. No one will feed Liberians but Liberians. No one will care for us more than we ought to care for ourselves. No one will fix our schools or improve our hospitals than we need to do for ourselves.
Liberia is too rich for our people to be so poor. Our country is too blessed to be so cursed because of leadership that only looks after itself, its political friends, and its relatives. We are too wealthy to be beggars. This foolishness we continue to do to ourselves must end. I promise you a Cummings Administration will end it.
I learned a long time ago that a student who depends on his classmates to pass a test is a student looking to fail the test. To pass a test in class, or to succeed in all of life’s many endeavors, one must learn to depend on oneself. Study hard, including at night when others are sleeping. The same is true of a nation. We will not succeed until we depend on ourselves for our success, and agree to work as hard as we can for our success.
This is why the Liberian presidency is not a vacation job nor is it a retirement job. It is a job to actually work for change in the lives of the suffering people. The job of a president is not to lead his people to steal but to stop his officials from stealing. A Cummings Presidency will therefore end the stealing by government officials, or stack up the prisons if we have to do so!
In closing, I was reminded that some of my critics have referred to me as “desperate”. Well, I have seen the potential for our country. I have lived in countries with far less than what God has blessed our country to have, and I have seen those countries develop and improve the lives of their people not complaining about what they lacked, but by good and determined leadership. Here at home, I have seen how the mismanagement of our resources and the lack of leadership have left too many Liberian mothers, fathers, children, and babies trapped in recycled poverty, and drained of hope. My heart breaks from the needless suffering of Liberians and the backwardness too many have been forced to unfairly endure.
Let there be no mistake: I am desperate to change this. I am desperate to stop this. Liberia deserves better. Liberians deserve better. And yes, we will change the direction of our country and improve the living conditions of our people. I make no apologies to anyone for this!
Real change is coming!