Alexander B. Cummings, as Political Leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), has declared that the wave of mysterious deaths of Liberians is troubling.
“I know many of you are worried about some of the things going on in the country. I am too.”
“The other day, I returned to Monrovia to news of another “mysterious death”. The man’s name was Mr. Anthony Johnson. From the pictures we have seen, it is hard not to believe that Mr. Johnson was killed. Please remember his family in your prayers,” Cummings said.
According to him, during the reign of the current government, the “mysterious deaths” are plenty, thus asking how many times Liberians are going to be expressing sympathies to families for the mysterious deaths of their loved ones.
Cummings indicated that one cannot feel safe in the country when the government cannot explain how people are disappearing and dying.
The ANC leader lamented that when a government is silent, or cannot seriously investigate and convincingly explain the deaths of people, that government is actually encouraging criminals to continue to kill people.
He added that this threatens the lives of everyone as it is not how a serious governments behaves. He said it is not how governments show they care about the lives of their people.
“Today, in many places in and around Monrovia, in the day or night, people are scared to walk the streets. Communities are unsafe. Drugs and crimes are taking over our streets and neighborhoods. The people who should be helping to protect our people are themselves helping to sell the drugs to our children. The people who should be fighting crimes are looking the other way while people are being robbed and harmed, and while armed robbers are breaking into homes terrorizing sleeping families,” Cummings explained.
Cummings noted: “When President Weah was asked about the “mysterious deaths” and the fear people are now living under, he said people should go and buy CCTV. What kind of President tells families who are crying for the wicked killing of their relatives to go buy CCTV? How many Liberians can buy CCTV?”
Cummings argues that many Liberians are not working, yet the government has cut the salaries of those who are lucky to be working, so much that there is barely anything left to do anything, let alone buy CCTV.
He also said for many civil servants, the monthly cost of transportation is more than their harmonized salaries.
He mentioned that every day in the lives of ordinary Liberians is a struggle just to eat, pay rent or to pay school fees.
Cummings stated that when someone gets sick, the whole family is likely to break down because they can hardly afford to pay the hospital bill.
Cummings assumes that some of the President’s friends and officials can buy CCTV but it is not the President’s friends and officials that are dying mysteriously, or being harmed, robbed and are scared to walk the streets or get in a taxi cab at night.
Instead, he said it is ordinary Liberians that are now living through this hell and they cannot afford CCTV.
As stated by Cummings, governments have a duty to protect everyone – those who can afford and those who cannot because every life is precious.
“All over the world, the first thing every government tries to not fail in doing is protecting the lives of its people. Even on this one, somehow, President Weah’s Government is failing, again.”
He informed Liberians that they should protect themselves by getting home early, lock their doors at night and look out for each other, asking them to do their best to be safe.
“From the bottom of my heart, I promise you – we will work as hard as we can to make President Weah a one-time President.”
When this is done, Cummings is with the view that it will end the mysterious deaths business in the country by going back and investigating all of these deaths, from Matthew Innis to Anthony Johnson.
He said anyone found to be involved – big hand or small hand – will be arrested, tried and punished severely, in keeping with the law.
“The other thing that worries me is the confusion over land business. Such confusion can threaten our peace. I am still trying to talk to some of the leaders and elders of the country to really understand what needs to be done so that all of our people, everywhere in Liberia, can enjoy living anywhere in Liberia.”
He added: “The day we start to feel that we cannot live together because we are not all of the same tribe or religion, that same day we will not be Liberia. Because Liberia is really the coming together of all of us. Our tribes may be different. Our religions may be different. Our political parties may be different. But it is really all of these differences that make us to be Liberians, and to belong to the same country.”
The ANC leader said he knows there are plenty things that are wrong with the country and to be fair, he thinks the government did not do all the things that are wrong with the country.
For Cummings, the government met some of the wrong things there but it has spoiled the wrong things even more by showing that that either they are not able to fix it, or don’t even know how to fix it.
“And so, here again, I have come to ask all of our people to do all we can to accept each other. Let all of us try to keep our peace. Like I said, this government time will end in three years. As soon as they leave, we will look seriously into all of the major land palaver in the country to find a workable and lasting solution to them. Our interest is that all of our people will live and prosper together as citizens of one nation.”
Cummings explained: “Lastly, many of you will remember that at the end of March, ordinary people protested in Maryland County. The protest was mostly led by women. Again, our government was slow and careless to respond to the killing of a son of the county. Marylanders are peaceful people. But as is the case with these kinds of protests, some people wrongfully engaged in the destruction of properties.”
He condemned the violence, called for calm and appealed to the people to wait for redress to their grievances. He said the people listened but today, they are still waiting.
“Again, the real reason our people protested was that their government was slow and careless to respond. This led to frustration that the government does not act to protect all of its people, or to punish all who commit crimes, in the same way.”
When it comes to the law, Cummings insists that governments should not be picking and choosing, or letting the people believe that it is doing so. For him, governments have a duty to act fair and to be just to everyone as it does not act this way, overtime, the people learn not to trust the government.
And this, he said, can lead to frustration and people taking the law into their own hands.
“You would think that by now this government would be trying to show that they understand this. Actually, they don’t.
I say this because out of the protest, 34 Marylanders have been arrested and jailed. None has been formally charged. Some have been in jail since April 1. And so, the Liberian Government is reacting to a protest which is really questioning its ability to uphold the law by actually breaking the law.”
The ANC Political Leader kicked against allowing this to continue in that it is wrong for anyone to break the law, adding that it is wrong for the government to break the law.
Cummings said when a government does not respect the law and the rights of its people, the country will break down.
And so, he is calling for the immediate release of all persons who have been jailed, in connection to the protest, since the last 28 days, without a charge.
He is also calling for the immediate lifting of the curfew except to unfairly punish the people, he said there is now no reason to keep people under curfew, which he thinks is causing more hardships.
“Once again, my people, I ask all of you to please keep yourselves safe. Hold on -real change is coming. Liberia deserves better,” Cummings concluded.