OPINION: Cummings Growth In Private Sector Has Prepared Him For National Leadership ~ Yahsyndi MartinKpeyei

The rationale to undermine and underscore the importance of personal achievements by any individual in life is barbaric, wrong, evil, and has no place in our world today.

Everyday, Liberians around the world from the shadows of the Statue of Liberty to the deplorable working conditions akin to slavery in the Middle East to the slums of West Point and the exploited lands in the hinterland of Liberia. The aim of every fabric of the Liberian being is to strive to be better and achieve something greater.

This is why our mothers of Liberia, in the face of all the difficulties and corruptions of our time, would do the unimaginable to have their children get an education so that they can achieve a better life.

My grandmother was the best cook in the entire village, which did not qualify her to lead the village. There are thousands of great athletes who in their area of specialty had achieved personal greatness that makes us wonder as if they are little gods walking amongst us. We still seek the knowledge of great inventors, scientists, mathematicians, writers, etc, which does not qualify them to become great and successful leaders. However, everyone celebrates an achiever, and not the losers, and seldomly have the spectators been celebrated or given any award.

Working in government for a person’s entire lifetime especially when they never competed against others to acquire those positions held doesn’t make a person a better or a successful leader. It shows their strength as a follower, which is a great strength. Even ineffective President George Weah possesses such follower strength. Liberia amongst other nations has the highest number of persons working in government while also lacking people with experience in private sector who can grow the economy for every Liberian to succeed.

This is where Mr. Alexander Cummings’ experience and expertise come in handy. “The best predictor for future performance is past behavior.”

Your overcommitment to degrade personal achievements in general only exposes the fact that you lack any idea to display any achievement by your candidate you are supporting.

Yes, personal achievements alone are not parameters that make anyone a great and successful leader. What are the parameters that make a person a great and successful leader? You only pointed out what you see as a problem, yet you have failed to recommend any solution.
For the thousands of Liberians whom you have decided to mislead, I would ask again, what are the parameters that make a person a great and successful leader?

You stated that Liberians have been exposed to the global community, therefore they know a lot about effective governance systems. The logic you are inferring is so flawed in itself. Even a blind person will claim he saw the beautiful skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty when he traveled to New York City. Being exposed to an effective governance system and yet being blinded by tribalism and sectional politics, emboldened by selective principles of truth and logic, will blind a greedy, selfish and self-centered person from becoming righteous. Knowing and experiencing good, order and discipline is different from accepting and applying good, order and discipline in our daily lives and our society at large.

Level-headed people, well-educated and well-exposed people in the developed world are willing to submit to a process to be vetted, tested, challenged, and to defeat their competitors in competitions such as in voting, Olympic try-outs, sports leagues, accuplacer testings, entrances, exams, etc. Unlike the few dubious, elderly-exploiting individuals, there are thousands of UP partisans and millions of Liberians who know and do not shy away from submitting to a process where they can challenge and defeat their competitors when given the opportunity.

If after forty-plus years on the government stage, Mr. Boakai has not yet educated our people about what qualities make an individual an effective and successful leader, when? Even Mr. Boakai admitted to squandering the opportunities he had to educate our people. As John Maxwell stated, “leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. After more than forty years, where age and physical decline have taken their toll on Mr. Boakai, wherein he can barely read a 3-minute speech, Mr. Boakai is unable to raise the hand of a single individual he has empowered as a leader to lead our people. As Prof. Lumumba stated, “no matter how good a dancer you are, it is important to know when to leave the stage lest you be booed out of it.”
You stated that Cummings lacks the requisite competencies to lead. From your writing, those requisites competencies are as follow:
History of work experience in our governance system in Liberia.

Never been involved in formulating policies.
Never involved in making decisions that involve the 5 million Liberians in the country.
His Excellency, Dr., Bishop, Musician President Weah, and Mr. Boakai have all of the above criteria and yet President Weah does not even know where on a legal document to sign, and today Liberians are back in their closets, and places of worship asking their Maker what have we done to offend him as a country?

One of the oldest fortune 500 companies that span the global community, whose quest and thirst for success makes it only hire for talents and achievers on a global scale, saw, tested, and benefited from Mr. Cummings’ leadership in the role as an Executive Vice-President. He also served as a Director of International Bank (Liberia) Limited. What makes the developed world successful? What made Coca-Cola successful? It is their staunch adherence to systems and processes. Mr. Cummings saw the competition, took on the competitiveness, and as he always says, through hard work, determination, and God’s blessing, he rose to higher heights in an industry where a person is not promoted based on their tribe, political party or sense of entitlement.

In 2011, President Sirleaf conferred on Mr. Cummings the distinction of Knight Great Band – Humane Order of African Redemption for Humanitarian work in Liberia, for acts supporting and assisting the Liberian nation. Mr. Boakai was present. Mr. Boakai also acknowledged and reference Mr. Cummings in the highest of esteem. Well, unless you can argue that Mr. Boakai lacks sincerity and his praise and acknowledgment of Mr. Cummings was one of his charades of hidden characters, and Mr. Boakai lacks credibility. In September 2014 when the world was closing its borders on Liberia in an effort to protect its territories from the deadly Ebola virus, Mr. Cummings did not send a proxy, rather he left his wife and the security of his home to personally lead a 7-man delegation into Liberia while he was serving as Coca-Cola’s Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Does this equates to a passion for public service, or does he has to be a member of your political party before his display of courage, servitude, and humbleness can be acknowledged?

Your definition of passion for public service is a person who should serve as a Senator or as a Vice President to show that passion. It’s a sad day that such a mindset would even be given credence in our society. Let me school you a little and bring to rest this sense of entitlement Mr. Boakai believes the Liberian people owe to him. Mr. Boakai has never been elected to any position in his lifetime. He was always selected or appointed and let go at will. Hence, the root of his lackadaisical approach to leadership which he displays every opportunity given is by always sleeping in meetings, on public occasions, etc. It’s even laughable when the tribal loyalist makes the argument and comparison of Mr. Boakai’s time in government to President Biden. President Biden was elected seven times as a US Senator. Yet President Biden ran twice and failed to be elected as the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988 and 2008. From his first elected position in 1970 until he was elected as the Democratic Party nominee in 2020, that’s 50 years and yet he submitted to a process where well exposed, level-headed people, prove their worthiness and make their case to be elected, not appointed based on a sense of entitlement.
Imagine the forty years experience self proclaim town chief UP Boakai and his sense of entitlement who decline to run against the political stranger in his town are having his handlers call Mr. Cummings greedy. This only displayed the real greed in the few entitled individuals like you who lie and pretend you speak for the rest of the Unity Party as to their choice of standard-bearer. Mr. Boakai cannot even win an election process within the United Party. This also debunks the myth of Mr. Boakai has the numbers. If you have the numbers and refuse to go to a primary election shows your lack of credibility, desperation, lack of courage, insincerity (how can you keep lying to yourself), and inability as presidential material. Let’s make a case for Liberia. Liberia is the only African nation to have its citizen win the soccer titles of World Best, Africa Best, European Best, and the Ballon d’Or. Liberia bu is the only African country that is headed by a President who has won all these soccer titles. Therefore, Fifa should automatically qualify Liberia to partake in the World Cup of Nations. I’m sorry buttercup, the real global community does not subscribe to such logic.

You spoke of Mr. Cummings’ desperation to be President. It is not desperation, it is determination. Mr. Cummings is not willing to trade his integrity, belief in the global community systems and proven processes that made them successful nations for the Liberian presidency. Mr. Cummings is the only candidate who continuously warned all of his supporters, “I am asking for your support, I’m asking for your votes, time, dedication to the process, monetary support, etc.” However, if you think that supporting ANC and we win the election means the reawakening of the old mentality of ‘that our time to chop’, “that our time to steal from the Liberian people”, then do not support me, I do not want anything from you.”

Mr. Cummings also warned his supporters, “let us debate the issues and argue with the facts. No one supporting me should get involved in cursing other people’s mothers, cursing women, cursing other people period.”

Mr. Cummings will always tell you as the leader, leaders eat last. He has displayed this on numerous occasions. Can you imagine a leader who declines to get paid until every one of his civil servants gets their paychecks?

People tried advising Mr. Cummings, to stop explaining all these great ideas because the government can steal your plans and started implementing them. Mr. Cummings’ response to them, that is a win for the country. If the process to be elected is more competitive because the government is being effective from his ideas, that’s a better outcome for our people. What a selfless act of leadership. On the other hand, Mr. Boakai says, he has all the wisdom and if elected President, he will begin to display his effectiveness. Mr. Boakai has been waiting for forty years and our people are still in poverty forty years later. Mr. Boakai is directly telling the Liberian people if you don’t make me President, you do not deserve anything good.

Your claim of Mr. Cummings tampering with the CPP framework document exposes you as a pen pusher who has refused to allow facts, evidence, and the law to prove its integrity. From your overgeneralized conclusive statements, it would be a waste of time to explain the government using a 1970s version of the Liberian Constitution to prosecute a political opponent and then use the 1986 version to award criminals. We understand, Mr. Boakai’s lack of integrity to honor a small commitment in ensuring the UP/CPP dues were paid as agreed by all parties to pay their share. Hence Mr. Boakai offered to testify as a state witness in exchange for the government to protect his image as a viable statesman if the CPP was to seek legal remedy for dues owed as per their agreement. Up to the date on which Mr. Boakai’s handlers (elder-abusers) coerced him to read a CPP withdrawal statement, the UP monthly dues were in arrears of US $48,000. If Mr. Boakai’s failure to even pay simple party dues and yet his handlers are begging a man who pays his dues to go second to a political failure was an Indian movie, it would not last for five minutes and the audience would start to walk out of the theater. In the global community, people pay taxes and honor their commitments by paying their dues as they agreed and promised.

On a positive note, it is worth noting that you did not use the regular tactics of cursing and insulting languages that have been a staple on the Liberian political stage. Just in case, please list the parameters that make a person a great and successful leader.

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