MONROVIA – There is no denying that Liberians are feeling the excruciating weight of the economic downturn under the George M. Weah-led administration, as prices of fuel, gasoline, transportation fare and other basic commodities quadruple. In the face of the current hardship facing the citizenry, the opposition community has pointed direct fingers at the government for being responsible. Responding to the accusations from the opposition, Mr. Nathaniel F. McGill, who is the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, never took lightly to the allegation that President Weah and his government are responsible for the nation’s woeful economic state. Mr. McGill last week challenged the presiding Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties and political leader of the Alternative National Congress, Alexander B. Cummings, to an open debate on President Weah’s performance. Mr. Cummings has now accepted the debate challenge, but with a caveat that he would debate President Weah himself.
Responding to Mr. McGill’s request for a debate, Mr. Cummings said the much-heralded request for a debate with him as the leader of the CPP is a reflection of the unseriousness of this government and its officials.
“Under no serious government would a Chief of Staff to the President and cabinet member challenge an opposition leader to a debate on his boss’ performance while his boss hides away from his responsibilities. It is simply a publicity stunt and demonstrated incompetence that is characteristic of the Weah administration. This is evident by the fact that just yesterday evening, we were on the same flight out of the country, and he didn’t ask for a debate in person,” Mr. Cumming said.
Continuing, the CPP chairman said: “The truth is, there is no debate that this Weah-led government is corrupt, incompetent, and that as a result, Liberians are suffering! But if they are serious about a debate, I prefer to debate President Weah himself. I want Liberians who are catching hard times under this government to know from their President how their conditions can improve, not from his Chief of Staff who has no mandate from the Liberian people.”
“I would hope that Pres. Weah, who escaped the 2017 Presidential Elections debate, would now want to debate why his government is making Liberians poorer, why goods and services are becoming unaffordable, why companies are leaving and unemployment is rising, why Liberians are suffering under his rule. This is the debate the Liberian people deserve – one between their current President and their opposition leader,” Mr. Cummings averred.
It can be recalled, Minister McGill took to social media over the weekend throwing a colloquialized challenge to Mr. Cummings, for a national debate on the president’s performance.
“I want to challenge the opposition chairperson to a debate. Let’s go to a debate; let’s be very civil, respect each other, let’s go to a debate. It’s an open challenge to Mr. Cummings to a debate on the president’s performance, and let’s discuss,” a visibly incensed McGill declared.
“He must not bring no paper. He must not let anybody to write for him. I want challenge his IQ on governance. I ain’t say he must bring Coca Cola trade. Am talking about running government. Because you not sit in the chair, you not understand how to run government, you just talk. Some of the things he talking, he think that small children talk! He think to run government is to sit down in one corporate office? We talking about real politics where you confronted with the people’s problem. We not talking about corporate problem where you just make decision, bossman tell you say do this, people run to Coca Cola factory, everything happening, you not part of the manufacturing, other people doing production you just sitting down there…when you ask how many money they make the people give it you,” Minister McGill fumed.
Continuing, McGill said: “You not even know how the people make Coca Cola. We not talking about that. We talking about running government. The system doesn’t work for you. You got to make the system work. So I want to challenge him. I want to challenge him to an open debate. Let’s sit down and discuss the government and let me ask him, well the president said this and the president didn’t do it.”