J. K K Peah
Former Coco-Cola Executive, Alexander Cummings who retired ealrier this year and announced his bid to contest in the West African nation of Liberia Presidential election slated for October 2017, has taken another leap forward in his quest for the Presidency as he lobbies West Africa’s regional power of Nigeria.
According to local Liberian daily, Mr Alexander Cummings who is expected to contest on the Alternative National Congress ticket is in Abuja consulting with leaders of Nigeria including his meeting with former President Olusagon Obosanjo.
The former Coco-Cola executive tour of Nigeria and meeting with that very important regional power is ahead of other potential 21 contestants Liberia’s 2017 election, taking an early advantage before any of his rivalries could lobby that regional power which played a pivotal role bringing peace to Liberia as it led a 14-years of peace-keeping mission that brought a brutal civil war to an end in 2003, spending billions of dollars and giving the blood and tears of many Nigerians who died fighting to bring peace to that country.
Mr. Cummings is well positioned to earn the support of the leaders of Nigeria, regional power whose endorsement could boost his candidacy in the rearview mirror of the monumental role they’re playing in Liberia and as a regional economic and military power of West Africa and tapping into his heritage as a grand son of Nigerian immigrant father grand father who has become a Nigerian migrant successs story flanged by his many years of resident in the country when he served as Vice President of Cocoa Cola where his assignment stationed him could serve him well.
The desire for the Liberian Presidential candidate to tap into his Nigerian heritage to wallop regional support could have its drawbacks, as it could strair up aprehension among Liberians that could push back his Presidency on suspicion that his Presidency could mean a flood-gate for the influx of people from Nigeria, with a very high population of over 188 million (Worldsmeter) into the country and overrun the country’s population of 4.6 million (worldmeters-2016).
Liberia’s population which accounts for 0.06% of the world’s population (worldmeter-2016) and ranks 126 on the global ranking of world population, (Worldsmeter-2016) could be hosting an avanlange of of Nigerian influx from a country ranking 2.52% of the world’s population and ranking the seventh most populated country in the world (Worldsmeter).
The state of Lagos alone is 9,013,534 in poplation, twice and the half the population of Liberia and Nigeria’s four most populated states of Kano, Lagos, Kaduna, and Katsina combine is 30, 256,356 people which is eight times the population of this tiny West Africa nation (Nigeria Population Commission), 10 million shy of Liberia and its three neighboring countries’s population combined clustered in a regional Mano River Union which brings together Liberia, Sierra Leone,Guinea and Ivory Coast.
A pre-conceived notion fearing influx of people from Nigeria in an Alex Cummings regime by his Nigerian lineage, if at all such fear is worth the fear itself, the country might not be prepared to handle such influx and provide social needs and survivability of Liberians and the would -be Nigerian migrants in competition for social services, employment, and other human needs could be in need off when the country is about 85% unemployed(UNDP) and in abject poverty and could ramp up legitmate concerns and which would scare off electorates to frown on his Nigerian lineage and it could be a liability that could come to paralyze his quest for the Presidency.
The paralysis of the Liberian immigration system and lack of appetite by policy-makers to mint policies that could put at bed the concerns Liberians could hold adds to the woes the country broken immigration system and worst of all, politicians and political paries wishing to lead the country themselves refuse to learn about the country they want to lead and develop policies to address the problems to relieve the purported concerns citizens harbor and retire unjust stereotypes while paying key interest on future projection of population growth of one million every five years while developing robust policies and programs to respond to the country’s 49% needs who live in urban areas and population that will be aging by 2020 from 18 years median age to 25 years as the median age by 2050 when the population would be 10 million people (Worldsmeter).
Mr Cummings, a second generation Nigerian immigrant lineage and success story he’s proud off and something he shared with Liberians during his first meeting with Liberians in the Diaspora last year in Atlanta, Georgia and a few months after earlier this year following his retirement from Coco Cola and first public engagement with Liberians in Minnesota, paraded his pride of being a United citizens as well could could as baggage to his quest.