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Exclusive: APC Strategist Usu Boie Talks to PV

By  | 10 November 2012 at 21:11 | 1772 views

Elections are around the corner and there have been many speculations as to who will win the race. In the November 17 elections, voters would have to vote for mayors, district chairmen, councillors (Local Government) parliamentary and presidential candidates. Out of the ten registered political parties, the front runners have been Sierra Leone’s two oldest political parties, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the All Peoples Congress (APC) . Both are claiming to be the victors at the end of the race. They are putting together strategies to out do each other in the political arena, though there seems to be no experienced analysts to guide the two parties. But in the APC, one man who has taken the lead in strategizing is former SLPP strong- man Usu Boie (photo), who defected to the APC and has vowed to ditch the SLPP. There are fourteen electoral districts in the country and APC has a clear lead in five in the North and shares two in the Western Area, while SLPP has a clear lead in four and shares the other three with APC in the South and East. Since The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone dictates that a winner must have fifty- five percent of the valid votes cast in his or favour, outright victory has been speculated to be a herculean a task, but APC says, “No Run Off”. Apparently they rely on their strategies.

In an exclusive interview with the Canada-based Patriotic Vanguard’s Freetown Bureau Chief, Alpha Rashid Jalloh, who is also a media and political analyst, Usu Boie reveals that he is leading the implementation of what has been referred to in the political history of Sierra Leone as the“APC 99 tactics”. Below is an excerpt of the interview:

PV: These elections seem to be tough.

Usu: It is not tough but the toughness depends on the way people interpret things. What we know is that we have been doing our homework at the right time. If you went back to the political history of this country, we have always been the victors when it comes to democratic elections. We have up to 99 tactics to beat down our opponents through the ballot box.

PV: What is your prediction on the current race between APC and SLPP?

Usu: Well, you can see the situation for yourself. We are not resting. Our dream is to ensure the re-election of Ernest Bai Koroma and we will not rest till we have ensured that the last vote is cast in our favour. But we hope Sierra Leoneans should realize at this time the fact that they should join us to get the right person to lead this country to prosperity. Over the years, sentimentalism has caused many people to take wrong sides. But those who took side with the APC have seen the admirable result. So, they have not regretted it. The good works of the APC which have been rated locally and internationally and the mood of the people will give you predictions of the results.

PV: What personal efforts have you made to ensure a landslide victory for the APC?

Usu: I am planning and implementing strategies that will put us far ahead of our rivals in the race. I am not just planning to handover the Western Area to Ernest Bai Koroma, but the whole country. I have connections in every nook and corner of this country. I have lots of people who believe in my ideals and have respect for the personality of Usu Boie. One big thing I am trying to achieve is to nurture confidence in our regionally divided nation. I want every body to have confidence that the All Peoples Congress is a congress for everybody and every tribe. That is why from Freetown to Kailahun, from Pujehun to Kabala and from Freetown to Kono, no matter what tribe you belong to, there is hope that you will have your own share of the national cake. It is this equitable principle that brings crowds closer to us.
Secondly, I have put together strong teams armed with realistic strategies to bring seventy -five percent of the registered voters across the country onboard the APC train. And the APC train is moving. Those who do not want to arrive late are joining us now.

PV: Are there hopes for the lives of the average people to change within the next five years if APC won the elections?

Usu: In the 2007 elections, President Ernest Bai Koroma promised that he would change the lives of the people if elected as president, and he has done it. To change lives is not by giving money or expressing intentions as some politicians believe. It is just a matter of bringing development and innovations in which each and every one would have an equitable opportunity. It is about establishing infrastructure, establishing good schools, colleges, hospitals , accessible and affordable medical care , sound policies for human resource development and ensure that the youths gain meaningful employment. We have increased the wealth of the country by enhancing a conducive atmosphere for investment and trade. These are all the things that give Ernest Bai Koroma a mandate for a second term.
Have you not seen the improved road networks, the revised education system, the new public broadcasting service, the bringing onboard of people from the South and Southeast to join the APC government, the frequent electricity supply that has made average income earners and even mechanics who were suffering in the past to now jubilate for APC, the conducive investment and trade atmosphere, the increase in salaries over the years, the establishment of a Youth Commission to cater for their welfare and the significance which the international community now attaches to Sierra Leone? Can’t you see?

PV: I know this question sounds rhetorical: What makes APC different from SLPP?

Usu: ( Laughs) APC is a populist party catering for the grassroots. I have read articles in newspapers in which elites of the opposition have described the youths who support us as raray boys (hoodlums) , the traders as illiterates and many average people who turned up for our rallies as idle people and drunkards. My heart bleeds when I read such descriptions, but that tells you the difference between APC and SLPP. Whenever APC comes to power, the youth in the ghettoes who the opposition elites describe as raray boys, the traders, average income earners, old men, handicaps and all strata of people jubilate, because they know that their party has come to power. When people end up as traders, it does not mean that they are failures in life, and those who end up in ghettoes can be useful in the development of the country if given a chance to do so , and those who are not fortunate to reach college level are entitled to have their own share of the national cake whether they are in the privates sector, the armed forces, police, prison or civil service. Instead of insulting them, we make them realize that elites and non- elites have equal chances in the APC.

SLPP on the other hand relies too much on elitism, that is why their elites through articles in newspapers say non complimentary things about non-elites. But what we should bear in mind is the fact that non-elites can be more patriotic than some elites. If you watch the disposition of some elites, you would find out that they are very selfish, do not reach the poor and out of touch with the prevailing realities.

If you counted the number of raray boys, traders, okada riders, the so-called idle people, non- elites in the public service and the forces, they would be approximately about five million, while we the elites are just about one million. So, if these people who usually dance for APC are given such descriptions and they are in the majority, who has the largest support in the country?

I have been in the SLPP before I came into the APC. If there was anybody in the APC who knew more about the SLPP it’s me. So, my experience is dual. I know what distinguishes the APC from the SLPP.

And finally Jalloh, the real difference between APC and SLPP is this: we practicalise our actions while SLPP theoretises. So, you know what that means? Have you not heard the slogan, “Action is more than intention?”. That is what we are going to prove on November 17. That is why we are appealing to all the traders described as illiterates by opposition elites, the dropout youths who they sarcastically describe as raray boys, the average income earners in the private and public sector, the farmers, the drivers, the handicaps, the Okada riders and our elite comrades whom we have orientated to have empathy for non-elites, to join us to transform Sierra Leone to the Athens of Africa within the next five years. I believe for any other question you know the answer, because even the blind can sense the changes taking place.