Salone News

Voter apathy: APC, pay attention

12 February 2018 at 18:02 | 2540 views


By Dr. Yahya Kaloko, USA

As APC supporters, we all have diverse ways to contribute to an APC victory in a couple of weeks. One of my own contributions has always been centered around energizing the actual voter in the upcoming elections. Notwithstanding the great turnouts, morale boosters in our rallies, the most important part in any election is a party’s machinery to bring voters to vote on its behalf on polling day.

Time without number, I have raised the alarm on this singular issue of VOTER APATHY. Before slamming my hysteria, please take time to find out how many eligible voter cards in some of our strongholds have up till this moment not been picked up by eligible voters. If my sources turn out to be true, there are more than 40,000 voter ID cards in the Eastern part of Freetown that have not been picked up. Those of us who know the terrain will agree that this is the most populated APC stronghold in the Western Area. There are similar reports surprisingly also in other strongholds like in Bombali and Port Loko.

It’s one thing for others to be complacent with our party’s 99+ tactics even though our world has fundamentally changed. But Fellow Comrades, let us try to do things differently in this election because traditional approaches could be fundamentally less effective in winning these elections.

As the world has assumed the guise of a global village, so many activities and relationships have shifted to virtualization. We now live in virtual environments which in many ways have replaced traditional ways of doing things. Businesses and other work environments have largely assumed paradigm shifts towards Virtualization. Campaign rallies matter, but a lot more can be accomplished these days using virtual environments, e.g. social media, retail politics, etc. which are more effective means to get voters to the polls.

For this week, I kindly implore our rapid hunt groups and other operatives to start researching this issue of voter ID cards and raise the alarm also if this proves to be true. As we receive daily and hourly feedback on campaign rallies, let us also start crunching and comparing our numbers of collected and uncollected voter ID cards that are still with NEC especially in our strongholds. Our campaign leaders must assume this responsibility daily between now and elections day to determine uncollected voter ID cards, where these voters are, and find ways to convince them to collect them.

From sources also, some of our opposition operatives are submerged in retail politicking, less visible in rallies, moving around in remote areas under the radar, to talk to and convince eligible voters. They realize the funding limitations they have to compete with. But at the same time, they believe they can be more effective in the campaign with less. Please pay attention. That strategy may work well for them. Sometimes having more resources than other competitors may not deliver victory. A case in point is Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Donald Trump. She spent more money but lost the election to an unprofessional and new comer.

To my fellow comrades who are still hung up on the KKY disqualification or disorientation strategy, I hope and pray that we try to be more focused on our campaign than spending sleepless nights hoping to disorganize KKY. We are prone to be more disoriented and confused with that strategy. Boots on the ground with a stronger message of party achievements and future efforts, especially on Bread and Butter issues, at local and remote levels, may go a long way to help us win this election. But we cannot win these elections if we don’t pay attention to our voter grassroots base.

Let us stop hoping for miracles or the 99+ tactics to win us this elections. Applying traditional campaign approaches may not win us these elections. In a VOTER APATHY scenario, it may be possible to reduce its effect if registered voters have IDs to vote. The possibility exists to convince them to go vote. But imagine an eligible voter without an ID to vote on polling day. How can that vote help your party to win?