‘Boakai Is Underdog In November Runoff’ -Henry Costa Makes Insightful Analysis

MONROVIA: With the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and former ruling Unity Party settling down for political conflagration in a runoff this November, various political commentators and mystics are weighing in with their estimations and auguries as to which of the rival blocs is likely to emerged victorious. Many are grounding their analyses in historical antecedents as well as in the prevailing political chemistries. One person who has combined both, and has made what seems to be very instructive surmises is an ex-staunched ally of the Unity Party, Mr. Henry P. Costa. In a podcast widely viewed, with countless approvals by viewers, Mr. Costa thinks the odds of the runoff turn against his “beloved” old man, UP Standard Bearer Joseph Nyuma Boakai. As The Analyst reports, like many other pundits, Mr. Costa’s prediction of the runoff is this: Oldman Boakai and his UP are the underdogs.

Stymied and struck in 43 percent scores, the ruling CDC and former ruling UP are about to go into one of Liberia’s most contentious electoral fight. The CDC leads slightly with mere 5000 vote,s over the UP, and questions abound if the ruling party will maintain the top post or the former ruling party will surmount them.

The first round was extremely fierce between, and the ferocity kept the rest of the 18 other parties that contested along the CDC and UP, at the combined gain of less than 13 percent of the votes.

The UP produced huge volleys of shots from most of Liberia’s votes-rich counties, Lofa, Nimba, Margibi, etc., but it the Southeast counties provided the shock-absorber that neutralized and set aside the onslaught.

Beneath the grim and gloomy-looking situation, political experts are nonetheless finding possibilities, as well as the vanquished and vanquishers in the looming showdown. One of such person is talk-show host Henry Pedro Costa.

Mr. Costa, who is credited for energizing the Liberian opposition community following its defeat in 2017, has been weighing in on the prospects and favorites of the pending runoff.

Thus staunched opposition stalwart parted ways from the former ruling UP and its Standard Bearer over the vice standard bearer pick formalities.

The vocal opposition pundit, who was largely mute during the two month of campaign, is now awake, and it seems his dream about the fate of the his former ally foretells doom.

Henry Pedro Costa believes that, with President Weah going into the second round as winner of the first phase ahead of Boakai, “it is a bad news for the UP”.

In a podcast on Thursday, October 19, 2023, Mr. Costa intimated that the former Vice President Boakai will be entering the second round as “an underdog because he lacks the resources and the advantage to give offers to woo major political actors.”

He said his candid assessment of the entire electoral process, which also included his evaluation of the individual chances of the two frontrunners, that President Weah has got a brighter chance to repeat history: to beat UP and its Standard Bearer at the ballot box.

Costa also noted that the results from the first round which showed that President Weah won Boakai with 803,956 or 43.84% to 796,513 or 43.34% of votes cast should be able to humble the UP people enough and to teach them the compelling lesson that their “arrogance and ungratefulness” worked against them in the electoral exercise and the impact will be felt negatively going in the second round against the President.

He said of the UP: “The results must have humbled you. Indeed, the results humbled you and we will see what happens in the days ahead going to the run off. Winning the first round, Weah is clearly going to the run off as a winner. This is not very good for the Unity Party. We all thought that George Weah was so unpopular, that the Liberian people hated his government and will not vote for him again. But they actually gave more votes to Weah than they gave Joe Boakai.”

Speaking further, he said while Boakai went into the first round of elections as the perceived favorite, it later on turned out to be a race that went against him, given the numbers that went for Weah ahead of Boakai.

The former UP ally again blamed the UP people of being self-centered, feeling falsely they could pull in the numbers themselves without the input of other political parties and stakeholders.

“Hope you have learned your lesson,” he told the UP campaign team. “There are more Liberian people who want George Weah to be re-elected than they want Joe Boakai. This showed up in the outcome of the first results. This shows that the people do not want change of government; they want continuity; they may not be in majority, but Weah got more votes than Joe Boakai according to the results and the UP people have accepted it.”

Mr. Costa said he was baffled how Weah came out of pernicious criticisms that should have made him unpopular, wondering what could have been responsible for the President outshining Boakai in Lofa County, especially in Foya which is the birth place of Boakai.

“Who expected Lofa to have voted for Weah as they did?” he quipped. “Especially seeing Foya, where Boakai was born, abandoning him. People were sad, and I was sad. Everyone is sad. But then it goes far to explain how the UP did not manage its outreach, not being intentional about winning the election by getting everybody on board.”

“The Southeast will go all out to vote for Weah more than what they did especially now that some of the candidates they voted are no more in the race,” he said.

According to him, much was expected of the opposition especially the UP to leverage on the gains of elections held in Montserrado County where the opposition defeated the ruling party. He pointed to the approach of the past general elections.

He said sadly the opportunities were never made use of and the UP found itself struggling to maintain the tempo of 2019 and 2020.

“In 2019 and 2020, we beat CDC and so much was expected but then what went wrong that in 2023 the people went back to CDC or to George Weah,” he said further.

“What happened? How did we lose Montserrado to George Weah? Everybody thought UP was going to sweep Montserrado but that did not happen. It did not happen at all. This is because of the arrogance you have had: that you are so popular such that you said you don’t need anybody and then you decided to treat people who built your mission.”

He continued: “The whole political machinery, the whole rescue mission that everybody has been talking about, I Henry Costa was the one who built it from here but then at some point in time people begin to say leave him, he is nobody. But guess what? There are about 7,000 people watching me right now.”

“So wake up, you are not as popular as you think because more people want George Weah than they want Joe Boakai. It tells you that you must wake up and it is a fact and that Joe Boakai is going to the runoff as an underdog. Weah has more money, Boakai does not have. Weah is engaging people in the opposition community; they are engaging other players.”

Confession about Attacking Cummings

Apparently shockingly, Costa said the UP went out of its way to go after some of the key opposition figures they had worked with during the days of the first Collaborating Political Parties(CPP), admitting in the process that he too was deeply involved in bullying, insulting and attacking Alexander B. Cummings which negatively affected the political ambition of  Cummings.

“I warned you the UP people that in your arrogance you were bullying and insulting Alex Cummings. And I must also admit that I too was involved to fight Cummings for the political career of Joseph Nyuma Boakai but I stopped some two years ago because I knew one point you will would need him.”

He defended the political capital of Cummings, stressing that though the numbers the CPP leader garnered in the past general elections were disappointing, the result did not however reflect his worth in the polity of the country.

Costa also noted he too was of the strongest conviction that something must have gone wrong during the election that made Cummings to have performed below expectation.

“And some of you guys were saying Cummings did not get the votes. Yes; he may not get but the votes Appleton got were actually for Cummings. Have you seen Appleton’s running mate name, it is written Alex C and when people saw it they  thought they were voting for Alexander Cummings not knowing they were voting for someone they have not seen.”

He urged the Unity Party to change the message going forward because the message of tagging Kush to the President is not yielding any results as the more they say it, the more the people go around Weah.

“The Kush message is not working,” he said, pointing to UP. “Change it. It was not under Weah that drugs started to come in the country. There were cases of drugs under Ellen and Boakai government and we know that.

“There was also hardship under Ellen and Boakai so you can’t be talking about stopping hardship when there was also hardship under your administration. Also, you need to change this rescue, rescue message. Rescue what? Find something to add there that will resonate with the people. The message is not working and Weah is taking the voters away.”

Sacrifices for UP

Touching on the sacrifices others like Mr. Benoni Urey, his daughter Telia and himself made to the Unity Party, especially to Ambassador Boakai, Costa went emotional and almost shared tears when he recounted that he personally did more for Boakai than what he has done for his own family.

“I respected and love Uncle Joe so much and was willing to do everything possible for his political career,” he said, further confessing: “I destroyed CPP for Uncle Joe. Liberians should forgive me. Has the pappay called me one day to say ‘nephew to say I am sorry?’

“At a time, Uncle Joe told me that there was problem with the National Headquarters of the Unity Party and they needed money to pay for a new office space. I raised $60,000 and wired the money to Uncle Joe through his cousin but I will not call his name.

“That is the headquarters some people in UP said I would not use during my welcome program but Uncle Joe stood his ground and I had the program there.

“I lost my US$40,000 contract with Dr. Cassell for Uncle Joe. I did a lot of things out of my way for him but the only thing I got was something so strange and unbelievable that came out from Uncle Joe that I wanted to kill him. Kill him? For what? I have his text message in my phone that he sent to me on March 30, that despite what all I have done for him, he wrote me a text and said I wanted to kill him. That touched a lot and I will never forget.”

Contrary to insinuation that Urey, Telia and him walked away from UP because he was not picked, Costa said it was far from the truth as it was in fact Boakai who cut off speech from them when the idea of making Senator Jeremiah Kpan Koung his running mate came to his (Boakai’s) mind.

He said for him, he still maintains why he was opposed to Koung’s selection but then the decision rested with Boakai who made the choice.

“I still have my reasons why I opposed Koung but Boakai made the decision and to be frank I think the decision has paid off. Who knows if he had picked someone else then maybe by now, we are thinking about a one round victory of Weah.

“But we were saying he did not consult us. For about 3 weeks he stopped talking to us and when he was about to make the decision, he went to Careysburg to tell us that he wanted to dine with the devil to win the election. We were shock and disappointed.

“Then again we will say he made the choice but how far can his choice take him. You can’t be making new friends and forgetting about the old friends that stood with you when it mattered most”, he said

Costa lamented that with all that has happened Boakai has never reached out to the Ureys and him, especially him and some friends who have not understood the gravity of the pain and damage he has suffered shouldering the responsibilities of Boakai’s political career.

“And people are telling me, oh Boakai is your old man, forget about everything, come back for the sake of the mission. Really? But none of them have asked me if Uncle Joe has called his nephew to say, sorry, come back let us move forward.”

Costa further stated: “Let me ask you if you were in my situation what you would have done? You serve someone diligently with all your heart and all of the sudden, the person tells you that you want to kill them. What would you say or do? Will you still be going around them? If someone does evil to you and refused to apologize but only came back to you to apology when he needs something from you, be careful.”

3 Comments
  1. Jake Doe says

    When nearly 80 years old Joseph Nyumah Boakai in a country of two fundamental ethnic groups…the Country and the Congaus, came up with his campaigns and election slogan and motto as “INDIGENOUS TICKET“, that, FOR US, was evidently the proof that Joseph Boakai was unfit FOR THE PRESIDENCY.

    A PRESIDENT should be a uniter and not a divider. In fact, being one who chooses a side, it was there and then I trashed Boakai.

    As a matter of fact, given the fact that Boakai is only able to win 6 counties, one is compelled to conclude that (as Costas themes here) all this noise about Boakai being popular is a mere delusion.

    For if the CDC had decided to not let Prince go away, then Boakai would have been stuck with 5 counties while Weah would have had 10 counties.

    And of course , the meaning of that is that Boakai or anyone in such a position as Baoakai is not a popular politician and, hence not eligible for the presidency in a democratic nation as far as majority rule is concerned.

    Indeed, what inter alia really exposes the reality that Boakai is no match to Weah in terms of popularity is that even in those so-called GREEN COUNTIES where Boakai was able to gather over 60 percent of the votes, Weah either tied with him or just trailed behind a little!

    But then, in counties where Weah was mountain high between 71 percent and 87 percent, Boakai was stuck at ay 10 percent! Such a candidate cannot be said to be popular in any way.

    AND THIS IS INTER ALIA WHERE MANY CAMPAIGN AND ELECTIONS EXPERTS SUSPECT SOME FOUL PLAY (WHETHER THE DENSE POPULATION PHENOMENON OR NOT) OR ERROR HAS BEEN PERPETRATED AGAINST WEAH FOR BOAKAI.

    C DC, IN THIS DAY AND AGE, ITS BETTER TO BE TRUSTED THAT FOR YOU TO TRUST! A HINT TO THE WISE IS QUITE SUFFICIENT! MR. COSTA, THAT ADMONITION GOES TO YOU ALSO ESPECIALLY VIZ YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH A SELFISH AND TRIBALIST BOAKAI!

    We close with what opposition presidential candidate Tiawen Saye Gongloe characterizes Boakai in his own Gongloe words below…

    “Boakai contributed to the underdevelopment of Liberia, so why should he be given another chance to lead this country? We all know that he is not the right leader to take this country forward.

    “[He] cannot be the answer to our problems if the country must experience more developments,” Gongloe told a cheering group of voters. “The way he and his Unity Party people treated this country is nothing short of evil.”

  2. Jake Doe says

    When nearly 80 years old Joseph Nyumah Boakai in a country of two fundamental ethnic groups…the Country and the Congaus, came up with his campaigns and election slogan and motto as “INDIGENOUS TICKET“, that, FOR US, was evidently the proof that Joseph Boakai was unfit FOR THE PRESIDENCY.

    A PRESIDENT should be a uniter and not a divider. In fact, being one who chooses a side, it was there and then I trashed Boakai.

    As a matter of fact, given the fact that Boakai is only able to win 6 counties, one is compelled to conclude that (as Costas themes here) all this noise about Boakai being popular is a mere delusion.

    For if the CDC had decided to not let Prince go away, then Boakai would have been stuck with 5 counties while Weah would have had 10 counties.

    And of course , the meaning of that is that Boakai or anyone in such a position as Baoakai is not a popular politician and, hence not eligible for the presidency in a democratic nation as far as majority rule is concerned.

    Indeed, what inter alia really exposes the reality that Boakai is no match to Weah in terms of popularity is that even in those so-called GREEN COUNTIES where Boakai was able to gather over 60 percent of the votes, Weah either tied with him or just trailed behind a little!

    But then, in counties where Weah was mountain high between 71 percent and 87 percent, Boakai was stuck at ay 10 percent! Such a candidate cannot be said to be popular in any way.

    AND THIS IS INTER ALIA WHERE MANY CAMPAIGN AND ELECTIONS EXPERTS SUSPECT SOME FOUL PLAY (WHETHER THE DENSE POPULATION PHENOMENON OR NOT) OR ERROR HAS BEEN PERPETRATED AGAINST WEAH FOR BOAKAI.

    C DC, IN THIS DAY AND AGE, ITS BETTER TO BE TRUSTED THAN FOR YOU TO TRUST! A HINT TO THE WISE IS QUITE SUFFICIENT! MR. COSTA, THAT ADMONITION GOES TO YOU ALSO ESPECIALLY VIZ YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH A SELFISH AND TRIBALIST BOAKAI!

    We close with what opposition presidential candidate Tiawen Saye Gongloe characterizes Boakai in his own Gongloe words below…

    “Boakai contributed to the underdevelopment of Liberia, so why should he be given another chance to lead this country? We all know that he is not the right leader to take this country forward.

    “[He] cannot be the answer to our problems if the country must experience more developments,” Gongloe told a cheering group of voters. “The way he and his Unity Party people treated this country is nothing short of evil.”

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