The Unity Walk was initiated few months after the party lost the 2016 general elections by some stalwarts within the party. Though some elements within the party argued that it was a canning attempt to propagate the second coming of ex-president John Dramani Mahama, the walk went on throughout the ten regions of Ghana, amidst the accusations.
This they claimed was deepening the woes of the party more especially since the walk does not grant others who have shown interest in the the flagbearership race of the party the luxury of time to talk to the gathering.
These elements did not hide their resentments and displeasure at the organisers, they openly criticized and condemned them. Some even went further chastising the former president.
Despite this conundrum, the walk must be said to be successful and purposefull given the numbers that turned out across the ten regions. To many, the walk was a healing tour as party faithfuls poured on the streets to take part in the walk, a situation some people say is a sign of forgiveness on the part of the party folks.
Finally, another but last episode was staged here in the Volta region, Aflao to be precise. When the Ketu South venue was first announced, many of the party faithfuls shared their misgivings about it. Some said Aflao would have been too small to contain the numbers, some equally added that the South would simply not pull enough crowed. In deed, I was one of those who questioned why the regional capital Ho, was not chosen instead however, our thoughts were just a premature birth.
The former President, John Dramani Mahama and his entourage arrived in the region by Friday. They were greeted by party faithfuls who poured on the streets all the way from Sogakope.
On arrival, the former President and his team paid courtesy calls on chiefs of the Some, Klikor and Aflao Traditional areas. The team was well received and given the assurance of a safety environment for the event on Saturday.
Getting to Aflao on Saturday, gave a different impression about the venue and a commendation for the local organisers; the South was simply a strategic point that pulled a mammoth crowd.
By 6:00 am on Saturday, scores of NDC faithfuls started flooring the streets of Tokor, Denu, Aflao, Klikor, Agbozume, Nogokpo et all. Traffic situations were becoming terrible by the tick of a seconds, movement of both humans and cars were becoming difficult.
A lot more of the people were seen gathered at the Tokor, many of whom didn’t go to the starting point of the walk. They could be seen holding party paraphernalias, amidst singing (jama).
Interestingly, some carried heavy cement blocks on their heads to illustrate the economic hardship under the current government, this they did for the entire period of a walk that stretched over 8km.
There was just enough music to keep the energy, the crowd was massive, the euphoria was on another level. The crowd sung along whiles the DJ hits the tunes to the admiration of all. To climax it all, former government appointees, MPs and top members of the party could be seen wining and twerking to the tunes of music played along.
One could not resist the attempt of catching glimpses of the former president. He still commands such love and respect from the party faithfuls, who hailed and shouted JM! throughout the streets.
The moments were too exciting to describe. By the time the former president got to the SS Peter and Paul park; where the crowd converged, there was no space left, the park was filled onto the streets, scores of members were seen on top of uncompleted structures, in anticipation of sights of JM.
When they finally arrived, the crowd continued with the chants. Among the entourage was Dr. Ekow Spio Gabra, who at a point in time was livid about the initiative. The team took turns to speak to the gathering, including Spio. Asiedu Nketia was at his usual antics and dramatic mood.
Then came the Messiah, John Dramani Mahama, he was welcomed with a rousing chant. JM never changed, he looked more younger than before, perhaps the walks have had a significant health impact on him.
JM spoke and asked for nothing but forgiveness from the very people who form the core and root of the party, he asked for unity towards the party’s reorganization. Ghanaians must have missed him; if not for anything, just for his glimmering face. He didn’t stop without commenting on the level of incompetence, mediocrity, nepotism, pettiness, immaturity and corruption above all being displayed by the Nana Addo led government.
Commenting on the events, Hon. James Gunu, a former appointee under Mahama stressed the need for more episodes of the walk. According to James, the walk would not only keep the party members fit, but will harmonize and help sustain the spirit of oneness needed for the reorganization process towards victory in the 2020 elections.
Whether it was for John or the party, the unity walk could be a unifying factor for those who desire so.
If you missed it, you missed it.
By: Abdul-Iddrisu Faisel