Ex-President John Dramani Mahama might have graciously succeeded in relieving some stress as he embarked on his ‘unity walk’ in Tamale recently, but the overall aim of the exercise, ostensibly to unite the crisis-ridden opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), appeared to have grossly been missed.
The walk, held in the Northern Regional capital on September 9, this year, has seemingly done more harm than good to the party, forcing the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) to distance the party’s hierarchy from the exercise, as it is said to be grossly inconsistent with the recommendations of the Kwesi Botchwey’s Committee.
The Botchwey’s Committee had after extensive investigation conducted nationwide into what led to the NDC’s embarrassing defeat in the 2016 general election, recommended that the party should embark on a healing tour across the country.
According to the committee’s recommendation, the healing tour should be led by the party’s elders, especially at the national level. Based on this, the Thursday ‘unity walk’ in Accra has been cancelled and rather replaced with a ‘solidarity walk’ to commemorate the birthday of Ghana’s First President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
According to a statement issued in Accra yesterday, the party said it “will be embarking on a solidarity march on Thursday, September 21, 2017, to commemorate the Founder’s Day celebration of the birthday of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the founder and first President of the Republic of Ghana.”
The statement, signed by Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho, stated, “The march, which will commence at 6am, will move from Nima, through Kwame Nkrumah Circle, to UTC and end up at the Community Centre next to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum.
“Party loyalists must endeavour to show up massively to join the march in solidarity with all Ghanaians as well as all Socialist and Progressive Forces.”
However, Mr. Mahama, who appears desperate to lead the party for the 2020 elections, had hurriedly rallied his ‘boys,’ including the former mayor of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu, to organize the said exercise in his home region, apparently to solicit support from NDC’s loyalists for his (Mahama’s) re-election as the party’s flag bearer.
But the FEC indicated that the so-called ‘unity walk’ was at variance with the healing and reconciliation programmes put in place by the party’s National Executive Committee (NDC).
It has therefore, with immediate effect, instructed that all such walks under the guise of unity should be put on hold nationwide.
The call to put such walks on hold had come at a time when the Greater Accra Regional branch of the NDC was planning to also embark on a similar exercise.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dan Abodakp, former minister of trade and industry, has subtly opened fire on Mr. Mahama over the ‘unity walk.’ He is of the opinion that the controversial ‘unity walk’ was nothing more than a charade.
He believes the exercise is a poor way of taking responsibility for the humiliating defeat the party suffered in the 2016 elections, wondering whether the walk was the only strategic approach to redefining and rebranding the party, which has seriously earned the disaffection of its supporters.
In an article apparently to express his frustration over the ‘divisive’ walk, Mr. Abodakpi is reported as saying, “What is this charade of a ‘unity walk’ is that the best way to take responsibility for the acts of omissions and commissions that led to our disastrous performance in the last elections?
“Are these so-called walks the party’s strategic approach to redefining and rebranding ourselves to convince our teeming supporters and Ghanaians at large that we have indeed learnt our lessons and ready to purge ourselves of the arrogance that associated with us during our tenure?” he queried.
According to him, “I am not in the habit of taking to the platform to express my frustrations about how we have conducted the affairs of our party in and out of government.
“But I think the time has come for all of us to rethink and come to the realization that we need to chart a new strategic path order to have trust and confidence restored in us as a political entity,” he said.