Don’t be intimidated by Mahama’s Unity Walk – Ben Ephson to NDC aspirants

Ben Ephson, Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper

Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper and pollster Ben Ephson says the main opposition NDC “Unity Walk” is an antidote to cure the massive despondency that has plagued the party.

“There is despondency at the grassroots level. So in this case if there are about eight people aspiring for the position of Flagbearer and all of them decide to organize Unity Walk in all the regions, you can imagine how the grassroots will be gingered, he told host Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasspa on Kasapa 102.5 FM.

Critics say the Unity Walk held over the weekend lacks equity and was skewed to promote the former President ahead of the NDC Presidential primaries.

An activist of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Dela Coffie has said the John Mahama ‘Unity Walk’ that was organized in the Northern Regional Capital, Tamale has proven counterproductive as it has left the party rather divided.

Scores of NDC loyalists and sympathizers joined the ex President and his team for the event which is said to be part of the NDC agenda 2020 campaign strategy.

Some of the party bigwigs who participated in the event included the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah; Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu; Former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah; MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini; MP for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, and a former Northern Regional Minister, Moses Bukari Mabengba among others.

But Dela Coffie, in a statement, sees the conduct of the party officials such as General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia as tacitly giving support to ex President Mahama and in so doing trying to impose him on the NDC as its leader for the 2020 election.

“A supposed NDC unity walk has end up dividing the rank and file more than it seeks to unite.

A unity walk without Mahama’s own vice president? A unity walk without the founder? A unity walk without the national chairman and leader of the Party? A unity walk without the other NDC Presidential hopefuls? Does this so-called unity walk bring unity or division?

“Then again, who is going to organize and lead the Kumasi walk? Dr Kwabena Duffuor? What walks will Sylvester Mensah, Spio Garbrah, Horace Ankrah, Alban Bagbin, Oppong Ofosu and Joshua Alabi lead?”

Commenting on the fallout from the Unity Walk, Mr Ephson said the fact that former President John Dramani Mahama attended the party’s “Unity Walk” does not mean that if he decides to stand as Flagbearer he’ll be voted for.

He said other aspirants who feel agitated by the weekend’s “Unity Walk” can also organize theirs in other parts of the country.

Nobody can issue a fiat against anybody holding a Unity Walk in the party. Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Spio-Garbrah and the rest can likewise organize their respective Unity Walks and nobody can stop them.

Do you need permission to start a Unity Walk? All those apart from Mahama who are interested are also entitled to Unity Walk. Other candidates can organize it and where necessary, the party itself can do the mother of all Unity Walk later on. Because the party is now going through the healing process of trying to appeal to people to forget the past, so they can move forward in Unity.

As for deciding who leads the party in 2020, if the time comes, those who are qualified to vote will elect the person they want. But you know, it does not fall within the remit of anybody to decide who can contest and who cannot. In any case, if there is unanimity, among the leading members that Mahama really caused the party’s defeat in 2016, the rest of the aspirants can gang up against him[Mahama].