Health walks are not new to us. Every weekend people in most communities gather and go for walks to reduces some stress – loss some weight – burn some calories – basically living healthy lifestyles after consuming everything ‘unconsumable’ during the week. One poplar spot for such activities is the mountains of Aburi.

ICGC for example has taken it upon them to organize annual health walks in the bid to encourage their members to keep healthy lifestyles – and why not; man shall not live by bread alone. After hours of sitting through sermons, stretching out their limbs isn’t such a bad idea. But what if politicians get involved? In Ghana and perhaps the entire continent of Africa, politicians are considered cankers to some extent. They have the tendency to corrupt a virtuous activity by turning them into a malicious political propaganda. How they do that so brilliantly and successfully is a still a marvel to many. Health walks have the potential to bring people together irrespective of their political, social, tribal and political alliance or affiliation; healthy living is a priority to every human being.

Every four years the people of the Republic of Ghana go to the polls to elect a new leader. Being a democratic country, general elections are top priority for political players. To the incumbent it’s an opportunity to canvas for votes in order to retain power. For opposition, it’s an opportunity to win power.  Political rallies usually precedes elections and this year is no different, however there seem to be a growing trend amongst the two major political parties NPP and NDC. What’s the link between health walks and politics? Well, there’s none until now. Health walks have always formed part of political activities to engage voters however the agenda for this year seem different.

In what appears to be a divertive tactics by political parties, health walks are being used as alternative to open air rallies. Considering the fact that there’s a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, gathering of any kind must not be encouraged. What happened to the nose mask wearing and social distancing rules? Certainly health walks don’t guarantee immunity from the virus but rather create an enabling environment for the spread of it. Both major political parties are liable to this offence. There’s total disregard for the presence of the virus and completely endangering the public – but does it matter?

It’s all about the voter’s vote. Politicians and their parties will go to extreme lengths to canvas for votes without regard to health and human life. The burden however does not rest on the shoulders of leaders but followers as well. Citizens must be held accountable for failure to caution leaders for such inconsiderate actions. Keep COVID-19 protocols in mind and adhere to them. Be a vigilant citizen and save a life.