EX-PRESIDENT JERRY John Rawlings was at his populist best yesterday, virtually throwing the Independence Square in Accra into anarchy as hundreds of National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters called for his return to government.
Interestingly, the call for the return of Jerry Rawlings was more audible and vociferous than the level of attention the same supporters paid to President Atta Mills.
The new President apparently, could not properly read the Oath of Allegiance and the Presidential Oath. Though he was to recite both oaths after the Chief Justice, he was heard fumbling with some of the words.
Jerry Rawlings, who arrived rather late after all dignitaries and the outgoing President, John Agyekum Kufuor, had taken their seats at the swearing-in ceremony of President Evans Atta Mills, literally stole the show as he received roaring cheers from charged NDC supporters, which proved that he still remained the most popular and one who had a rather firm hold of his party.
The NDC supporters, in their desire to catch a glimpse and have a feel of the former President, threw caution to the wind and engaged both security and protocol officers as well as journalists in a rather brutal struggle as they chanted in unison, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We want JJ!Ã¢â‚¬Â, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We want JJ!!Ã¢â‚¬Â
As the melee went on, cameras clicked and flashes went on a free-for-all display, with some journalists managing to get to Jerry Rawlings who declined to make any comment but only gave a signal that he would talk later.
The Ã¢â‚¬Å“we want JJÃ¢â‚¬Â chant got louder and raucous and caught on with the entire crowd as they struggled to get closer to the former President.
Jerry Rawlings himself did not help the situation, as he broke the protocol arrangements and instead of taking his seat at the dais set up for dignitaries, rather went straight into the charged crowd, shaking hands with as many of them as he could.
He repeatedly threw the crowd into an ecstatic state by making the Ã¢â‚¬ËœI love you allÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ gesture, kissing his clasped fingers and then spreading his arms.
Eventually, he had to be escorted out of the crowd and sent to the dais by heavily built men and security officers.
Jerry Rawlings exchanged greetings with the dignitaries at the dais before finally taking his seat.
The NDC founder and idol appeared militant as he walked with vim and vigour among his supporters, in a replay of the days when he led the military junta.