Monday, September 21, 2009
Where Is Nkrumah's CPP?
Ghana and the rest of Africa are celebrating Dr Kwame Nkrumah at 100 years. So many years after his birth and death, Ghana’s illustrious son is unparralled and stands tall among his peers. Nkrumah no doubt is not God.
While many see him as a huge role model others opine that he was wicked, and a tyrant who was justly overthrown in 1966.
Notwithstanding this while Nkrumah at 100 is being celebrated, one missing ingredient in the whole equation is this puzzle — where is Nkrumah’s party?
Coincidentally, Nkrumah’s party — the Convention People’s Party (CPP) — is also celebrating 60 years of existence this year but we are only hearing the centenary celebrations of our illustrious leader, Dr Nkrumah. The question then is why?
Whilst everybody is talking about the centenary celebrations, very little if nothing at all is being said about the CPP that helped and gave Dr Nkrumah the political platform to attain the enviable heights he is reputed for.
The CPP as a mass political entity did not only play a yeoman’s role in the affairs of the the nation’s socio-political, cultural and economic development but also helped Dr Nkrumah to accomplish his objectives and vision.
Without the CPP, one wonders whether Dr Nkrumah could have achieved what he did. Indeed, ordinary people, including Kojo Botsio, Komla Gbedemah, Krobo Edusei, Welbeck, Archie Casely Hayford and others, one way or the other, helped Dr Nkrumah to realise his goals, vision and ideals.
The state of his party, the CPP, in contemporary Ghanaian politics as we celebrate his centenary is worth considering.
Indeed, any student of politics who talks about the greatness and achievements of Dr Kwame Nkrumah cannot do so without referring to the role of the CPP.
The bane of the current CPP is that it has a leadership with a rank and file that is working towards the attainment of their personal goals. A party that believes in individual pursuits against that of the party and nation, cannot do well in any contest for the soul, heart and mind of the people.
As we celebrate his centenary, it will not be enough to simply eulogise Dr Nkrumah, read all his books, declare oneself Nkrumaist and yet see to the death of his party. Many are professing Nkrumah and claiming to be of the CPP stock, but are doing practically nothing.
If asked about their contribution to the growth of the Nkrumaist party, many would have very little to say except berating anyone working for the interest of CPP. Everybody is more Nkrumaist than the other and yet nothing is working for the once enviable poilitical movement.
Once a beacon of stability and prosperity, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) has plunged into many years of instability, confusion and division among its rank and file.
In the modern era, who is sacrificing for the CPP in order to achieve something good for the party and the nation?
Currently we have stalwarts such as Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Prof. Badu Akosa, Bright Akwetey, Ladi Nylander, George Aggudey playing pivotal roles in the affairs of the CPP. Yet the party is in disarray crying for help to become visible and appealing. Who is causing the woes of the CPP?
If the CPP under Dr Nkrumah worked as a team and believed that “organisation decides everything”, where is that CPP spirit today? What is it about the CPP that is not working in the collective interest of the party.
The CPP today has failed to provide selfless leadership. The leadership and the rank and file must bring back hope after years of division which has brought paralysis to the once great party.
The party members must not be intolerant to party discipline. A party that cannot create its own foot soldiers will be subservient to other political forces.
The CPP tradition is on the verge of disappearing, and its current leadership must know why Ghanaians have kept voting against the Nkrumaists since 1992. After losing political power in 1966, the CPP, under Dr Hilla Limann’s People’s National Party, won the elections in 1979. Since then there seems to be a disfunctional behaviour of the CPP leadership and members.
There is the need to find the right people who are prepared to work together so that what Dr Nkrumah stood for does not go to waste.
The CPP needs a certain serious transformation. The country has experienced five elections in the Fourth Republic. The National Democratic Congress has won three and the New Patriotic Party, two. In most instances, the winner worked with some branch of the CPP, formally or informally. Indeed, the percentage of votes obtained by Nkrumaist candidates for president has remained small, right from the People’s Heritage Party (PHP) in 1992, National Independent Party (1992), People’s National Convention (PNC) and CPP. Parliamentary figures are no better.
Ghanaians continue to claim they will be happy with a third alternative force to the NDC and NPP — the two major parties in the country. However, the performance of the Nkrumaist party over the years shows that the CPP is becoming relatively minor in the minds of the majority of voters.
The 2008 campaign showed that it would take more than goodwill, sympathy and interest to get people to vote for a third force. It requires a disciplined organisation, significant party resources and well-resourced parliamentary candidates.
A third force cannot be built solely on dislike for the NDC or NPP or JJ Rawlings, J.A. Kufuor or J.E.A. Mills. A third force must have a leg to stand on.
It must be radically appealing in nature, seek social justice and must believe in aggressive nationalism as a non-negotiable base.
It is only by such pragmatic actions that a mass political party such as the CPP can be taken seriously by the Ghanaian electorate.
As we celebrate the centenary of his birthday, Nkrumah’s ideas, principles, philosophy, vision and great commitment to the African personality must unite and inspire us in the service of Ghana.
It is also time for the CPP to dedicate itself to his ideals and help build a strong CPP that will defy the challenges of the moment.
Let all Ghanaians join hands in this celebration with focus on building a nation worthy of his legacy and vision.
Ghana cannot be proud of where it finds itself today in her current dispensation. She is still struggling to overcome the clutches of hunger, disease, joblessness, lack of education, health, water, poor urbanisation and all the Third World symptoms.
We are still wallowing in poverty and celebrating mediocrity. We cannot continue to live like this if Ghana is to join the comity of advanced nations.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah has shown Ghana and the rest of Africa the way, what is lacking is the ability to take the bull by the horn and prove to the whole world that “After all the Black man is capable of managing his own affairs”. The ball indeed is in our court.
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