Politics of 2014-07-03

Four parties share views on republican status

Branches of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in the Ashanti Region and the entirety of the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) have expressed varied views of the republican status of the country.

NPP and PPP

The branches argue that corruption and failed leadership over the years have rendered Ghana’s republican status meaningless.

The two agreed in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi last Tuesday that Ghana’s continued dependence on her colonial masters and other foreign partners made her republican status theoretical as it only existed on paper .

“There is nothing like being on your own, and in that regard we can pride ourselves that we are a republican state but beyond that, there is very little to show for,” the PPP chairman in the region, Dr Theophilus Benjamin Kwofie, declared.

“Our leaders have mismanaged the country and since the demise of the country’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, we have virtually shot ourselves in the foot all these years. There is very little to choose between a higher income earner and lower income earner, because we all rely on items from the Western world,” Dr Kwofie insisted.

The NPP’s Regional Secretary, Mr Sam Pyne, said there was a correlation between political independence and economic independence and since we still relied on our colonial masters even to balance our budget, that made us subservient to them.

He called for stringent measures to check corruption, including applying the laws governing the menace.

Mr Pyne insisted that President John Dramani Mahama’s reshuffling of the sports minister and his deputy after the Brazil World Cup fiasco instead of sacking them completely amounted to endorsing corruption.

“We have a very long way to go as a country. So long as this menace continues to haunt us and the fact that we still depend heavily on our foreign partners, we cannot be said to have liberated ourselves from the aprons of our colonial masters,” he added.

GCPP

However, Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) is happy that the Republic Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm, especially in Accra, where the celebrations start with the Presidential luncheon to honour senior citizens at the Banquet Hall, State House.

According to the GCPP, the occasion is always a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the fight for independence, freedom and justice.

A statement signed by Dr Henry Herbert Lartey, Chairman and Leader of the GCPP, said “the patriotic fervour of the people on this day brings the whole country together even in her essential diversity.

“We have to remind ourselves that Dr Kwame Nkrumah in his infinite wisdom prayed and hoped that we should prove to the whole world that the black man is capable of managing his own affairs. We owe it to ourselves and our children and our children’s children that we are capable of managing our affairs,” the party stressed.

The party called on Ghanaians to wake up and prove to the whole world that we can turn the fortune of our economy around.

CPP

The Convention People’s Party (CPP), has called for a socially inclusive national policy to lift the country out of its misery and offer the people a beacon of hope.

The party explained that the present foreign domination of the country’s economy and society was defeating the purpose and objective of the republican status the country declared 54 years ago.

A statement issued by the party to coincide with the 54th anniversary of the declaration of Ghana as a sovereign republic on July 1 said republican status meant the transfer of all responsibility to Ghanaians to fully manage their own affairs.

The statement was signed by Mr Yaw Adu-Larbi, Deputy Director of Communication of the CPP.

It stated that so long as any aspect of the affairs of the country remained in the hands of the British, the independence of the nation was limited.

Ghana, according to the statement, therefore took the step of gaining republican status in the full knowledge of the prospects, possibilities and challenges facing a new country.

In line with this, the statement said that steps were immediately taken to consolidate the gains of political independence through the establishment of industries and projects like the Akosombo Dam.

Regrettably, the statement said, the country was plunged into a visionless future with the overthrow of the CPP in February 1966, from which “we are yet to recover, as true and principled leadership has been missing since February 24, 1966.”

According to the statement, the entrenchment of neo-colonialism has meant an increasing addiction to externally generated solutions to our problems and eventual failure.

“In the name of privatisation, hundreds of state-owned industries were sold for a song and thousands thrown into a state of underemployment. We currently have a government that has apparently no solution to the current economic crisis but ask Ghanaians to tighten their belts,” the statement concluded.