Sekou Nkrumah, the youngest son of the late President, who defected to NDC over a couple of years ago, could not have chosen more challenging circumstances to mark his homecoming.
Sekou's elder sister, Honourable Samia Yaba Christina Nkrumah MP, won the chairmanship of CPP and in-effect the leadership of the party last week with overwhelming votes. Prior to going to congress, CPP have stumbled from one crisis to another with mediocre people leading the party into oblivion, including the last two flag bearers.
The events of the past week, during which Samia assert her authority and her call for unity among Nkrumaists have forced many analysts and political observers to reassess both the importance as well as the political shrewdness of Samia.
In his analysis, “Has Samia come to save or bury the CPP” Ghana-web features article - 16th September 2011, Ekow Nelson, stated that Samia's victory was a repudiation of the old guard and an affirmation of the deep affection Dr Nkrumah continues to enjoy among party members. Nelson rhetorically asked, “ ...will this symbolic and substantive shift at the top help restore the fortunes of the CPP and make it relevant actor in Ghana's politics?”
Nelson acknowledged that, “having consistently under-performed in the nearly two decades of Ghana's fourth republic, it is understandable that many sympathizers of the CPP had become desperate and were looking to change course” thus the overwhelming endorsement of the late president's daughter.
What Nelson failed to explain to the Ghanaian people is the NDC/NPP factor, that has contributed to the gradual demise of the “other Nkrumaists parties” - CPP, PNC and GCPP.
In 1996, PCP(CPP) alliance with NPP strengthened the Danquah-Busia group and weakened CPP front. Both NDC and NPP knows that a strong CPP would be detrimental to their very existence, thus would use every ploy to ensure CPP does not rise up.
It is widely acknowledged by all that NDC was founded with some remnants of Nkrumaists from PNP era. CPP and NDC share the same ideas in Ghanaian politics – Nkrumaism. Both Kuffuor and Mills included members of CPP in their cabinet. Writing in the The Mail, Appau Gyamerah, “Selling CPP to NDC, NPP” allude that many adulterated persons in CPP have put on the 'Nkrumah face' to deceive party members of their true identity, and to a degree including those NDC members who professed to be Nkrumaists.
In recent past, many have equate the internal problems within NDC as part of those who see themselves as Nkrumaists to take control of that party. There is no denying the fact that there are two factions in NDC – the Rawlingses and the Mills group. However, at the grass roots majority of NDC followers, irrespective of what faction they belong to, consider themselves as Nkrumaists, first and foremost. The support for Dr Nkrumah was vividly displayed during Ghana at 50 celebrations by overwhelming number of Ghanaians.
Samia's immediate challenges are the very issues highlight by Nelson and Gyamerah in their analyses – to give the CPP a facelift, make CPP electable, reconcile with PNC/GCPP and deal with the NDC factor. The big question really is whether Samia can take up these challenges, however, one thing is clear, her leadership could make a difference to the Convention Peoples Party and NDC's fortunes.
Those who doubt Samia's ascendency to the presidency and or possessing any political acumen and thus chose to describe her as inexperience, events of the past week have establish her political credentials even in the eyes of her worst critics.
The Nkrumaists think-tank, core group and Samia's team of party leaders all acknowledge that her rise is not a coincidence but part of the greater Nkrumaist agenda to wrestle power to the centre left and keep it there for generations.
One of Samia's priorities should be to inject a sense of purpose and vitality into CPP and to call for an immediate unity with PNC and GCPP. She can also go a step further if she so decides that now is the time and call for all those Nkrumaists who helped the Rawlingses to formed National Democratic Convention to bring the party home to Convention Peoples Party. Her touch is required for managing this very delicate amalgamation, thus the overwhelming endorsement she received at congress.
Many commentators agrees that the Nkrumaists needs Samia to lead from the front in this time of fragmentation among the group and the NPP opposition looks charged up and more fighting fit than the governing NDC. However what is not in doubt is, having seen the recklessness of NPP administration from 2000 to 2008, the entire Nkrumaists parties would have themselves to blame if they allowed NPP to wrestle power from them again. Thus it will be in the interest of Samia, CPP, PNC and GCPP for NDC to hold on to power in 2012. In 2008 first round of the presidential elections, with John Mills trailing the NPP flag bearer, it was Nkrumaist voters who saved the day for him and helped reach 50+1 figure mark with wins in 8 out of the 10 regions.