Opinions Tue, 13 Jul 2010

Daughter of Late President Nkrumah to Run for Presidency

For the past few months Ms Samia Yaba Christina Nkrumah, daughter of former president Kwame Nkrumah, has been omnipresent force in the news. With captivating presence and honest candour, Ms Nkrumah’s venture into politics in her homeland, Ghana, has suddenly brought to the fore the great achievements of her father’s government and the need to revisit the original 7 year Development Plan, which is still relevant today.

She has become the sole defender of the poor and working folks, those that she often referred to as “my constituents”. Many of these folks want her to run for the highest office – the presidency. She’s awesome and a pure class, like her father, declared an elderly slum dweller. Everyone wants her to run”. Another elderly gentleman who said he was among the last group of young boys to join the Young Pioneers in 1965 stated, “I would be greatly honoured as a former Young Pioneer and a Ghanaian to have her as Ghana’s first female president”. One commentator said, “She’ll be 56, have a wealth of experience, her son Kwame should be grown up at that point. We absolutely love Samia. She’s far more qualified than those parading as presidential candidates”. Many supporters want her to continue in her current role and draw up a battle plan for 2016.

After declaring her intention not to seek the highest office in 2012, many are wondering whether Ms Nkrumah would consider running for office in 2016 or continue with her campaign to reduce poverty among the poor.

As the mother of the entire Nkrumaist group, Ms Nkrumah is spearheading merger of the Nkrumaist parties into one political family under the banner of the Convention Peoples Party, ready for the 2016 elections.

Since her election as Member of Parliament for her home constituency of Jomorro, Samia has grown in stature and her popularity now matches that of the late president and founder of Ghana. Backed by a motley coalition of Nkrumaists and independents who are united in their determination to restore Nkrumah’s presidency in Ghana, Samia Yaba Christina Nkrumah has become a formidable political figure in Ghana’s political dispensation. Not only has she managed to bite into what seemed the NPP and NDC’s impregnable support base but she also now got the backing of majority of the poor and working folks, who form the majority of the population.

As more Ghanaians shift their political allegiance to the daughter of the late president, Samia Yaba Christina has emerged as an important kingmaker, with the potential of tipping the balance in favour of either candidate (NDC and NPP) in 2012. In the second round of the December 2008 elections, supporters of the Nkrumaist parties deprive the ruling party candidate, Nana Akuffo Addo, victory by overwhelmingly voting for candidate Mills en masse to become the President of Ghana.

Since Samia publicly stated that she will not contest the 2012 elections, the two main parties are assiduously courting her support. Analysts, including this writer, have pointed out that President Mills’ rehabilitation of the late President Nkrumah and the constant parading of his Nkrumaist credentials are such that come 2012, the great Nkrumaists family would once again throw their support behind his candidacy.

One Ghana-based political commentator points out, “The Samia Nkrumah factor has now rendered uncertain not only the outcome of future presidential elections but also that of parliamentary elections”. Samia, a journalist by profession, return home in 2007 after almost 20 years in Diaspora, to join her father’s party, the Convention Peoples Party. She has built a powerful grassroots organisation and with this kind of strong political base and a powerful personality to match, Samia has been able to influence political agenda in Ghana.

Samia’s boldness to challenge and openly criticise bad policies and corruption among the political elite, a trait she inherited from the late president, has won her friends not only in Ghana but across sub-Saharan Africa.

Majority of Ghanaians believe Samia could be the right person to deliver the much- wanted reforms and development to Ghana – plus take the country into the middle income status and uplift millions of people out of poverty. Many analysts say Samia can be the hands-on president Ghana needs to mend decades of misrule and corruption but not until 2016. It is almost certain that the President, with endorsement from Samia, would retain the presidency in 2012. Samia’s popularity is such that she could make and break president. She has emerged as the vanguard of democracy in Ghana and agent of change. Her contribution to democratisation process in Ghanaian politics is unquestionable. Her reputation as democratic leader is beyond doubt.

Within a period of just over two years, Samia Yaba Christina Nkrumah has built up a seemingly unassailable support among the poor and working folks in all the ten regions of Ghana. Ms Nkrumah has played on her reputation for honesty. Her reputation is largely inherited from her father, revered for his probity. One youth leader this writer interviewed said, “We are convinced that Samia Yaba will be our President in 2016 because that would the best for the country”. He further stated that, “By accepting the responsibility to continue with her father’s legacy, Samia will ensure Ghana’s wealth is distributed equitably and that no one is left behind. She is our only hope and will transform our country”.

Samia Yaba Christina Nkrumah is a progressive who has spent her entire career in journalism and politics as a champion for “the voices of poor Africans”.

Peter Jeffrey Houston, Texas.
Columnist: Jeffrey, Peter