I Salute Dr. P. K. Nduom.

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 Source: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

Dr. Nduom was asked by a caller on the US based Akwaabaradio.com’s “Weekly Chapters” to share the ideology behind his new party, People’s Progress Party (PPP). Knowing very well that he had been sleeping with the devil, Dr. Nduom skillfully and condscendingly dismissed the question.

To Dr. Nduom, it was not worth answering the question because ideology was not the bread and butter issues facing Ghanaians. And that people who had always dwelled on ideology were those who mostly had no idea what the word meant. To highlight the latter point, he disingenuously cited the NPP’s center right’s Property Owning Democracy (POD) and its achievements in the social sector; knowing very well that the NPP’s POD was in part modeled after John Rawls’ version. In this interpretation, universal healthcare and accessible education were essential before the private sector could efficiently function. Hence the NPP’s decision to focus on School feeding program, NHIS, PRSP and others social programs etc - which had been neglected for 20 years.

But Dr.Nduom had no choice than to dodge the question. As he had done on many occasions and in many interviews, upholding the ideology that fed him – Capital – would have, at the same time, led to the repudiation of the ideology that had supposedly given him reason for being, his intellectual nourishment, his Nkrumiasm. And since it quite clear that his practicality doesn’t coincide with this intellectuality, his Nkrumaism, it has now become standard for him- and all Nkrumaists, both pseudo and genuine- to undervalue and downplay the role of ideology in political life and activity lest they appear hypocritical. However Nduom – and the Nkrumaists- knows deep down in his heart the truism of Marx's statement, that Theology was to the Priest as Ideology was to the intellectual-politician- the sine qua non. And to Dr.Ndoum in particular, he knows very well that without a defined ideology, his party would not be able to outlive him. Yet his pride –and those of all Nkrumaists- refuses to yield. Nonetheless, I salute Dr.P.K.Nduom for his guts. In spite of his "political mercenarism," I salute him for going ahead to form another party instead of wasting his talent on a dead ideology (CPP).

Most important, I salute Dr.Nduom for spending his money. Dictatorship lovers and the democratically ignorant underestimate the seasonal industry known as election campaign and its fiscal contribution to local economies. Under any other political system, Dr. Nduom would have had no choice but to horde his money. He would have probably spent the bulk of his money abroad with foreign countries reaping the taxes. But our democracy has enabled him to release his genius through political philanthropy.

By setting up his party, the State has benefited from the registration fees, for example. “Campaign industries” such poster printers, advertisers both print and electronic; seasonal job creation such as campaign staffers etc, transportation sector are all going to benefit from Nduom’s political philanthropy. It would not be an exaggeration to state that his campaign is going to account for at least 10% of total campaign expenditure of all parties combined. And In this stagnant economy under Mills, a “non-inflationary” infusion of money such as Nduom’s would be a blessing.

Clearly this is an investment without returns, monetary or politically, in the short term –except maybe a cabinet position which is not worth this kind of investment. Yet this has not stopped Nduom. Moreover, unlike other wealthy people who had –in the past- made solo attempts at politics mostly out of boredom and sport, Dr.Nduom has the political acumen, the ideas and the experience to back it up. Thus the country stands to gain greatly from Nduom's philanthropy, economically, politically and intellectually. He is one of a kind, a political genius and Titan tragically constrained by his “original sin” – Nkrumaism… but has finally broken free. This makes him a patriot and should be commended.

One thing though, Dr. Nduom likes to take too much credit - undeservedly so -for the successes of the Kufuor Administration. Tone it down, Doc. Akwasi. A.Afrifa.Akoto

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa