Uniting with PNC is the only way of moving the CPP forward – a Rejoinder
“The seeds of national solidarity, development, sense of belongingness and Pan-African solidarity with others were sown by Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention Peoples Party (CPP)” Zaya Yeebo ( June 2007). This comment by Zaya Yeebo is shared by a large number of Ghanaians who voted for President John Evans Kofi Atta Mills in the 2008 Presidential runoff.
The revival of the Convention Peoples Party would need more than a merger with Peoples National Convention. In his analysis, Ade Sawyer posed the question, “what should the membership of the CPP do?” and rhetorically stated that, “The CPP should ensure that all those who are not in the NDC or in the NPP should become members of the CPP”.
Although Ade Sawyer and others may not agree with this writer, however, they cannot underestimate the influence of the Nkrumaist group (under the leadership of the President, Professor John Evans Kofi Atta Mills) within the NDC. Nkrumaism is a broad church, and thus every group within the family must and would be fully accommodated. Belonging to an opposing party does not mean they do not have or share a “voice” within the Nkrumaist family! The goal is to unite all Nkrumaists under one political umbrella. The Nkrumaists will achieve “this elusive unity” regardless of the protestations from those who “oppose unity with Nkrumaists in NDC”.
After overthrowing Dr Hilla Limann’s PNP government, which is an offshoot of the CPP of Nkrumah, Rawlings and his supporters/backers knew that for any regime to survive in Ghana they have to pay a lip-service to the ideals of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Rawlings was able to sway some of the progressive ex-student leaders and other Nkrumaists from his June 4th days to give credence to the 31st December regime. This progressive Nkrumaists and others legitimised the Rawlings regime.
From the outset the PNDC, with overwhelming grass root support base of Nkrumaists (June Fourth Movement, The New Democratic Movement, Kwame Nkrumah Revolutionary Guards and the African Youth Command) ideologically adopted socialist domestic and foreign policies, includes rewriting of the CPP 7 Year-Development Plan which they named Vision 2020 (Long Term Development Objectives).
Within the regime, however, there were others who had liberal tendencies and were not overly opposed to any form of interactions with the classical or neo-liberal solutions to economic problems that was facing the country. This group include Ghanaian trained economists from prestigious western universities (favourably compared with the Chicago Boys under Pinochet regime) who were based at the finance ministry in Accra. With tacit support from this neo-liberal group, Rawlings went into an unholy alliance with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The underlying factors that influenced initial policy measures were both domestic and external.
The regime implemented the Fund/Bank Structural Adjustment policies which were hailed as “success story” and like the South Korea, Indonesia and Chile “Economic Miracles” the foreign media and supporters of Rawlings called the Fund/Band structural policies “Economic Miracle”. This allowed Rawlings to consolidate his position. It must be admit that with this support the regime edge the Ghanaian economy back from the brink.
Without doubt, there are internal struggles among factions within the Nkrumaist groups in the National Democratic Congress, Convention Peoples Party and Peoples National Convention and their respective supporters for influence and control of the eventual united party of the left.
The NDC Nkrumaists’ Challenge:
The competing interests in NDC for the control of the party among Atta Mills Nkrumaist group and those who have aligned themselves to the Rawlings camp are compelling. Up until the 2008 elections, the views of the Rawlings faction hold sway. With the election of Professor Atta Mills as President of Ghana, the Nkrumaists in NDC gained the upper hand in the power struggle. The change in political orientation and change in focus of international relations cumulated in the celebration of the birth of the founder and father of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Professor Mills declared Dr Nkrumah’s birth as a “Founder’s Day” and a national holiday. Ironically the Act for the declaration of the “Founder’s Day” as a national holiday was railroad through parliament by the Nkrumaists NDC MPs.
Since then there have been overt and covert attacks on Professor Mills’ approach to tackling the economic problems of the country, which he inherited from the last NPP administration. Politically, Professor Mills’ new approach has won the support of progressive Nkrumaists and the International Financial Institutions and donor agencies. Unlike Dr Limann’s PNP and John Kuffour’s NPP, the Mills administration is pursuing a certain level balanced economic approach to solving the immense economic difficulties that the country faces. Despite the struggle going on in the NDC, no one can deny the immense contributions of Chairman Rawlings to the success of Ghana’s young democracy.
However, by relying largely on the core support of the Nkrumaists, “is it not time for President Rawlings to accept the fact that NDC needs to “come home” to Convention Peoples Party, where it rightfully belongs?”. Ironically, the rehabilitation of Ghana’s founder and first President started at the twilight of Kuffuor’s administration. Over 40 years of propaganda by the Danquah-Busia tradition to tarnish the name of Dr Kwame Nkrumah was lifted by the tremendous impact of the 50th Anniversary of independence celebrations in 2007. Dr Nkrumah’s name and achievement dominated the anniversary which the ruling NPP administration was powerless to stop. The Nkrumaists in NDC cleverly “market” Professor Mills’ Nkrumaist credentials during the 2008 Presidential runoff which paid off handsomely when 10 out of 12 regions voted for him against two regions for the ruling NPP candidate. NPP are deluding themselves by claiming the won “49.19%” of the popular vote in the 2008 presidential runoff. They based this notion on the “bloated” voters’ list in their strong hold of Eastern and Ashanti regions which would not be allowed to be repeated in 2012.
The Challenge faced by the Progressives in CPP and PNC. Within the CPP, there is a power struggle going on between the Progressives (including the CPP Patriots) and a section of the party, a group that follows a particular leader and are known for their intolerance and once threatened to form their own party. The message to this group is crystal clear, “You’re free to go and form your own “Movement”! Nkrumaism is far bigger than any individual.
Unlike this group (a group of questionable politicians and unity wreckers), the progressives brought unity to the party, helped established and refurbished offices for the various constituencies countrywide. Although the Nkrumaists only won a seat in the 2008 Parliament, this defeat can be equate to the Nkrumaists’ support that went to Professor Mills and pro- Nkrumaists NDC candidates (80% of NDC MPs are Nkrumaists – FACT) instead of voting for a presidential candidate not acceptable to overwhelming majority of Nkrumaists in 2008. When the President announced the year long anniversary for the founder and father of Ghana, he appointed some of the leading members of Nkrumaists’ group to the steering committee of the celebrations. The President also appointed a number of CPP and PNC members into his cabinet. Although he equate this to a unity government, it is apparently clear that the President is sending a strong message to the great Nkrumaist family and Ghanaians in general of his Nkrumaist leanings and the need to support him in 2012. No one, including various members of the Nkrumaist groupings can fault the President’s Nkrumaist credentials, precisely the reason Samia Nkrumah has decide not to run for 2012. It is no longer a secret that some “leading” members of Nkrumists are calling for an urgent unity talks between Peoples National Convention and Convention Peoples Party. It’s also no longer a secret that there is a clandestine talks going on between the Nkrumaists in all parties to find a common ground for a “GRAND COALITION” before the 2012 general elections.
This writer is in favour of the grand coalition and would support the efforts of the Nkrumaists in all parties to work towards eventual unity of the Nkrumaists’ under one political party. Nkrumaism is a broad church and a tolerant grouping. Ghana before self, Ghana deserves better. This writer fully supports the President’s Better Ghana Agenda and the need to continue with the 7 Year Development Plan.
Peter Jeffrey London.
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