The first President of the Republic of Ghana and founding father of the nation Dr Kwame Nkrumah epitomises the country’s unity in many ways.
As the country moves towards the watershed centenary of the founder’s birthday there are calls for Nkrumaists to unite behind a single party, the National Democratic Congress under the leadership of Professor Evans Kofi Atta Mills. Disunity in CPP and PNC would not be a problem in itself, if this was simply confined to the two parties.
Given the fact that it is the Nkrumaists in the ruling National Democratic Congress under the leadership of Professor Mills, who are pushing to restore Dr Nkrumah’s legacy have effectively hampered good efforts of CPP and PNC to unite or form a loose coalition.
The effort of CPP in Diaspora (UK and Ireland, Scandinavia, USA/North America, Australia and New Zealand), and even CPP Chairman Ladi Nylander, to pretend that all is well will not resolve the unity situation without the inclusion and active participation of progressive Nkrumaists in NDC.
It is an open secret that the divisions continue to run deep and wide within the Nkrumaist family (NDC and CPP/PNC) due to the Rawlings factor. The Nkrumaists in NDC, including many of its top leadership – Prof Atta Mills, John Mahama, Dr Kwesi Botchwey, Dr Tony Aidoo, Ekow Spio Garbah, Tsatsui Tsikata, Capt Kojo Tsikata, Mr Eddie Annan, Ato and Kwamena Ahiow and some of the current crop of Young Progressive Nkrumaists such as Mahama Ayariga, Fifi Kwetey and Collins Duada among others are positioning the NDC as the natural successor of Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s legacy, regardless of President Rawlings.
Despite efforts to criminalise Dr Nkrumah’s name and wipe off his legacy since 1966, Nkrumaists by uniting behind a single candidate, have successfully managed to win elections by invoking the name and achievements of Dr Kwame Nkrumah – Alhaji Imoro Egala/Dr Hila Limann PNP - 1979, Professor Mills/NDC – Presidential election run off (December 2008) and Samia Yaaba Nkrumah - December 2008 elections in Jomorro.
Professor Evans Kofi Atta Mills and our former first lady, Nana Konadu Yaa Agyeman Rawlings (wife of President Rawlings) both acknowledge that attempts to deal with this disunity among the Nkrumaist family have at best been half-hearted.
Calming and reassuring though his Presidency may be, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings reminded Professor Mills to look back on the last 8 years of NPP administration and the immense damage they did to the country. She said “We do need empowered leadership to front our struggle against corruption, bad governance and the ills that plague our country during the eight years of NPP rule. A nation in turmoil cannot go forward”.
Nkrumaists in the NDC government acknowledge the task ahead of them is far greater than they anticipated because they came to meet empty coffers and serious challenges and problems such as – unemployment, poverty, high crime rate and corruption.
Commenting on the need to unite before the 2012 elections, a leading young NDC Progressive Nkrumaist minister in the Mills administration pointed to the current state of NPP “they are in complete disarray, they seem not to have a unified policy on anything, and instead the two camps (fall over from their 2008 primaries) are fighting one another. They are struggling to have to become relevant and they are not getting it right. They are not a viable opposition and have too many internal issues. This is what we the Nkrumaists in NDC, PNC and CPP must avoid by uniting under one umbrella”.
He admitted that NDC came to meet empty exchequer, thus things are going to get a lot worse in the country before they get better. On ex President Rawlings and whether his hold on NDC is loosing, the NDC young progressive emphatically stated that, “We are in charge of the party, not Rawlings. Yes he is the founder of the party, but remembers, he did that on the back of Nkrumaists and a few liberals from the left wing of Danquah/Busia group. I never thought Rawlings was a liberal. He always seemed to be a pragmatist. There is no doubt that Rawlings in 1981 outsmarts us (Nkrumaists and some liberal Danquah/Busia folks) by proposing a liberal/progressive agenda and appointing liberal/progressive people in his administration. But remember the people with the real power now are the liberal/progressive folks – the Nkrumaists in NDC. Our agenda is simple – it’s a matter of accountability. The folks in the previous administration who made major mistakes or committed crimes need to be held accountable – that means being prosecuted. I don’t agree that we need to let bad people stick around (as those around the President advocate) because we supposedly need them. We want prosecutions for crime, as is required by law, not optional, as many seem to think”.
On the role Nkrumaists played in the December 2008 presidential election run off, he stated that, “the choice was never between an ideal candidate and Mills. The Choice in December 2008 was between a hateful and wasteful people (NPP) and Mills”. He emphasised that the choice Ghanaian people were presented in December 2008 was clear – Ghanaian people were overjoyed that Mills won, because the “alternative was too horrible to contemplate”. He explained that all parties are made up of diverse factions, only one of which is in power, since that is the President’s faction – the Nkrumaists. The faction to which Mills belongs is essentially Nkrumaist, a fact which is reflected in the Mills cabinet. Mills has always been an Nkrumaist, as most of us in NDC, he stated. “We appreciate the tremendous contributions of the father and founder of our country Dr Kwame Nkrumah, hence the reason we the young progressives in NDC are advocating for his birthday to become a public holiday and founder’s day” stated the junior minister in Mills government. He said, “We also acknowledge the role played by ex President Rawlings in shaping democracy in our country, a fact that cannot be denied. After All, he (Rawlings) and Dr Kwame Nkrumah are the two longest serving heads of state in our country.
He said NPP’s notion of “free market and property owning democracy” is by accumulating wealth/power, and should be in charge of government and manage the country chiefly for their interests and that of their “foreign paymasters”. He explained that the problem with the NPP approach is to be expedient instead of moral, as the floods that devastated the 3 northern regions typifies, and it is used to justify two-tier society. This approach to government is based on consolidation of power in the hands of few (the NPP presidential primaries is such example, where money taken from state coffers was displayed in blatant disregard to the plight of the Ghanaian poor) he emphasised.
He said they (the Young Progressive Nkrumaists in NDC) disagree with that type of government (free market). He stated that under Nkrumaism there are fundamental values that must guide the country, namely, freedom, equality, and community through distributive justice. They also believe that government should be based on decentralisation and distribution of power, which is by following the principle of subsidiarity – where decisions should be made at the grass roots level. The emphasis is on accountability, transparency and equitable distribution of resources.
In the year ahead Ghanaian people hope good sense will prevail in the ranks of Nkrumaists of CPP, PNC and NDC so that this realisation, uniting Nkrumaists under one party, at the very least, is brought home, stated the young progressive Nkrumaist junior minister in Mills government.
NB: This writer is non-political, and not a mouth piece for any of the Nkrumaist factions in NDC, PNC and CPP.
Peter Jeffrey London.
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