There is no substitute for Dr Nkrumah's CPP

Wed, 12 Jul 2006 Source: Jeffrey, Peter

The ideas and philosophy of Dr Kwame Nkrumah can never be defeated. His party, the CPP is greater than any one individual. There might be disagreements and differences in the CPP, as is the case in any mass movement or organisation, but the ideology that holds the party together is based on Dr Nkrumah’s philosophy.

The Convention Peoples Party is a broad church with varying ideologies and principles and this was recognised by Dr Nkrumah himself during his last days in exile.

At the turn of this century Dr Nkrumah was recognised as the greatest African that ever graced the sub-Saharan African continent. Dr Nkrumah’s ideas and philosophy were well ahead of his time. In 2002 BBC listeners in Africa voted Dr Kwame Nkrumah as their “Man of the Millennium”. In 1978 the United Nations awarded Dr Kwame Nkrumah a posthumous gold medal during a special session of the UN Committee against the racist regime in South Africa. Throughout his adult life, from University of Pennsylvania to London School of Economics, Dr Nkrumah fought for the unity and dignity of the black race. In the black hall of fame, Dr Nkrumah ranks first among equals. His party and legacy must be protected for posterity.

When Ghana gained her independence in 1957, Dr Nkrumah was the only black African politician who recognised the dynamics of the African economies and the global politics, which he emphatically stated that the only way Africans can ever make progress and become masters of their own economies is to unite. Dr Nkrumah saw in unity the very survival of the Black African race. This he laced with Ghana’s independence when he stated at the old polo grounds, Accra on March 6 1957 that the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless the whole African continent is free from colonial rule.

Although there were concerns about his economic policies and his alliance with the communist regimes in China and USSR, the make up of the world economy was such that geo-politics and the role of MNCs determined how countries develop their economies. The current leadership in Ghana recognise this and thus the economic policies of the ruling New Patriotic Party, the main opposition National Democratic Congress and Convention Peoples Party are pretty much the same. Whichever party comes into power cannot escape from the script of the World Bank and the IMF. This came about as result of the crisis that swept through the continent in the 1980s, commonly known in the literature as the “Lost Decade” when Structural programmes was imposed on the economies of sub-Saharan African countries.

Dr Nkrumah foresaw the 1980s crisis as far back in the 1940s when together with George Padmore and other black leaders in Diaspora organised the Fifth Pan African Congress held in Manchester, England, in 1945. Nkrumah highlighted the importance of unity of Africa under one umbrella. Nkrumah’s organisational skill was legendary and his ideas were well ahead of his time. Underpinning his philosophy was the empowerment of the masses, which did not sit well with the leadership of the UGCC when he returned to the Gold Coast, thus leading to the break away and the formation of the CPP.

Commenting on the resignations of some key members in recent weeks, Professor Nii Noi Dowouna, General Secretary of the CPP stated, “generally, politics is a game of numbers but when a member of your party quits, certainly it subtracts from your number and I do not think anybody will cherish anything of that nature”.

CPP gave millions of Ghanaians and other Africans the opportunity to go to school. Many boys and girls became the first members of their families to be educated. Dr Nkrumah’s Young Pioneer Movement became a focal point of unity among boys and girls from different tribes and a sense of comradeship. The movement instilled in the youth a sense of patriotism and humbleness. Nkrumah’s free education in northern Ghana opened up opportunities for most of our northern brothers and sisters.

Dr Edward Mahama, a stanched Nkrumaist and a leading member of the Nkrumaists family was the first member of his family to go to university. Many of the leading members of the ruling NPP and the opposition NDC benefited from Dr Nkkrumah’s educational policies, so too were many African from various parts of Africa. Dr Nkrumah’s vision went beyond the shores of Ghana. Indeed Dr Nkrumah personally invited freedom fighters from those countries still under colonial rule to come and study in Ghana. University of Ghana, Legon, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, became seats of academic excellence. CPP gave voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless. Dr Nkrumah never, ever stole a single penny from Ghana. Despite his failed economic policy, Dr Nkrumah was the only African leader to die penniless.

No one can change the course of history and the role Dr Nkrumah played to enlightened Africans. The CIA who engineered his overthrown and branded him a dangerous communist in the 1960s admitted after the cold war that Dr Nkrumah was perhaps the greatest African statesman that ever lived.

The formation of splinter parties professing to be Nkrumaists does not bode well for the CPP. The division within the family must be resolved quickly in other for the party to position itself for the 2008 elections. The leadership must take responsibility for this debacle and unite behind the original symbol of the party (the cockerel) and a single leader elected by the membership. The Nkrumaists can only gain the trust of the Ghanaian people if they do stop this infighting and unite behind a single party and presidential candidate. Kwame Nkrumah never dies. The dream lives on.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Jeffrey, Peter