... but NPP not to be undermined
Three Ghanaian political parties have been asked to redouble their efforts towards unity and their efforts will receive support "with all our might and will". This was contained in a press release issued by the Executive Council of the United Group of North America last week. The group comprises Ghanaians of the Nkrumahist political persuasion living in North America, and was established "because of the need to have the various Nkrumahist factions to unite in order to better serve Ghana and Africa". The statement was signed by Professor Yakubu Saaka, former MP and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Limann administration.
In a follow up telephone discussion, a member of the group told The Accra Mail that in the process, the ruling NPP should not be undermined because for the foreseeable future, the beneficiary would be the NDC and not the Nkrumahists who still need time to regroup and organise themselves. He criticised fringe elements within the Nkrumahist family who have made it their business to go about undermining the 10-month old government of the NPP. "We have to work with the NPP towards neutralising the NDC," he said, "so that the united Nkrumahists can form the next main opposition and eventually the government."
This is in contrast with the statement from the CPP (UK and Eire), which declared that the honeymoon with the NPP is over, published in The Accra Mail last week. It underscores the Nkrumahist problem of lack of cohesion in addressing Ghana's contemporary politics, and may yet prove a sticky point for Nkrumahist unity.
The full text of the US Nkrumahist group statement is published below:
"We, the members of the United Group of North America, have learned, with great satisfaction, the decision of the three Nkrumahists Political Parties in Ghana (namely, the Convention Peoples Party, the Peoples National Convention, and the National Reform Party) to work towards unity.
It should be obvious to all Ghanaians at home and abroad that the vision the founder of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, had for our nation can only be accomplished by a political party with a progressive orientation. As
presently constituted, the various Nkrumahists parties by themselves will
have difficulties capturing the support of the broad masses of Ghanaians.
That is why we are encouraged by the decision of the three parties to foster a sense of unity among them. A united Nkrumahists Party is what Ghana needs for an effective economic, political, and social take off in the 21st Century.
As we congratulate the leadership of the three parties for their bold initiative, we urge them to proceed with great dispatch towards unification.
We stand ready to support this effort with all our might and will. Long Live the Solidarity of all Nkrumahists."
Since Ghana reverted to multiparty politics in 1992, after a decade of PNDC military rule, the political groups professing the outlook of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah have found it impossible to unite as one party to contest the three general elections held so far. The encouragement from North America is based on talks that were initiated a couple of months ago towards the unity of the Nkrumahist parties mentioned.
In the last election, the party which earned the right, through a court decision to bear the name of Nkrumah's CPP was almost wiped out earning only one seat in the 200-seat parliament. With the support of the NPP, that single CPP MP in the House, the Honourable Freddie Blay is now the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
Through politics of inclusion, President Kufuor has appointed key members of the CPP to influential positions in his government. The Presidential Candidate of the CPP in Election 2000, Professor Hagan, now heads the prestigious National Commission on Culture. Dr. Kwesi Nduom, one of the most charismatic and able CPP leaders is a minister and rising star in the Kufuor administration. Kwesi Armah, who lost his seat in the last election has been made a District Chief Executive and Kabral Blay Amihere, a distinguished journalist with impeccable Nkrumahist credentials has been made High Commissioner to the highly sensitive diplomatic station of Sierra Leone.
A healthy relationship therefore has been engendered between the successors of the two founding political traditions of Ghana's independence. A relationship many Nkrumahists would like to see grow but which some fringe elements in the noisier side of the Nkrumahist tradition would like to destroy, even if that would eventually benefit the NDC.