Feature Article of Saturday, 8 July 2006
Columnist: Jeffrey, Peter
As the infighting among former friends in the leading political parties in Ghana continues, a united CPP candidate stands a fighting chance of wrestling the presidency from the NPP.
In 1979 under the able leadership of Late Alhaji Imoro Egala, Krobo Edusia and other pupils of late Dr Nkrumah, the Nkrumaist candidate, Dr Hilla Liman, then a career diplomat and an unknown politician among many Ghanaians won the popular mandate from the well organised Busia-Danquah candidate Victor Owusu. The organisational skills of the late Nkrumaists leaders were the key to that historic victory, considering the fact that the party was banned from participating in any elections from 1966 until 1979.
The Nkrumaists grassroots organisational skills is legendary, skills the late leaders learnt from the old man. The 2000 CPP alliance with other groupings to support a single candidate was a mistake that might take a good decade to correct. However with the number of people intending to stand as independents has presented a very good opportunity to the leadership of all the Nkrumaists parties to unite and present a unity candidate. A candidate who understands can make eradication of poverty and job creation his agenda to help alleviate the hardships Ghanaians are currently going through.
The key battlegrounds are the 3 Northern Regions and Central and Western Regions. This is where the presidential elections would be decided. Currently (that is if the Nkrumaists parties contest the elections with more than one candidate) only Dr Arthur Ebo Kobina Kennedy, an aspiring presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party stand a better chance of capturing the 5 regions mentioned (based on intelligence analysis seen by this writer). The question is, does Kennedy stand a chance of winning the NPP primaries?
The same report also states that a united Nkrumaist candidate can wrestle the presidency from the any candidate the NPP elects as their flag bearer in the second round run off. So far only Osahene Kojo Boakye Djan has declared his intention of standing as the united Nkrumaists candidate. There are others who may declare their intention to stand closer to the primaries. However the most pressing issue confronting the Nkrumaists groupings is the lack of unity among them. And it is this very disunity seen by the Ghanaian people as a party not taken serious and thus not fit to govern the country.
The only person who is trying to hold the family together is Dr Edmund Delle and the Diaspora CPP leadership. The defection by certain leading members in Ghana is seriously undermining the party. Sadly the old guards, people like Alhaji Egala, Kwesi Armah, Ambrose Yankey, Krobo Edusia and others who learned the skills of party organisation and unity from Dr Kwame Nkrumah are all gone.
The only way the CPP can entice their members who joined the NPP and the NDC home is to unite and present a candidate who is acceptable to the people, someone who would put the interests of the Ghanaian people first and foremost.
Osahene Kojo Boakye Djan, a leading member of the CPP and onetime second in command of the AFRC junta that conducted the first free and fair elections in Ghana, is the only CPP candidate to present his personal manifesto to the Ghanaian people. Kojo Boakye Djan might not be the preferred or acceptable candidate to the various factions of the Nkrumaists groupings, but at least he has made an effort to force the party to smoke the peace pipe and unite.
For the sake of safeguarding our two party systems in Ghana based on the Danquah-Busia groupings and the Nkrumaists groupings, this writer is directly appealing to Dr Edmund Delle, Dr Edward Mahama and Mr Dan Lartey to call a unity conference in Accra. The essence of this unity conference should be based on mutual respect and for the sake of safeguarding the economic agenda of late Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Despite their differences the unity of the Danquah-Busia groupings has stood the test of time. Their unity is intact. Sadly the same cannot be said of the party once cherish by every Ghanaian school child based on Dr Nkrumah’s principles of Unity and Freedom.
The party founded by Dr Nkrumah at Saltpond, Central Region should not be left to die. Everyone knows the majority of the NDC memberships are Nkrumaists. CPP is their natural home. The only way Ghana can progress is to have a vibrant 2 party system based on the principles of J.B.Danquah/Kofi Busia and Dr Kwame Nkrumah.