Politics of Tuesday, 4 September 2012
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) on Tuesday reacted to a number of issues raised by Former President John Agyekum Kufuor when he delivered a speech at a forum organized by the Danquah Institute in Accra recently.
A press release signed by Nii Armah Akomfrah, Director of Communications of CPP and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said even though the subject matter of the ex-President’s presentation referred to “Empowering the People to Develop,” they in the CPP did not find any designed strategies for empowering the people, as the former President sought to imply.
“The presentation insisted that the PP/NPP has been consistent on its principles for multiparty democracy.
“We are aware, however, that the PP/NPP Government supervised the banning of the CPP immediately after the 1966 Coup to the extent that it was even a crime to hold an effigy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah or for that matter anything that bore any relation to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP. It was illegal to hold or possess Dr. Nkrumah’s Pictures, T-Shirt, Coins, Book, etc”, it stated.
The CPP also took issue with Former President Kufuor’s assertion in the said lecture that the Progress Party Government only assumed power in 1969, and argued that Dr. K.A Busia became the Chief Political Advisor to the NLC Government (National Liberation Council) led by General Ankrah in 1966.
The entire principal Commissioners (Ministers) were made of prominent Progress Party members, the CPP argued, saying that when Dr Busia assumed power in 1969 those prominent members who had held ministerial positions in the NLC Government changed their designations from Commissioners to Ministers.
“General Ankrah who led the NLC publicly stated that the Army had no political experience and, therefore, left the management of the country in the hands of Dr. Busia who was a ‘de facto’ Prime Minister of the NLC and his Party. This means that, the NPP/PP had three years under General Ankrah bringing their cumulative tenure to thirteen and half years instead of the ten years as claimed by President Kufuor.”
According to the release, Former President Kufuor also stated in the said presentation that “we do not need natural resources to develop a Nation.” To this, the CPP countered that natural resources determined the human capital required exploiting and utilizing the God-given resources of a nation.
It contended that if the people had no capacity to develop and put value on the natural resources, the people were powerless and development would not take place.
“In fact, this is the state in which we are as a nation. Probably, it is the misunderstanding of this axiom that made it difficult for the NPP to move Ghana to a much higher stage than we are” said the release, adding “This is why the CSIR, during that period, did not receive sufficient empowerment.”
It observed that the people’s welfare and well-being depended on their capacity to efficiently harness and utilize their natural resources, and that both the NPP and NDC had relied tremendously on the human capital principally created by the Dr. Nkrumah Government.
It explained that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP did not start the establishment of State Enterprises which were actually created by the British Colonial Government when it established the Industrial Development Cooperation as far back as 1947.
It further pointed out that all nations apart from the United States, started with the establishment of State Enterprises before they subsequently denationalized, and that the CPP government was doing exactly what the Chinese too had done to reach where they were today.
“Developing a nation is a process and modern wealth can only be created by people with knowledge, technology and financial power. In 1950, Ghana had over 90% illiteracy. There was no way that our people could be used as private sector engines to develop this country without massive state intervention. To criticise the CPP for using that strategy is certainly an under-estimation of the forces militating against wealth creation by un-empowered people”, the release argued.
Therefore, it was misleading for the subsequent Governments to claim that they had done better than the CPP by totally ignoring the value of the human capital created by the CPP within its relatively short reign, it stated.
It said Ghana had a better structure of the economy during the CPP’s tenure of office than any other party, and that both the NDC and NPP collapsed the industrial infrastructure of Ghana by selling out the entire establishment that dealt with production, including shoe, tyre and glass factories.
The release further argued that the country suffered from four major decisions taken by the Busia Government when it took power from the NLC Government, citing specifically the Alien’s Compliance Order; the privatization of cocoa purchases; the introduction of the Open General License that allowed mass importation of goods into the country, and the Sallah Case which created great uncertainty and hostility among public servants resulting in strikes nationwide.
It faulted the Busia Government for cutting off trade and aid relations with Soviet Bloc Countries which incidentally were the financiers of all the major projects in Ghana at that time, including the Bui Dam, Takwa Gold Refinery, Tamale International Airport, Abosso Glass Factory and the Aveyime Tannery. Others were the Kumasi Shoe Factory, Tema Dry Dock, Atomic Energy, Prefabricated Housing Project, Bonsah Tyre Factory, Saltpond Ceramics, Tomato Processing Factory in Bolgatanga.
The release therefore called on Ghanaians to be conscious of these historical antecedents and vote the CPP back to power to lift the country out of its current difficulties.