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Politics of Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Source: The Statesman

CPP Infighting: Nduom Hits Back at Akosa

The Nduom for President 08 Campaign Team ordinarily would not respond to what Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa says about the CPP's 2008 campaign and about the Party itself in public, especially where it has come from since 1992. But we see danger around the corner that must be nipped in the bud. So this is just setting the records straight.

On the Metro TV program, “ Good Evening Ghana” on Thursday, March 4th, Professor Akosa stated among others words to the effect that: the CPP is fine but it chose the wrong leaders at the 2007 Congress; a one-man show campaign in 2008 led to disastrous results for the CPP; that the whole CPP 2008 campaign was a media hype; that there was a disconnect between the Flagbearer and the constituencies; and that the party will go to Congress soon to elect better executives to re-organise the party. He added that he can ensure the effective organization of the Party.

Many ordinary members of the CPP, those sometimes referred to as foot-soldiers, have bombarded us with calls to set the records straight. So, once again, this is only a matter of setting the records

straight. 1. Akosa and the CPP: A number of leading members of the CPP had tried over the years to get Prof. Akosa to join the Party. He was contacted in 2004. It is reported that he told them point blank that he would not join the Party, that he was minding his professional work as Director-General of the Ghana Health Service and that his father just happened to be a District Commissioner under the Nkrumah CPP Administration. He repeated later on a “Joy FM” program on air that he was not a CPP member and not interested in politics.

He and others decided after the 2004 elections, that they did not like the CPP that was there and so would form what they called the “CPP Patriots” to seize control of the Party and “…return it to its original glory”. For the records, we want to state that we do not see anything wrong with any group of persons getting together to strengthen the Party. Some of the “Patriots” chose the path of condemning the leadership and everyone they had come to meet.

The actions of a few of the Patriots turned out to be like that of what the leadership of the UGCC is often accused of – professors, lawyers, medical doctors, business people with big, big titles, money etc. To them, they could not lose. They felt entitled to the Party, to positions, to everything. They were the “big people with big names and titles”.

They formed the Patriots and Dr. Nduom formed the Movement. The Movement had regular people, workers, teachers, traders, students, etc as members. Yet the Patriots were afraid of the Movement and insinuated that a new Party was being formed to destroy the CPP. They campaigned that the people should reject Dr. Nduom because he had “joined the enemy, the NPP”. Of course, being new to the CPP, many did not know that it took a Party decision for the CPP to collaborate with the NPP in 2000 and result in Dr. Nduom, Kojo Armah, Kwesi Armah, Prof. Hagan, Hajia Adisa Munkaila and Kabral Blay Amihere serving the nation through the NPP Administration. Their efforts must not be destroyed in the same manner that the effort of our foot-soldiers was scattered in 2008.

2. CPP Congress: The CPP went to Congress in 2007 and the “ordinary” people voted for Dr. Nduom. And this is what Prof. Akosa and his supporters cannot reconcile themselves with. While we are on the matter of the 2007 Congress, we wish to set another record straight. Prof. Akosa and his supporters often say that the delegates were bribed. Indeed, the delegates at the Congress will confirm the fact that it was the Akosa Patriots who gave a piece of the Kwame Nkrumah cloth and money to the delegates. They took those gifts but voted their conscience!

3. One-Man Show: To begin with, we wish to continue to show appreciation to all those who supported the campaign and actively participated in it. Most of the regional executives of the Party enthusiastically supported the campaign. Their frustration most of the time was the inability to raise funds to provide t-shirts, flags, transportation and pocket money to our members and supporters. In particular, the Ashanti Regional Chairman, Mr. S. K. Danso, the Greater Accra Chairman, Susan Adu-Amankwah and the Central Region Chairman, Mr. Edu Ansah were most active with their support. Also, Dr. Kwaku Osafo who competed for the Flagbearer position in 2007 wholeheartedly worked with the Flagbearer during the campaign. Mr. Mike Eghan and many others accompanied the Flagbearer on campaign trips throughout the country. Indeed, the Nduom for President 08 team together with the National Campaign Team organized regional rallies beginning with the highly successful Kwame Nkrumah Circle national rally held on September 21, 2008. The Parliamentary Candidates of the CPP were introduced at these regional rallies. All of Ghana knows how vigorous and enthusiastic the CPP's campaign was until after September 21st when internal forces conspired with our competitors to pour a huge amount of sand in the gari of our hard working “ordinary” members. Many of the CPP foot-soldiers are waiting for him to tell him face to face what they think of his 2008 antics. For the record, we wish to state that we are gratified by the unifying stance taken by Mr. Bright Akwetey and others since the 2008 election. We know that there are many people working quietly to re-build the Party.

Prior to the 2007 Congress there was a special edition of “Good Evening Ghana” on Metro TV. On that program were Prof. Akosa, Dr. Osafo, Mr. Akwetey and Dr. Akuffo. When asked several times if he would support Dr. Nduom if his competitor won at Congress, Prof. Akosa declined to answer the question directly but showed then, that he would not participate in a CPP campaign if he lost the competition. We should have taken our cue from that program.

Prof Akosa has hidden the fact that the CPP's 2008 flagbearer, Dr. Nduom, accompanied by the Second Vice Chairman of the Party and National Campaign Chairman, Mr. Benyarko and David Ampofo went to his house to specifically ask him to join the campaign. Akosa refused.

When the time came for a running mate to be chosen, Dr. Nduom personally called Prof. Akosa who was then in London twice to ask him if he would be interested in being a running mate. Again, Akosa refused.

When he came back from London, Akosa refused again and again to join the campaign despite appeals from many quarters. He even refused to join the Ashanti Regional rally despite appeals from the Regional Executives and other leading members. Prof. Akosa's collaborators then coined the “…one man show” phrase he keeps repeating. The whole nation is aware of the orchestrated attacks weeks before the 2008 elections which featured the National Youth Organiser Kwabena Bomfeh and others. We want to emphasize the fact that this was a strategy designed to derail the campaign at a time they saw that it was flourishing. We know where they came from. While they thought they were destroying the Nduom Campaign, they have ended up killing the soul of many people as far as the CPP is concerned. If there is a “one man show” in the CPP, it is Agyeman Badu Akosa who must win or destroy everything in his path.

In contrast, when the Party disagreed with Dr. Nduom's strategy to focus on 50 parliamentary seats in 2004 and he was accused of sabotaging the CPP's presidential campaign, he did not run away abroad. He did not go into hiding in Ghana. He went to his constituency and won the KEEA seat not for the NPP or the NDC, but for the CPP. In addition, Dr. Nduom travelled to all the ten regions to campaign for CPP parliamentary candidates.

In 2009, during the Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Celebration at the Memorial Park, an attempt was made to bring a number of the leading members of the CPP together at that Park. A photograph was organized to be taken of the 2007 flagbearer aspirants and others as a show of togetherness. Again, Prof. Akosa refused to be part of that team.

Furthermore, in a meeting with the CPP's Council of Elders, Prof. Akosa is reported to have said that had Dr. Nduom won the 2008 election, he would have gone into voluntary exile!

4. CPP Chose the Wrong Leaders in 2007: When we consider the fact that the majority of the national executives elected at congress in 2007 were supported by Prof. Akosa, then the mischief in the battle he has been waging against the leadership of the Party becomes evident. The 1st Vice Chairman Dr. Abu Sakara was a member of the Patriots. Mr. K. Benyarko, the 2nd Vice Chairman was a member. The National Organiser was in that group. The Women's Organiser was there and so was the National Youth Organiser. For the avoidance of doubt, out of the 9 executives elected at Congress, he supported 5 to win as against 2 that Dr. Nduom supported to win. So who does he want to lead the

Party? After the congress, Prof. Akosa wanted to be the Chairman of the Organisation Committee of the Party. He was offered the position of Chairman of the Health & Human Services Committee of the Party. He wrote a letter to reject that position. In effect, if Akosa does not get what he wants, he rejects, sulks and tears everything apart – something he has been doing since the December, 2007 Congress of the Party.

5. Going to Congress: Lately, Prof. Akosa has been going from influential person to influential person telling them that the CPP does not have the money with which to properly organize the Party from the polling station up. Therefore, he wants the Party to go to an early Congress using the existing constituency, regional and national officers as the delegates. The question is, which constituency and regional officers does Akosa want to take to his Congress? The NPP and the NDC are not strong parties today by accident. Their leading members over the years have fought for their parties at the local level. Dr. Apraku, Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyeman , Nana Akufo-Addo , Papa Owusu-Ankomah , Mr. Osafo-Marfo and others in the NPP have helped build their party by contesting to become MPs. This is how they overcame not having a single MP in 1993 to become a contender for power in 1996.

NDC stalwarts like Dr. Kwabena Adjei, Asiedu Nketsia, Alban Bagbin , E.T. Mensah, Vice President John Mahama and others fought local battles to entrench the influence of their party. Since the 2008 elections, the NDC and NPP have worked diligently even in the midst of significant internal disagreements to successfully complete polling station organization and elections throughout the country. That is how come they are strong. Kwame Nkrumah, K. A. Gbedemah, Kojo Botsio and others who made the CPP popular fought local battles and sacrificed their time and comfort for their Party to win power.

rush to Congress. If the Party cannot find the money for polling station organization, then we should not waste anyone's time about the CPP. In fact, the cry should be, “No Polling Station Organisation, No Party, No Congress!”. The CPP has men and women who can fund its organization. If they choose to fund other parties, if they choose not to give their money to the center to build a strong foundation and will rather wait for Congress to bribe delegates, then there is certain death facing the Party. Nation-building is a serious matter for serious people. Those with bloated egos and who want to put talking ahead of sober reflection and deep consideration of the facts eventually, sooner or later become overwhelmed with reality. Kwame Nkrumah had an agenda, a will to sacrifice and worked hard to forge lasting friendships with his team mates. That is why people like Kojo Botsio stood by him. Those like Prof. Akosa who want to capitalize on Nkrumah's name and good works must realize that there is more to politics than reciting someone else's achievements. Credibility is not forced, it is earned and Prof. Akosa must learn that he cannot buy it by seeking through falsehoods to lower that of others.

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom's position is clear. He will NOT be part of any Congress that is organized by the CPP without a prior successful organization of credible polling station elections. He will NOT contest any position including that of flagbearer in the CPP if the Party does not find the resources to organize itself at the polling station level . He is leading by example. He has worked to ensure the successful organization of polling station executives and organized elections in his home constituency, KEEA and is supporting the Central Region Executives to spread this to other constituencies. He has donated funds to the National Party at the center for organization work. He has donated funds for the opening of offices in the Central, Ashanti Regions and specific constituencies in other regions.

It has been said that those who practice inferior tactics believe that by repeating falsehoods over and over again, they can gain advantage without working hard or doing the right things. They believe they can enjoy happiness without working for it. It will not work this time. This is also a warning to the few people who are going around the country to destroy all attempts to unite the CPP and bring all interest groups together that our people are tired of their divisive tactics. All of us should be seriously engaged in the task of party-building. So none of us should sow discontent and division.

Dr. Nduom has said to us repeatedly that he has forgiven those who through acts of omission and commission destroyed the CPP's 2008 campaign when it showed great promise. He wants to be a builder and a uniting force for the good of the Party and the nation. However, should we be provoked further, we have loads and loads of stuff to offload. This is if Prof. Akosa and his campaign team running around the country do not cease and desist from playing his brand of destructive, selfish politics.

We wish to ask Professor Akosa to stop the talk and join the team that wants to build a Party worthy of the name CPP. The CPP has suffered enough. Dr. Nduom has asked us to let all of Ghana know that he is ready to work with Prof. Akosa, Mr. Akwettey, Dr. Osafo, Dr. Sakara, Mrs. Adu-Amankwah, Miss Anabila and others to build a formidable, independent CPP. But it must be based on a foundation of truth and selflessness. We urge all those who want to help organize a credible and competitive party to come together and sacrifice to build an alternative to the NDC and the NPP. Finally, we wish to commend the efforts of all those who have remained committed to the cause of our fight to bring the principles of social justice, self-determination and Pan-Africanism to centre state in Ghanaian politics.

Forward Ever, Backward Never!

Richmond Lankwei Lamptey March 11, 2010