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Opinions of Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

CPP Freedom Forum is an Oxymoron

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

One may legitimately associate any number of positive attributes with the rump-Convention People’s Party (CPP), however grossly exaggerated such attributes may be. Still, it goes without saying that “Freedom,” capitalized or lower-cased, is not a salient positive quality that can be legitimately and truthfully associated with the CPP, other than during the brief interim between 1951 and 1957, when the British colonial operatives provided tutelage to the then-Life Chairman of the communist-leaning Convention People’s Party, in hopeless hopes of instilling a salutary modicum of democratic cultural orientation to a government eerily piloted by a budding and direly calculating autocrat.
And so when it was recently advertised in the media that “In response to the growing public support and the deepening of the national goodwill towards the Convention People’s Party, the Chairperson and Leader of [the] CPP and the National Secretariat of the Convention People’s Party (CPP)[ were] pleased to sponsor and initiate the launching on Friday, November 4, 2011 of its first Friday Freedom Forum (FFF) at the CPP Headquarters from 6-9pm,” I immediately recognized the foregoing for the damn and wicked lie that it indisputably was.
First of all, scarcely a fortnight ago, Ms. Samia Yaba Nkrumah, the Chairperson and Leader of the rump-Convention People’s Party, was widely reported in the media to be bitterly lamenting the fact that the half-heartedly revived party that her father originally built had been almost totally deserted by the Ghanaian electorate. This grim observation could not have been more accurate. And the fact that the key operatives of the three, or so, splinter Nkrumaist political parties do not seem to be able to unify and rally around a consensus candidate, clearly indicates that in terms of an enviable institutional legacy, the CPP patriarch left pretty little of which any of his genuine admirers and disciples could be reasonably proud.
Couple the foregoing with the fact that Ms. Nkrumah’s traction inheres primarily in the fact of her mere physical resemblance to her late father and, even more significantly, the reckless willingness of political pimps like Messrs. Papa Kwesi Nduom and Agyeman-Badu Akosa to use the wild-eyed Ms. Nkrumah to further their personal ambitions and aspirations, and the pictorial and sinister reality could not be more ugly. Such abject opportunism, of course, is nothing new. In the mid-1970s, for example, there was a conspiratorial Nkrumah fanatic by the name of Mr. Kankam Da Costa, who deliriously fancied himself overthrowing the Nkrumah-leaning Acheampong government, installing himself as president and, you guessed right, Nkrumah’s avatar, and making the then-barely out-of-her-teens Ms. Nkrumah his “incestuous” first lady.
At any rate, it is not clear precisely what these rump-CPP propagandists mean when they talk of their party having “recently” registered a “growing public support and a deepening national goodwill” (See “Samia Nkrumah to Launch CPP Friday Freedom Forum” 10/28/11), when with barely a year to enter the polling booth for Election 2012, the rump-CPP has yet to settle on a presidential candidate, much less speak of posing a formidable challenge to any of the two major political parties, especially the Rawlings-minted ruling National Democratic Congress, a remarkable percentage of whose key operatives claim to be bona fide ideological scions of the late pioneering dictator.
I suppose the cheaply alliterative “Friday Freedom Forum” has something to do with the bitter history of the original, Nkrumah-led CPP, something which the party’s publicists would have done themselves and their supporters and sympathizers a lot of good to have nostalgically highlighted. Then we also learn, to our quite great amusement, that, indeed, the CPP Choir takes its acronym, or the initial letters of its name, from the Lincolnesque-American mantra of “Choir of the People by the People.”

So, the real question becomes: Who do these cynical Muscovites think they are fooling, in this global cybernetic age? Democracy-loving Ghanaians or themselves? The answer, of course, is best known to themselves!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (, 2008). E-mail: