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Opinions of Friday, 1 February 2008

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

CPP Is A Dirty Party By Design!

Had he checked the history of the original Convention People’s Party before presuming to pay his courtesy call on the Omanhene (or paramount-king) of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom would have remarkably toned down his political rhetoric and sophistry.

Then again, whoever expected a desperate and fairly well-heeled businessman bent on buying out the Ghanaian presidency, exclusively for himself, to humbly and even briefly pause to read a page or two on, unarguably, the most divisive, dictatorial, extortionate, wasteful and destructive political party and government in the history of postcolonial Ghana?
Had he done his homework, Paa Kwesi Nduom would also have learned to his horror that the very fabric of the CPP, from its expedient and opportunistic adoption of the name Convention People’s Party, to its shameless introduction of baseless rumors and outright lies into the mainstream of Ghanaian politics, makes his party one that ought to be shunned by every intelligent and well-meaning Ghanaian voter and citizen.
Paa Kwesi would also have learned that Mr. Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, arguably the most important lieutenant of the African Show Boy, once served jail time for unconscionably fabricating lies against Dr. J. B. Danquah, the Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics. Then also, the rump-CPP presidential candidate would have learned to his utter embarrassment, that is if the Komenda native is possessed of a good conscience, that in 1958, President Nkrumah spent an estimated £ 120,000 (One-Hundred and Twenty-Thousand Pounds Sterling) of the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money to construct a statue which, ironically, the putative African Show Boy caused to be erected in the forecourt of Ghana’s National Assembly.
Thus, it is not exactly clear just what Dr. Nduom, an American-trained business executive means when he says, rather cynically, that “the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party have played their various parts in advancing the nation’s democracy and that the time has come for Ghanaians to give the CPP the chance to contribute its quota” ( 12/26/07).
First of all, some levelheaded Ghanaian citizen needs to remind the evidently amnesiac Dr. Nduom of the fact that the latter only recently concluded a two-term ministerial service with the New Patriotic Party government of President J. A. Kufuor, all the while conveniently ignoring the need to haunch down the proverbial trenches with the likes of Messrs. Aggudey, Akwetey and Akosah, among others, as a matter of principle, in building up the ramshackle institutional apparatus of the rump-CPP.
In essence, Dr. Nduom has demonstrated himself to be pathologically self-centered, choosing instead to build up his resume even as others got their hands dirty and greasy, in order for him to use his money to ride roughshod over the shoulders of his fellow journeymen and women, as he recently did before media cameras, following his quite curious election as the CPP’s presidential candidate for Election 2008.
In sum, our firm contention here is that having served two terms in the Kufuor cabinet, as Energy and Public-Sector Reform minister, Paa Kwesi Nduom has already had the privileged opportunity of contributing his quota to the advancement of Ghanaian democracy. So why is the rump-CPP presidential candidate trying to opportunistically hoodwink Ghanaian voters into envisaging him as the new precocious toddler or prodigy on the block, except his being possessed of the sort of inordinate greed and megalomania of which prospective and potential dictators are made?
More significantly must be pointed out to Ghanaian voters the fact that the CPP, under its founding Life-Chairman, President Kwame Nkrumah, had a whopping 15 years to contribute its quota to the democratic and economic development of Ghana; instead, needless to say, the CPP ended up not only bankrupting the Ghanaian economy but even more significantly, cavalierly trampling the fundamental human rights of the very people that, like Paa Kwesi Nduom, enthusiastically carried then-Prime Minister Nkrumah shoulder-high onto the old Polo Grounds, where today the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum imperiously looms, making a mockery of nonesuch and pioneering Ghanaian statesmen like Drs. Danquah, Busia, Asafu-Adjei and Messrs. William Ofori-Atta, Ako-Adjei and Obetsebi-Lamptey.
Indeed, as a one-time staunch Nkrumah associate, Justice Nii Amaah Ollennu, wrote in his foreword to Dr. T. Peter Omari’s classic treatise, Kwame Nkrumah: The Anatomy of an African Dictatorship, on the eve of the auspicious ouster of the CPP, on February 24, 1966, Ghanaians could neither be objectively nor accurately described as either enjoying a constitutional democracy or living in a free country. In sum, Kwame Nkrumah’s CPP had practically undermined the very basis of our body politic, as solemnly etched onto Ghana’s coat-of-arms: “Freedom and Justice.”
In essence, what makes Dr. Nduom’s neo-Nkrumaist agenda for Ghana appear to be immitigably dangerous is its outright fanatical superficiality. For instance, beyond its utterly rankling symbolism, exactly what does the CPP presidential candidate expect Ghanaians to learn from Dr. Nduom’s rather clownish decking of his faux Kente cloth and white undershirt, or jumpers, in the manner of the incurably Eurocentric President Nkrumah, who once proclaimed his immutable and intransigent desire and single-minded objective of totally extirpating Ghana’s indispensable and civilized institution of the monarchy? Back then, in typical neocolonialist parlance, the African Show Boy vowed to make traditional Ghanaian rulers flee their towns and villages by “leaving their sandals behind.” It was thus, ironically, a godsend that this virulently sworn enemy of Ghanaian culture should himself be forced to savor a taste of his own heretical decoction.
Thus, for those of us who have a scholastic, or reflective, appreciation of Nkrumah’s regime and the latter’s untold damage, ironically, to the African Personality, Paa Kwesi Nduom’s quixotic attempt to reprise ideological Nkrumaism cannot be other than unforgivably depraved and outright genocidal. For Nkrumah’s pernicious and far-reaching war against the august institution of the Ghanaian monarchy, a damage whose deleterious effects continue to reverberate across the length and breadth of Ghanaian society, eerily reminds one of German chancellor Adolf Hitler’s so-called Final Solution for European Jewry. And let no one forget the fact that, indeed, Nkrumah’s Young Pioneers’ Movement was squarely patterned on Hitler’s terrorist youth organization of the same name. What is more, the putative African Show Boy was an unabashed neo-Nazi.

*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 the author of “When Dancers Play Historians and Thinkers,” a forthcoming essay collection on postcolonial Ghanaian politics. E-mail:

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