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Opinions of Sunday, 22 May 2011

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

CPP Shadow Cabinet Member Jantuah Misunderstands Party Politics

The Convention Peoples’ Party chaired and led by Ladi Nylander formally resolved to form a Shadow Cabinet to state policy alternatives to the ruling Government, shadow current government Ministers and give themselves opportunity to learn to govern.

Several CPP members put their name forward to become members of the CPP Shadow Cabinet of which one is Kwame Jantuah. Concurrently as the CPP in Ghana resolved to now give political direction to Ghana in its innovative Shadow Cabinet resolution, Richmond Nii Akomfrah, Chairman of CPP UK, the Branch from which a member led the call for the formation of the Shadow Cabinet, resolved to support the CPP for Government as General Secretary.

Instead of welcoming the CPP UK Chairman’s initiative and focusing and concentrating on giving political direction to the CPP Shadow Cabinet team, Kwame Jantuah wants to be General Secretary of CPP. This decision of Kwame Jantuah clearly shows he is not fit to be the General Secretary of CPP; he lacks the intellectual political capacity to understand that the role of a Shadow Cabinet Minister to give political direction to rebuilding Ghana in the portfolio of a substantive Minster of Energy shadowing the current Minister is a role that must not be abandoned to play a party function as head of its administration.

His lack of the intellectual capacity to understand the difference is evidence that in party office he lacks what it takes to make important political decisions. I am therefore calling on Ghanaians and CPP Members to take all legitimate steps to ensure that Kwame Jantuah does not become the General Secretary of CPP.

By Christian Agbodza

Background:

The CPP formation of a Shadow Cabinet followed the public call for the CPP to form one by Christian Agbodza.

He reminded the CPP that the best way to form a government is to form a government; the best way to demonstrate credibility is to demonstrate it; the best way to learn to govern a country is go govern it and if not in office shadow the government in office.

Before the CPP’s formation of a Shadow Cabinet, Spokespersons, who had been appointed and/or elected and/or nominated by the CPP to speak on various issues, said nothing on nothing.

This oddity of Spokespersons of an Opposition party and of an Opposition simply presenting Spokespersons was not lost on some.

One of those on whom it was not lost was Richmond Nii Akomfrah then Chairman of CPP UK. Under changing, difficult and personally unrewarding party circumstances he led CPP in the UK and gave some measure of dedicated leadership to CPP in Ghana. Since the fall of the PNP over the years it became basically unattractive to hold positions in the CPP or fight for the progressive policies that made CPP; in those conditions those who came to hold leading positions saw it as a bargaining tool to extract benefits from the winning party.

In these circumstances Christian called Richmond’s attention for a Shadow Cabinet and together they discussed the need for “political leadership”. The problem was the unique circumstances that led CPP to appoint the same person both leader and chairman. As the discussion evolved and Christian, a member of CPP UK & Ireland, led the debate for the formation of a CPP, it was Richmond who supported the CPP’s formation of a Shadow Cabinet. Richmond clarified his position on the political purposes for CPP and soon resolved to join CPP in Ghana in the position of General Secretary to help the political effort.

The reason was very simple. In all political struggles there come rare moments hard to distinguish but fatal to let slip when all is set on a hazard and out of the ordinary man is ordained strength. Such a decisive moment was Saltpond prior to the formation of CPP. Such a moment is today when Ghana our beloved Country must choose between a two party liberal-conservative domination of the NPP-NDC on one hand and a progressive CPP on the other hand. The former represents reactionary forces and the latter represents revolutionary forces at the heart of which are the Youth of Ghana.

CPP like Nii Akomfrah believes it must: "Place the young at the head of the insurgent masses; you do not know what strength is latent in those young bands, what magic influence the voices of the young have on the crowd; you will find in them a host of apostles for the new religion. But youth lives on movement, grows great in enthusiasm and faith. Consecrate them with a lofty mission; inflame them with emulation and praise; spread through their ranks the word of fire, the word of inspiration; speak to them of country, of glory, of power, of great memories."

One of such Youth who answered the revolutionary call to prepare CPP for Government is Kwame Jantuah, who came forward to take up a position in the CPP Shadow Cabinet as the CPP Shadow Cabinet Member for Energy. As matters have evolved and made clear Kwame Jantuah does not understand what it means to be a Shadow Cabinet Member.

In effect Kwame Jantuah is a Minister of the 4th Republic of Ghana in waiting. The emerging importance of energy and of oil in the economy of Ghana puts Kwame Jantuah’s Shadow Energy Ministry and his Ministerial position in sharp focus; some might even argue that it makes him the most important Minister in the CPP Shadow Cabinet team in terms of current, tactical and strategic issues and the progressive transformation of the Ghanaian economy. But Kwame Jantuah does not understand this at all. It washes over him like a political duck in political waters. He has no political clue.

The logical development if Kwame Jantuah understood his Shadow Ministerial Office is for Kwame Jantuah to take up his role with commitment, enthusiasm and dedication. An important part of such a role would be taking the message of CPP’s alternative energy policy to the people of Ghana region by region if not village by village. When that is complete Kwame will then take the message to African countries starting from, perhaps, Nigeria and begin to Champion and put CPP back into the formation and profession of a Pan African energy policy.

When Kwame Jantuah has finished touring African countries he will then take his message to Ghanaians living in other Continents and Energy institutions in the Middle East, America, Europe and Russia amongst others. He would already have organised an Alternative Energy Symposium in the UK for instance following the NDC meeting in which members of GNPC came to London. Self-confidence arising from the fundamental belief in pan Africanism, justice and self determination is the spring of action.

In short he will be building on the legacy of the Jantuah family’s contribution to the CPP and Ghana, the rebuilding/resuscitation of the CPP brand and carving like a political artist a niche for his own political career in the transformation of Ghana and Africa to match the Akomfrah family love for CPP-Ghana.

But Kwame Jantuah has no clue. He does not understand what it means to be a Shadow Cabinet Minister. He does not understand that he is in effect a Minister from a party that has more class and historical credibility than both NDC-NPP and has the CPP record to challenge the performance of both (P) NDC-(P) NPP in office since illegal overthrow of PNP (CPP) in1981. He has no clue in his mind, understanding and political vision the immense opportunities being a Shadow Cabinet Energy member gives him and others.

Kwame Jantuah instead wants to be the General Secretary of a political party. He wants to hold an administrative position in CPP to organise Central Committee meetings and to take party minutes. Astonishing! This lack of intellectual grasp of the profound difference between a party position and the political position of a Cabinet Minister is why Kwame Jantuah is in my view not fit to be the General Secretary of the Convention Peoples’ Party.

In short he lacks the intellectual understanding of the importance of political matters in distinction to party matters. He lacks the intellectual capacity to realise what he is today. Such a man will lack the same in the position of General Secretary.

Under his general secretaryship CPP will not advance politically precisely because he does not understand what it means to hold a political position. The formation of a CPP GOG is the rationale of CPP as a party; its political mobilisation by CPP politicians is one of the most important tasks today. Kwame Jantuah wants to be General Secretary instead of embracing Richmond Nii Akomfrah’s historic decision to leave all and help the party and the Shadow CPP GOG.

Notes

Christian abandoned the use of his name Kwami Agbodza because the NDC UK Vice Chairman Kwame Agbodza had the same name and was causing political confusion in the minds of the public.

(1) The article CPP Must Form a Shadow Government Now is available here:

http://mobile.ghanaweb.com/wap/article.php?ID=168346

(2) CPP’s Alternative Energy Policy vision for Ghana that Kwame Jantuah should have been concentrating on if he had a clue: Kwame Jantuah Energy Statement as CPP Shadow Cabinet Member for Energy

(3) Richmond Nii Akomfrah for CPP General Secretary: See Akomfrah Campaign Centre