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Opinions of Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Columnist: Nana Kwadwo Akwaa

Chronology of the tradition of the United Party

Flag of the New Patriotic Party Flag of the New Patriotic Party

The article was authored on 15th August 2017 by Nana Kwadwo Akwaa, a member of Critical Thinkers International (CTI) under the title; “History of The New Patriotic Party (NPP)”, and reviewed on 28th July 2021 under the above heading.

1. The Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was formed on 4th August 1897. It was formed to protect the traditional land tenure practices of the indigenous Gold Coast people from being usurped by the colonial government of Britain. Some of its Co-founders were John Mensah Sarbah, J.E Casely Hayford, J.W Sey, J.P Brown, and others, with some of its Presidents being J.W Sey, J.P Brown, and Kobina Sekyi.

2. The ARPS disintegrated, synthesized, and through that, metamorphosed into the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).

Reason: Paa Grant, a member of ARPS proposed to Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah to include some of the former members of ARPS in the newly to be formed UGCC since they had already started a similar movement.

Note, a very staunch member of ARPS, J.W. Degraft-Johnson was the General Secretary of UGCC as at 6th September 1947, Kwame Nkrumah only came to take over as its General Secretary from December 1947 after his trip to Ghana had been fully paid by the members of the UGCC.

Kwame Nkrumah remained its General Secretary until based on some disagreements, he finally left, and together with some like-minded people formed a party called the Convention People's Party (CPP) in June 1949. He remained the leader of CPP from its formation until he was finally overthrown as the President of Ghana in February 1966.

UGCC was formed on 4th August 1947, its Leader was Dr. J.B Danquah, and the chairman was Paa Grant who was also the biggest financier of the Party/Movement.

3. UGCC disintegrated, synthesized, and through that, metamorphosed into Ghana Congress Party (GCP).

After UGCC lost the 1951 elections against the CPP, it disintegrated, and some of its members joined GCP. It was formed in June 1952, and its leader was Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia.

4. GCP disintegrated, synthesized, and through that, metamorphosed into the National Liberation Movement (NLM). NLM is a party that broke away from the CPP due to its dissatisfaction with the CPP government's treatment of Akans and some policies such as the opposition of the CPP government to a federal form of government.

The Party was formed in 1954, its founder and leader were Okyeame Baffour Akoto. The Party was later joined by political stalwarts like Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, Dr. K. A Busia, among others from the GCP, and Victor Owusu, Reginald Reynolds Amponsah, Joe Appiah, among others, from the CPP.

5. NLM metamorphosed into the United Party (UP) after it synthesized with some other political parties such as the Northern People's Party (NPP), Anlo Youth Organisation (AYO), Muslim Association Party (MAP), Togoland Congress, and Ga Shifimokpee. The Party was formed in 1957.

The major parties during the formation of UP were the NLM and Northern People’s Party (NPP). The founder of NLM was Okyeame Baffour Akoto and the founder of Northern People’s Party (NPP) was Chief Simon Diedong Dombo. After the formation of UP, Dr. J.B Danquah was the leader and led the party in the first-ever Presidential elections on Wednesday 27th April 1960. The winner of the 1960 Ghanaian Presidential elections was Kwame Nkrumah; leader of CPP, making him the first President of the First (1st) Republic of Ghana.

6. Under the Second (2nd) Republic of Ghana, UP developed into the Progress Party (PP). This was after the overthrow of the Kwame Nkrumah-led CPP Government by some perceived UP elements led by Major General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka and Lieutenant General Akwasi Amankwaa Africa. This signaled the end of the First Republic of Ghana.

The PP was formed in 1969. The Party’s leader was Dr. Abrefa Busia. Dr. Busia became the Prime Minister and Edward Akufo-Addo the Ceremonial President of Ghana after the August 1969 General Elections.

7. Under the Third (3rd) Republic of Ghana, PP metamorphosed into the Popular Front Party (PFP). This was after the overthrow of Lieutenant General Fredrick William Kwasi Akuffo.

PFP was formed in 1979, its leader was Victor Owusu.

It is worthy of note that, after the PFP Presidential Aspirants’ elections, there was a split that resulted in the formation of the United National Convention (UNC) out of the PFP. The split was a result of some misunderstandings between some key members of the PFP. After the split, the key members of UNC were General Afrifa, R. R. Amponsah, J. Y. Manu, Judge Isaac Richard Aboagye, Justice Nicholas Yaw Boafo, among others, and the flagbearer of the Party was William Ofori Atta. The key members of PFP were as well Jones Ofori Atta, Alhaji Yakubu Tali, Kwadwo Okyere Mpianim, John Kufuor, Nana Kofi Obiri Egyiri, among others, and the flagbearer of the Party was Victor Owusu.

After the 1979 General elections, Dr. Hilla Limann, the Flagbearer of the People National Party (PNP) emerged as the winner due to UNC’s support of PNP instead of PFP during the second round of the elections. William Ofori Atta became the Chairman of the Council Of State Elders, and Dr. Limann as well-appointed some other UNC members to man other positions. Due to this breakaway of UNC from PFP, UNC is not considered as a legacy of the UP tradition.

After the defeat, PFP merged with some other political parties to form the All People's Party (APP), its leader was Victor Owusu. It was however banned after the 1981 coup by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) which overthrew the PNP Limann Led Government. The leader of PNDC was Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings.

After the 1981 coup, some members of PFP/APP like J. A. Kufuor, Dr. Obed Asamoah, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama, and many others joined PNDC in their rule.

8. Under the Fourth (4th) Republic, PFP finally metamorphosed into the New Patriotic Party (NPP). NPP was formed in July 1992 with Professor Albert Adu Boahen as the Party’s first Flagbearer. The Party lost its first election in 1992 to Jerry John Rawlings; leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to form the first government under the Fourth Republic. The NPP later won the 2000 and 2004 General Elections under former President John Agyekum Kufuor as its flagbearer, and also, as the Party’s first flagbearer to win a general election for the UP tradition under the Fourth Republic.

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Hhhmm, may God be praised always