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Politics of Monday, 23 July 2007

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CPP Patriots Fire First Salvo

…as Party goes to Congress in August

The CPP Patriots, a collection of young Nkrumaists – lawyers, medical doctors, economists, engineers, financial gurus, farmers, and even herbalists – who have pledged to help turn around the Party’s fortunes in the next general elections, passed their first electoral test on July 14, 2007, when one of their staunchest members won the position of treasurer at the Tema West Constituency of the Greater Accra Region.

Mrs. Susan Adu-Amankwah, a research scientist at the Noguchi Research Institute at the University of Ghana and a vocal presence of the Patriots at all their public events, won the position unopposed, despite last-minute efforts by some regional and national party officials to scuttle her inevitable victory.

The victory automatically qualifies her to vote at the up-coming Party congress to elect new leaders for the party; the Patriots are still lobbying for a separate congress for a presidential candidate to avoid the confusion of the 2003 Congress, which elected George Opesika Aggudey and Edmund Delle into what many observers consider one of the most disastrous electoral records in Ghana’s political history, and certainly in the history of the CPP.

In the 2000 elections, the once-invincible CPP got only 3.0%. Under Dr. Edmund Delle and Mr. Aggudey in 2004, the party slipped further to 1.0%. Despite this embarrassing record, Mr. Aggudey, Dr. Delle and most of his current executives, including Prof. Nii Noi Dowuona, are said to be running for re-election – a situation which has infuriated the party’s rank and file. Some wonder what they would present to the electorate as reasons to vote for them.

As part of their grassroots approach to re-building the CPP, the Patriots, besides opening offices around the country, have also been financing local-level elections as a prelude to taking over the Party in August and leading it to battle in 2008 against the NDC and NPP.

This strategy is said to have made the Old Guard at the Party headquarters very nervous and uncomfortable, as they seem hell-bent on clinging on to power, despite their poor record. The Tema West elections, for example, were deferred once due to some technical objections from some officials, and indeed on the day of the elections, the Regional Organiser, who had wanted to disrupt proceedings because he claimed he wasn’t made aware of prior, took to his heels when the no-nonsense Mrs. Adu-Amankwah brought in the police to restore order.

Earlier in the week, at a meeting of the Greater Accra Region CPP in Accra attended by such Patriots as Prof. Badu Akosa, lawyer Bright Akwetey, and economists Kwaku Osafo and economist Nii Moi Thompson, Mrs. Adu-Amankwah won the hearts of the party faithful when she spoke, in a characteristically impassioned fashion, about the need to make personal sacrifices for the development of Ghana.

The mother of three, who never misses CPP or Patriots activities, said if the current party faithful worked hard and raised the image of the CPP, others sitting on the fence would join to help kick the NPP out of office and prevent the NDC from returning.

She said most people were looking for alternatives to the NDC and the NPP and that the CPP was the only such alternative.

Other regions where the Patriots are financing elections include the Ashanti Region, where they have already acquired a C50.0 million regional office; Eastern Region; Western Region; and the Upper East Region. Plans are said to be far advanced for the group’s foot soldiers and their “dream team” of potential officials and presidential candidates to visit the other regions.