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Politics of Friday, 31 March 2006

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CPP posied to upset in Tamale?

After 40 years in the wilderness, the CPP cockerel appeared to be finally crowing in Tamale, and indications are that the party that Nkrumah formed, the party that led Ghana to independence, may stage an upset in the Tamale by-election, come 4th April.

News from Tamale indicate that political turncoat, Wayo Seini, has been marginalised and now the race is between the NDC and the CPP. But given the in-fighting in the former party and the massive resources placed at the disposal of the CPP candidate by the pressure group, CPP-Patriots, a historical upset cannot be ruled out.

If this should happen, it would be the first time the CPP has won a parliamentary seat in the 4th Republic without the assistance of any other party. Currently, the three members of Parliament - Kojo Armah, Freddy Blay, and Paa Kwesi Nduom- all owe their seats to the charity of the NPP. Indeed, Dr. Nduom is a minister in the NPP government, while the others regularly side witht the NPP on important national issues, such as ROPAB, which was seconded by Mr. Armah in Paliament.
For the CPP-Patriots, which has vowed to help reform the CPP for the 2008 elections, much is riding on Tamale. A win - big win - will make them a credible force to reckon with both within the CPP and within the country's larger polical community. A dismal performance of their candidate, however, could doom them and the CPP for many years to come.
According to sources, when the Tamale by-election was declared, the party's leadership, under Dr. Edmund Delle, decided to continue with the past and not participate, citing lack of money and other resources.
The Patriots, however, working through the regional executives, managed to get the chairman to change his mind and give the Patriots the go ahead. With that high-level clearance, the Patriots sent a top level delegation to Tamale to scout for a "winnable" candidate.
They settled on Basharu Daballi, an articulate and charismatic activist, who recently headed the Concerned Citizens of Tamale group to address the city's chronic water shortages. He is said to be non-tribalistic and enjoys support across both gates.
Then came the funding problems that the party chairman had raised. Determined to move forward, the executives of the Patriots levied themselves C2 million each for an estimated budget of about C70 million. The general membership was asked to offer whatever they could offer. By Monday, they were ready for battle.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nduom, still at loggerheads with the leadership, chipped in some posters and t-shirts, as did the former central bank governor, Dr. Duffuor.
But as the Akan say, "agoro ne fem". Until 4th April, the CPP will still have to try hard to convince Ghanaians that it is the party of the future.