MAKE OUR FOUNDER PROUD!
9/21/2011 10:37:26 PM -
On the occasion of Founder's Day today September 21, 2011, I wish to call for the re-dedication to the principles of self-determination, social justice and pan-Africanism. It is by living truly by these principles that the life of our Founder, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah will continue to have meaning. Ghana is not the only country that celebrates its Founder. But we need to be reminded that Founder's Day is only relevant when linked with the accomplishments that make our people healthy, educated, housed, employed and prosperous. These we are yet to achieve.
Founder's Day means something special for the Convention People's Party (CPP) so I wish to take advantage of the occasion to repeat the message I delivered on June 12, 2009, the CPP celebrated its 60 years anniversary.
' I wish on this occasion to congratulate the rank and file of the Party for coming thus far. But the fact of life is not it is not how long you live but what you accomplish. From the very beginning to today, the Party has survived on the shoulders of the enthusiasm and sacrifice of its ordinary members - men and women. They deserve all the credit.
The CPP that we celebrate is the one led by the Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah that won independence for our country and gave us the name Ghana. The CPP that we celebrate is the one that led the struggle to remove colonial power from Africa by linking the independence of Ghana to the total liberation of Africa. So to Nkrumah and his able colleagues, Gbedemah, Botsio and others, we say congratulations and well done. Their efforts and that of many men and women who worked for the CPP to become a winning political party until 1966 we are grateful. They made the CPP the most successful political party in Africa once upon a time.
Since 1992, our Party has performed miserably in both parliamentary and presidential elections. This can be traced partly to the banning of the CPP and its leading members from participating in elections after the 1966 coup. The 1981 coup that toppled the PNP from power and ushered in the PNDC also took away much of the resolve and organization abilities of CPP members and supporters. But it is the actions of the Party and its members in the Fourth Republic that has sapped its strength and energy. In 1992, CPP members formed the NCP and entered into the Progressive Alliance that brought the NDC power. In 1996 it was PCP that formed the Great Alliance with the NPP and led many of our people to align themselves with that party. During the second round of the 2000 elections, the CPP formed an alliance with the NPP, helped that party to come to power and in the process lost a lot of its people and identity. In the 2008 elections, many CPP people abandoned their own Party and supported either the NDC or the NPP. The Party had 5 members of parliament in 1996, saw it drop to one in 2000, moved it to 3 in 2004 but only won one seat in 2008.
Certainly, the CPP of the Fourth Republic cannot be said to be the same CPP of the First Republic. No member of the Party can escape blame. Indeed, those of us entrusted with leadership positions since 1966 and especially in the Fourth Republic have in some form or the order weakened the competitive resolve of the Party. Many of our leading members have starved the Party of money and their active participation. Some have refused to contest for Parliamentary seats and thus robbed the Party of credibility. The support the CPP has given to the NDC and the NPP in recent years has made Ghanaians choose those parties even when they were looking for change. For all that we have done against our Party and each other we must all forgive and ask to be forgiven. We need a fresh start but we must go forward with discipline.
As we celebrate 60 years, it is clear that the message, 'yeresesamu' must start from within the CPP itself. We cannot continue to believe that the name CPP, the red cockerel symbol, the red, white and green flag, and the name Kwame Nkrumah will win power for the Party. Kwame Nkrumah is without a peer in African politics. He has done his part. Kojo Botsio, Kofi Baako, Krobo Edusei, Grace Ayensu and the others did their very best for their country. This is the time for our generation to rise up to the task and solve the problems of the Party. It will not be an easy task.
Ghanaians have experienced unmet expectations, unkept promises and mediocrity in recent years during a period of significant hopes for our country to become a beacon of prosperity on the African continent. Ghana needs a Party that will not hesitate to use the full powers of the state to improve the lot of our people. We need to become a leader again by working to win economic independence for our people. Our tradition knows how to win the struggle for independence. We must organize from scratch with renewed commitment to the principles of self-determination, social justice and pan-Africanism.
We must work together with other progressive elements in our society to create an alternative political force, one that will work with truth and selflessness to improve the quality of life for all of our people. If we fail to re-invent ourselves, the result will be certain death of this tradition. But if we succeed, victory will be ours again and the people in Ghana will be able to dream again and have hope of a bright, prosperous future.'
Let us work with selfless sacrifice and make our Founder Proud!
Papa Kwesi Nduom
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011