STATEMENT BY YOUTH FOR NDUOM 2012 ON DR. PAPA KWESI NDUOM'S CAMPAIGN TO BECOME THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press:
Thank you for honouring our invitation once again to interact with our progressive organisation, Youth for Nduom 2012. Our purpose today is to set the records straight and in the process offer a way forward to enable Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom to become the President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013.
It will be recalled that on the 28th of November 2011, certain individuals of the CPP made it clear that Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom is not favoured by them to lead the CPP in 2012 as its Presidential Candidate. In an amazing, coordinated attack, Ivor Greenstreet in the morning fingered Dr. Nduom as the one behind the anger being expressed throughout the country against the CPP's General Secretary for unilaterally declaring on national radio the “decision” to open nominations for parliamentary and presidential aspirants “sometime next year”. Samia Nkrumah in the afternoon called Dr. Nduom a man without discipline and the cause of disunity and disaffection in the CPP. In an attack unprecedented by someone in the high position of National Chairperson of a major political party, she called Dr. Nduom “nonsensical”. She promised to cause the expulsion of Dr. Nduom at a meeting she had called for Tuesday November 29th. In the evening, Mr. Greenstreet continued the unprovoked attacks on Dr. Nduom promising to deal with him as the one “open sore” in the party!
The promised expulsion of Dr. Nduom from the CPP did not happen as the call for the convening of an Extraordinary Meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) compelled the leadership of the party to hurriedly convene a Central Committee meeting to decide on dates for the opening of nominations for parliamentary and presidential elections.
Prior to all of this, Samia Nkrumah, Ivor Greenstreet and others had called for a “…level playing field” for all presidential aspirants of the CPP. This under normal circumstances would be in order. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Bright Akwetey and Mr. George Aggudey had both announced their intentions to enter the contest to become the CPP's Presidential Candidate months before Dr. Nduom made his intention known. They did not even wait for the September congress of the CPP to make their announcements. So why this furore over one man's announcement of intent?
What does it mean when the Ms Samia Nkrumah, Chairperson of a political party has this to say about a potential candidate without taking time to ascertain the facts?
“It is unfortunately, one of our aspiring presidential candidates, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom who has waged a relentless campaign to demoralize our sympathizers and well wishers.
“…The party would not tolerate this indiscipline any longer and we are taking measures to stop that.”
“The candidate we want to see, our presidential candidate must be men and women of integrity,” she said, adding “the party will meet to confront the terrible acts of indiscipline by Dr. Nduom.”
We are in no doubt about the fact that there is a planned strategy to frustrate, humiliate and harass Dr. Nduom to force him to leave the CPP. If that failed, Plan B is to disqualify Dr. Nduom from the presidential primaries. It is a matter of “if you cannot beat a man in open, democratic competition, brand him undisciplined, paint him evil and sack him from the race”. This is a path to certain mediocrity and irrelevance for the CPP.
Prof. Akosa let the cat out of the bag recently in Kumasi. He repeated some of his hopes of seeing the back of the man he knows he can never beat in competition on a radio programme last week, ending with his assertion that people will join the CPP in their millions after the CPP expels Dr. Nduom. Samia Nkrumah had of course set the stage earlier in the week claiming that there are several thousands of people waiting for Dr. Nduom to leave the CPP so that they can join the party.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
Dr. Nduom has been accused of “…overshadowing the CPP” and acting bigger than the national executives. They claim he does not work from the center. We disagree. Indeed, no one and we repeat, no one in the CPP has made as much contribution to the CPP through the center in the 4th Republic than Dr. Nduom. In 2008, he printed posters, banners and gave T-shirts and money to many parliamentary candidates.
The membership cards in use today by the CPP were paid for single-handedly by Dr. Nduom. The air conditioning unit in the party's Central Committee meeting room, the computers and printers in the youth office were put there by Dr. Nduom. Even the stamp used by the Gerneral Secretary and the Chairman were paid for by Dr. Nduom. In 2008 he paid the filing fee to the Electoral Commission for all the CPP's parliamentary and presidential candidates. He contributed GHC500 to all the 230 constituencies in Ghana for the welfare of polling agents in the 2008 election. When after the 2008 election the party set up a Re-organisation Committee led by Dr. Abu Sakara, Dr. Nduom was the first and only member of the party to give money to the center to support their work. None of the members of the current national executives contributed a pesewa to that effort. Indeed, the Akans have a saying which is appropriate for this situation: “Omama ho ye ehi”.
Did Dr. Nduom engineer the calling of the Extraordinary Meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) as alleged by Samia Nkrumah and Greenstreet? The answer is NO! This was a mass action provoked by the unilateral decisions taken and announced by Ms. Nkrumah and Mr. Greenstreet to hold presidential and parliamentary primaries “sometime next year”. Besides, how does an action allowed by the CPP constitution become an act of indiscipline? On top of it all, Mr. Greenstreet goes ahead to file a case in court against the CPP itself and certain members who signed the NEC petition! Who is out of order here?
Ms. Samia Nkrumah says she wants to organize and strengthen the party but Dr. Nduom is in the way. This has been Dr. Nduom's point all along.
This is why he has been the champion of polling station organization in the CPP with no equal. From now on, no one in the CPP should use Dr. Nduom to mask their shortcomings.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You will recall that in September 2011 we stated that in order for Dr. Nduom to contest the 2012 elections on the ticket of the CPP, there was the need to overhaul the CPP vehicle. What we said included the following:
- There is the need to ensure the opening of offices of the party in all constituencies immediately;
- There should be a robust and effective communication or education on CPP policies to the people of Ghana;
- There should be significant effort to strengthen polling station organisation; and
- There is the need for infusion of the youth into the leadership positions in the party at all levels.
We also made it clear that there is the need for the Members and Leadership of the CPP to be supportive of the Party's 2012 Parliamentary and Presidential Campaigns. It was and is still our belief that when the above are in place then the CPP will be a very good vehicle to carry the widely accepted brand of Nduom into victory.
So if the new national executives of the CPP led by Ms. Samia Nkrumah want to strengthen the foundation of the CPP, why would Dr. Nduom disagree? They are only singing a song he knows too well. That is why he committed himself to help open 60 constituency offices throughout the country, donate ten pickup trucks one for every region and 50 motorcycles to speed up polling station organisation work. But when Dr. Nduom does this, he is accused of taking over the party! Some have gone as far as to say that Dr. Nduom cannot be a true CPP man because he is a successful management consultant and business owner!
The CPP needs successful people – professional, business men and women and workers of all types. But the message being sent out by the current executives is if you are successful in life, join any party but the CPP!
We wish to recall what we said during our meeting with the media in September:“Dr. Nduom has held several sessions with the Exploratory Committee to review our conclusions and recommendations. But it was decided that we should wait until the Congress to elect National Executives to run the affairs of the CPP before we discuss Dr. Nduom's reactions to our report.
Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom is interested in contesting internal CPP elections to become the Flagbearer of the Party for the 2012 general elections. However, with due deference and respect for the new national executives of the Party, he has decided to withhold his final decision on whether he will enter the contest or not until the CPP comes up with plans for the Flagbearer contest. He is fully aware of the fact that Mr. Bright Akwetey and Mr. George Aggudey have publicly declared their intentions to compete to become the 2012 Flagbearer of the CPP.
We are happy to note that Dr. Nduom was one of the first leading members of the CPP to publicly offer unconditional support to the new national executives led by Samia Nkrumah. He has invoked the traditional CPP spirit of “…the Party is Supreme”. As Dr. Nduom is a man of his words, we know that he will live firmly by this commitment.”
The fact is that Dr. Nduom gave the Samia-led National Executives written notice before he announced his intent to compete in the CPP primaries. He followed this up with telephone calls. None of them said a word about it. But on the day before the event, Samia Nkrumah ordered that Dr. Nduom could not give refreshments to the senior members of the CPP who would be in attendance at the party's headquarters.
We can say with pride and confidence that Dr. Nduom in the face of extreme provocation has gone about his politics, social work and business quietly and in a respectful manner.
Since the 2008 elections, Dr. Nduom has never relented in his efforts to reorganise the CPP. He has been moving from campus to campus, constituency to constituency, region to region and even internationally, just to make sure that there is some form of organisation going on. He helped make the recent national congress happen by his support for the organisational work that preceded the constituency, regional conferences.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In view of the need expressed strongly by the Samia Nkrumah-led executives to assume the commanding heights of the CPP; in recognition of the ten point action plan announced by the national executives to bring credibility and strength to the CPP; Dr. Nduom has authorised us to present the following:
1. The CPP must exorcise the horrible ghost of the 2008 election. The Party must find out why it won only one seat in Parliament and 1.3% of the Presidential votes? To ascertain the real causes of the 2008 results, Dr. Nduom wishes that a committee is established under the auspices of the CPP's Council of Elders working with the Ghana Peace Council. Dr. Nduom is willing to provide documentary evidence to assist the committee to arrive at the truth. This will help address the critical question of whether or not the current CPP leadership and certain members will be prepared to work and campaign with Dr. Nduom and support him even if he wins 95% of the votes at congress next year.
2. From today, until further notice, Dr. Nduom will assume a back seat to avoid being criticised of overshadowing the leadership and taking over the party.
3. To address the issue of a level playing field for all presidential aspirants, Dr. Nduom will stop all campaign and regular activities with the regional and constituency executives of the CPP hoping that it will leave the field wide open for Mr. Aggudey, Prof. Akosah, Mr. Akwetey or anyone else to go and campaign for the support and attention of delegates who will select the Presidential candidate.
4. From today, Dr. Nduom will speak from a personal perspective – he has been reminded by the General Secretary that the party has a Communications Director – and will render his personal opinions as a concerned Ghanaian, NOT as a spokesperson for the CPP.
5. Since Dr. Nduom's declaration of intent to contest the CPP primaries has created an uproar within the CPP, he wants media people to stop referring to him as an aspiring candidate for the CPP in the 2012 presidential race.
6. Considering that more than 98% of those who have voted in the past three elections have not voted for the CPP, it is clear that there is a lot of work to be done outside the CPP while we take urgent steps to retain those who voted for us. Therefore, Dr. Nduom will focus his attention on organising potential campaign supporters and volunteers outside of the CPP who can help attract floating voters, independents and the youth.
7. To avoid conflict, Dr. Nduom wants us to use this opportunity to advise his supporters inside and outside the CPP to show respect to the CPP leadership and exhibit tolerance in responding to issues raised by his political opponents within the CPP, NPP, PNC and NDC. Our fight from here on is to win the hearts, mind and votes of the majority of Ghanaian voters. That must be done with a positive message and with discipline.
In a message to delegates to the September National Congress, Dr. Nduom wrote:
“What we need is youthful enthusiasm and a strong commitment to discipline, the type that forges unity within our ranks. We should develop as a broad, mass party, one that connects with traders, farmers, fishermen, workers of all type, professionals and business owners. We need to build a broad mass of support by welcoming into our fold young men and women, workers, professionals who today want opportunity to be guaranteed to all. The principle of social justice well articulated will make a huge difference with independent or floating voters who have had to endure the politics of "catering to foot soldiers" practiced by the NDC and the NPP in the 4th Republic.
I want a political party that is interested in winning a presidential election and forming government to implement its principles, ideas and policies.
I want a party that is different, forward looking with people who are willing to work and make sacrifices and with a single purpose vision of making Ghanaians proud and prosperous in their own country. I do not want to be encumbered by 20th century UP/CPP or PNDC-NDC/CPP politics. I want to help in building a unique 21st Century CPP brand focused on eliminating poverty, preventable diseases, educating all children and promoting the Ghanaian private sector to create well-paying jobs at home.”
Let us be clear on a very important point. Dr. Nduom has drawn great inspiration from the Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He has worked hard in the 4th Republic to keep Osagyfo's legacy alive and together with others bring back the CPP brand. He believes in the principles of self-determination, social justice and pan Africanism. But we agree completely with Dr. Nduom when he says that a return to the pre-1966 CPP is a non-starter. Dr. Nduom WILL NOT be part of any move to go backward when a great forward march in the 21st Century will bring better benefits to the Ghanaian people.
Dr. Nduom has paid in dues and made his mark as far as the CPP tradition is concerned. He has not been a fair weather friend to the party and is not a latter day convert. He has been a strong, reliable shareholder. But we will not sit back and let anyone cast doubt about Dr. Nduom's integrity. We are ready to tell Dr. Nduom to move on to greater heights. We are NOT prepared to forget 2012 and wait for 2016. If some CPP leaders want to commit political suicide, we will not a part of it. After all, when the UGCC leaders sought to demean the contribution of Kwame Nkrumah and cast him aside, he did the right thing. He left the UGCC. The CPP was formed and Ghana gained its independence.
History has a way of repeating itself. History is on the side of Dr. Nduom. More important, the future in this 21st Century is there, wide open for those willing to compete, sacrifice and respect the views of the majority of the people. We call on Dr. Nduom to concentrate his attention on his honourable quest to create jobs for the youth in Ghana. We urge Dr. Nduom to take time out to think through what his political future is going to be. There are many, many like-minded people in Ghana who like the Nduom brand of politics. We will be there solidly behind Dr. Nduom to support him implement whatever decision he takes.
We are calling on all our volunteers to begin active, urgent mobilisation of our forces throughout the country – Women for Nduom (WON), Volunteers for Nduom (VON), Nduom Brigade, Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and others – so that we can begin our 2012 campaign soonest.
We remain convinced that GHANA NEEDS Dr. Nduom. Inspite of all the odds, he does not have an alternative other than to run for President of the Republic of Ghana in 2012. We will work with him to run a youth-based aggressive campaign for TRUE change that will help our beloved Ghana become a prosperous nation in which its people experience a high quality of life.
Thank you for your attention.
R. Nii Amarh Nkunim