Having spent some of my formative years in a rural setting and being someone who enjoys eating crabs, I know how to catch a crab hiding in a hole. You can either dig it out with the tools at your disposal or tease it out into the open with a palm front and catch it. Either way the crab eventually ends in a soup pot. To the crab neither method serves its purpose of existence or furtherance in life. The plight of the crab in this scenario can be likened to the Convention People¹s Party (CPP) and the Crab Eaters are the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The choice of the method to catch the crab (destroy the CPP) is at the discretion of the one seeking to catch the crab for his soup pot. It also depends on the disposition of the crab catcher and the weaponry at his/her disposal. If you are predisposed to physical exertion (brute force as with NDC) then you are most likely to dig the crab out. If you are however predisposed to ³Dada ba² living and will only resort to physical exertion as an extension of your intent (as is synonymous with NPP) then you will use the palm front to lure the crab out and catch it for your soup.
The only way this crab can avoid being eaten up is to choose a path independent of the Crab Eaters. It must avoid them in order to enhance its chances of living a good life. Where the crab cannot completely avoid the Crab Eaters then it must make a stand and either die fighting or emerge the victor. For some of us the CPP is at that decision point, unfortunately it hasn¹t got the luxury of avoiding its¹ adversaries. It must make a stand or be rendered irrelevant by the masses of this country.
Surprisingly however, some members of the CPP are advocating that we must lean on the NPP to get power while some members are also advocating we should lean on the NDC. The third school of thought, to which I belong, advocates that the CPP should not lean on either. Because neither the NPP nor NDC means well for us no matter what they say. Either way, we are dead, because to what end, would either the NPP or the NDC want us to grow and become strong?
Many years ago Nkrumah said,
³We neither face East nor West, We face Forward².
Today I say;
³We neither face NPP or NDC, we face CPP²
In order to deal with this canker that the CPP is faced with, we need to ask ourselves as Nkrumaist two questions;
Is the CPP still relevant in Ghana¹s politics today?
Does the CPP really have an alternative paradigm for Ghana¹s development? If the answer to both questions is NO, then the CPP must dissolve and let each person decide where he/she wants to go. If the answers to both questions are however YES, then we need to be distinct. We cannot remain distinct under an Umbrella or Elephant. Some of us take this position because it is becoming clear that some of our own members do not necessarily want a CPP government, because they either do not appreciate our distinct position or are just interested in being offered some positions in government, be it NPP or NDC.
Some of our members are also just not ready for the real task of building a formidable CPP because they are not ready for the hard work that it entails. Some of us have committed ourselves to building a strong independent CPP even if it take 50yrs plus. This is because it is only under a CPP government that we can pursue a CPP agenda. It is absurd to think that you can be an Nkrumaist, serving as a Minister in an NPP or NDC government and pursue a CPP agenda. It is our hope that all will realize this folly and commit themselves to the course of the CPP. PRO-NPP ARGUEMENTS. The pro-NPP group argues that the CPP can only grow if the NDC declines because there are a lot of Nkrumaist within the NDC. They also argue that the NDC is so bad that we should consciously seek its demise.
I do not agree with both arguments because the first presupposes that a decline in the NDC will automatically benefit the CPP, it also presupposes that all members and sympathizers of the current NDC can be made to join the CPP in block. This is not true because there are many other political parties in Ghana today and nothing will stop anyone from forming another political party. There is therefore no clear justification to say that the CPP will be the sole benefactor from a demise of the NDC. Who knows, the NPP may even be a larger benefactor in the event of the demise of the NDC.
Besides anyone who calls himself an Nkrumaist should belong to an Nkrumaist party. Let no one try to through dust in the eyes of the public that the NDC is pro-Nkrumaist. The NDC is not an Nkrumaist party neither is it pro-Nkrumaist. Its members have chosen to be there and I do not see how we can continue to think they are NKrumaist. The prove is in their leader and founder. Besides if the pro-NPP group wants us to believe this line of argument, then we might as well fold up and join the NDC.
The only way the CPP can benefit from a decline or demise of the NDC is if the CPP itself is united with a sense of purpose among its rank and file. The CPP can only benefit if we all agree to remain CPP and not pro-NPP or pro-NDC and work hard to rebuild the structures of our party. So the task must first be to build our party by clearly articulating the alternatives that we have to offer to the people of this country.
The second line of argument that, the NDC is so bad that we should consciously seek or work towards its demise is also flawed; because democracy is about offering choices to the people, so those who want us to believe they are democrats should not be seen to be espousing such ideas. The people of Ghana should not be denied their right to choose. The records of the NDC are clear for all especially the youth of this country to see, and if they still choose the NDC then it is their choice, let no one take it away from them. The danger of democracy and independence is that the majority could very dangerous and unprogressive decisions against its own.
The CPP, NPP and NDC are all political parties seeking the mandate of the people to rule why then would either the NPP or NDC seek to make the CPP grow. This is a fundamental contradiction in this whole argument and it is important that we realize that the NPP is only seeking to use the CPP to destroy the NDC. We must not allow ourselves to be used as instruments of the NPP¹s agenda. We must also not allow the personal hatred of some of our own (CPP) members for the NDC to become the agenda of the CPP.
If we, as members of the CPP genuinely think and believe we have an alternative paradigm for the development of Ghana, let us go out there to the people and challenge other political parties in a battle of minds. That is how we can win the electorate. We must demonstrate that we are not seeking power for its sake but power to improve their well-being and happiness. It is not for us to be working directly for the downfall of another political party. PRO-NDC ARGUEMENTS. This group argues that most members of the NDC are Nkrumaist. Their course should therefore be our course.
If this premise is true then why the need for the CPP or the NDC. We might as well have formed one party. Until 2000 I do not recall the NDC openly espousing any ideology. When they finally declared one, they said they were Social Democrats. Social Democrats are not Nkrumaist. These are two distinct ideologies. I will leave that distinction for another platform but it must be realized that these two are not the same. So where are the Nkrumaist in the NDC? How many of the so-called Nkrumaist in the NDC have said anything Nkrumaist in Parliament or done anything Nkrumaist for the 19yrs that they were in power?
I can accept that there are Nkrumaist outside the CPP; I can also accept that there are Nkrumaist who are not members of any political party. I however cannot accept that, there are members of the NDC who are Nkrumaist. Those within the NDC who claim to be sympathizers of Nkrumaism must clearly admit that you cannot be an Nkrumaist in a party that espouses Social Democracy. Nkrumaist must build and an Nkrumaist party and Social Democrats must build a Social Democrat party. You are either a Moslem or you are not. You cannot be a Moslem and a Christian at the same time.
CONCLUSION We must acknowledge that the electorate is not the bonafide property of any political party or tradition. The electorate has a conscience and their pattern of voting is determined by a number of economic and social considerations. There are however a core group of the electorate who are NPP (and by implication anti-NDC and anti-CPP and anti any other political tradition). There are also some core electorates who are NDC (and by implication anti-NPP and anti-CPP and anti any other political party).
If the CPP is to grow it must realized that among the limited electorate at any given time, some will never vote for the CPP as long as the CPP continues to lean towards either the NPP or NDC. We must also realize that the generation gap has eroded what we considered our traditional strong holds. The challenge for us is to make ourselves relevant to the people of this country and to rebuild our party all over the country.
We as a tradition must realize that our continued association with either of these parties has clearly not helped our course in the past and will not help us in the future. Our past flirtation and association with the NDC and the NPP has reflected in the dwindling fortunes of the CPP. The results of the 2004 elections are still very clear in our minds.
We risk loosing our unique identity by our continued attempt to associate or flirt with either of these political parties.
Lastly we must not be disillusioned to think that the mere mention of the name Kwame Nkrumah (May his soul rest in peace) will win us an election. We must realize that unless we can clearly articulate how we are going to solve the problems of this country based on our ideology (Nkrumaism) the electorate will not vote CPP. At this very critical point It is only when we (members of the CPP) appreciated that neither the NPP nor the NDC means us well, that we can begin to grow. The Pro-NPP and Pro-NDC elements within the CPP must accept that member ship of any political party is voluntary. It is not an inheritance or compulsion. The three things that identify us and bind us as members of the CPP are;
Love for the people of Ghana and Africa Ideology and The CPP constitution
Anyone who cannot subscribe to any of the above, is free to go join or form another political party of his or her choice.
The crab must make a stand and die fighting or simply become a cheap source of food for the crab eater.
FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER. Michael Dedey, 2004 CPP Candidate for Ho Central, and member of the NkrumaistForum Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.