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09.03.2007 General News

CJA Speaks To Empty Chairs

By Daily Guide
CJA Speaks To Empty Chairs

The leadership of the Committee for Joint Action (CJA), on Tuesday, saw the true minds of majority of Ghanaians when virtually no one heeded their call on them to converge at the Sea View Hotel for their version of the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Their 'members', apparently overtaken by the wind of nationalism that engulfed the nation, rather chose to join the international community and government to make the day's activity a memorable one.

A public lecture organized by the committee, after the leaders had woefully failed to secure a permit to demonstrate on the day and time of the national parade, failed to attract the expected crowd as only a few dozens of the people showed up.

Even though hundreds of seats were arranged in the dilapidated Jamestown rendezvous in anticipation of a multitudinous attendance, only a handful of people attended the programme.

What is not clear, however, is whether the low turnout had anything to do with the reported leadership crisis that had rocked the association a few days earlier.

Addressing a virtually empty hall, Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Editor of The Insight, Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe, National Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Mr. Kyeretwie Opoku, and Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, all took turns to disparage the Kufuor administration, the police, President Olusegun Obasanjo and any personality within reach of their verbal salvos.

Pratt, whose speech was insult-laden, described the Golden Jubilee as foolish and senseless, and described it as a partial state of emergency.

According to him, the Nigerian President had no business comparing himself with the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, at a time when he, Obasanjo, could not provide potable water, electricity and good roads.

Sounding his populist best, the Insight editor said those gathered at the Independence Square were celebrating the victory of the oppressors over the masses while CJA's humble audience were in favour of the masses, and referred to the Nigerian leader as someone in charge of one of the most corrupt governments in the world.

While Kyeretwie Opoku, CJA Coordinator, described the national event as 'a celebration of elitism', Ama Benyiwa Doe said President John Agyekum Kufuor was dishonest with Ghanaians when he said his government was practicing Freedom of Expression.

In a related development, Pratt lambasted the NDC leadership for deciding to participate in the [email protected] celebrations.

The social critic described their decision as shamelessly opportunistic and smacking double standards, in that, they had exposed the CJA to public ridicule.

Speaking on a Metro TV programme this week, he also queried the NDC's inability to criticize its founder, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, for boycotting the event, saying the party wants to eat its cake and have it.

Even though CJA is said to be a non-political pressure group, a chunk of its leaders comes from the national executives and Parliamentary Caucus of the NDC.

At a time the association was holding the indoor session, the NDC gurus were at the government-organised celebrations.

A leadership crisis due to differences in opinion that bedeviled it crumbled its negotiation aptitude when it met security chiefs at the police headquarters on Monday over its intended procession.

Tuesday's poor attendance is seen as a reflection of the internal rift.