The Convention People's Party (CPP) can only hope to win power if it identifies itself with the aspirations of the masses.
“We must go to the streets and fight for the rights of the people and be in the forefront of strikes, boycotts and demonstrations.”, A civil rights activist, Mr Kwasi Pratt, said this at a symposium held as part of Ghana's 50th Independence Day celebration at the Kpando Technical Institute in the Volta Region.
It was organised by the North Dayi Constituency of the party on the theme: “Kwame Nkrumah in Contemporary Ghana”.
He expressed regret that when teachers and nurses went on strike, members of the CPP did not support them. He said it was only when the leadership of the party identified with the suffering masses that they would know that they were with them.
Mr Pratt said “now there is a strong suspicion about our people taking positions in the ruling party” and stressed that those actions went against the constitution of the party but nobody in the leadership could punish them.
He insisted that Nkrumah had not fallen and would never fall and added that there had been attempts by the colonialists to destroy the work of Nkrumah but these had failed and added that since the 1966 Coup which overthrew Nkrumah, the country had been retrogressing.
“Under Nkrumah's regime, we were producing our own shoes, needles, cloths, corned beef, matches and television sets. Under Nkrumah, the Job 600 was built in six months but now we have to bring in foreign contractors to execute contracts,” he said.
“Now what do we import? Catapults from China, needles from Thailand, toothpicks from Malaysia and almost everything on the market,” he said.
Mr Pratt wondered how Ghana could be celebrating 50 years of independence when 90 per cent of the economy was dependent on foreign donors.
“We must build a party by contributing to it and aim to build it to be better than Nkrumah's CPP,” he advised.
For his part, a former CPP Parliamentary Candidate for Tamale Central Constituency, Dr Adam Gamel Nasser, said the exploitation by the whiteman still lingered after independence.
It started with slavery, then colonialism, neo-colonialism and now through the various interventions they were giving to the black man.
“For example, we were told that if we adopted the Structural Adjustment Programme, it would eventually stabilise our accounts, promote growth and reduce poverty.
Twenty years later, and after exacting such tremendous sacrifices on the people, we were told that our economy had spun into bankruptcy and that we had to announce to the whole world that we were heavily indebted and poor, as a pre-condition for the IMF and World Bank to intervene with yet another merry-go-round circus that was christened HIPC,” he said.
“We cannot develop by following the footsteps of the whiteman; we must be self reliant,” he stressed, adding, “after all if we were doing it in the Nkrumah Regime, we can do it now.”
He wondered why it was agriculture that propelled the Western Powers to their development stage but we are still suffering from malnutrition.
“We must decide on which society we wish to build. If we want a self-reliant society, we must think of ourselves for we cannot rely on imported technology,” he added.
A member of the Central Committee of the party, Mr Kojo Armah, said the greatest legacy of Nkrumah was a united country. He made sure that politics was not done on tribal grounds, neither did he implement his development plans on ethnic grounds.
Mr Armah was confident that Nkrumaism, which was a proud heritage, would come back.
Story by Emmanuel Modey