A leading member of the Convention People's Party (CPP), Dr Kweku Osafo, has stated that the CPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are diametrically opposed as far as ideologies are concerned.
He said while the NDC emerged from the People's National Defence Council (PNDC) which overthrew the People's National Party (PNP) government and also divested many state institutions for peanuts, leading to massive unemployment, the CPP believed in the state having a moral, constitutional and non-negotiable role in the development process.
Dr Osafo was reacting to claims by Dr Kwame Nkrumah's son, Mr Sekou Nkrumah, that he would work to promote the Nkrumah/Rawlings ideology because they had some commonalties.
He said the CPP's ideology includes fostering a sense of nationhood among Ghanaians.
He said it also provided economic opportunities for all and offered safety nets to those who could not, for some reasons, take advantage of those opportunities.
Dr. Osafo said while the New Patriotic Party (NPP) believed in a property-owning democracy, the NDC in social democracy, the CPP stood for the locally-developed ideology in Ghana known as Nkrumahism, whose three tenets are nation-building, pursuant to social justice and pan-Africanism.”
He said the only thing that the NDC had in common with the CPP was that most of the former's members originally belonged to the CPP, saying that was manifestly exhibited by Prof J. E. A. Mills during the NDC flagbearership race last year when he publicly declared that he was an Nkrumahist, while Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah also turned the CPP motto, “Foward Ever, Backward Never”, into a song.
Dr Osafo, who is also an economic consultant, argued that ideologically, the NDC had more in common with the NPP than the CPP because while the NPP believed in the private sector being the exclusive engine of growth, the NDC and its antecedent, the PNDC, disengaged the state from national development through divestiture, leading to the collapse of state industries, resulting in widespread unemployment and poverty.
He explained that in nation-building, the CPP aimed at reviving and broadening the boarding school system which it used to promote social cohesion, saying the NDC dismantled that.
“This is because we believe that when Ghanaians of all backgrounds — tribe, sex, socio-economic status — are brought together, they will know and respect one another better and take it to the workplace, where national development takes place,” Dr Osafo also a member of the Patriots explained further.
He said a CPP government, just as happened during the Nkrumah regime, would ensure that the nation's diversity was harnessed as its source of strength and pride, rather than a pretext for intolerance and prejudice.
He stressed that neither the NDC nor the NPP had Pan-Africanism as its ideology but said the current world economic order had proved that what Dr Nkrumah said 50 years ago about African unity remained relevant.
He said that the CPP believed in an indigenous private sector which could collaborate with its foreign counterparts and had the capacity to compete with any other in the world, but when the NDC and the NPP talked of the private sector, it was wholly foreign owned.
Quoting a former World Bank Director, Mr Wolfenson, who said, “Ownership of assets of national resources of a developing country was critical for its development”, Dr Osafo said the CPP would not behave like the NDC, which offloaded all but three per cent of the nation's interest in Ashanti Gold, while the NPP could maintain only three per cent in Newmont Ghana Limited.
On the viability of the CPP, Dr Osafo said the Patriots, a group of committed Nkrumahists, had started rejuvenating the structures of the party throughout the country and whipping the interest of the people, adding that there was hope for the CPP if all hands came on board.
He said although during the inception of the work of the Patriots some members at the top of the party's hierarchy expressed pessimism, they had all now come to embrace the work of the group.
He said the group had re-opened CPP constituency and regional offices which had been closed for some time and at the same time hired and refurbished new ones.
He gave the example of the Eastern Region which had seen over 15 offices opened.
Dr Osafo, who described Mr Nkrumah as an intelligent young man, said his defection to the NDC was his right but added, “We believe that the rationale cannot be ideology and the willingness to carry out his father's agenda.”
He also described as unfortunate the justification of the overthrow of Dr Limann's regime by former President Rawlings to the effect that the Limann regime was weak.
According to him, no matter the reason, any group of people or political party which believed or participated in the unlawful overthrow of a constitutional government was not worth joining.
He said the CPP was going through tough times, which most political parties had experienced and that with hard work and commitment on the part of all loyal Nkrumahists, the party would be strengthened to give Ghanaians hope and prosperity.
He concluded that the NDC had not espoused any depth of ideological position to warrant its merging with the ideology of the Dr Nkrumah.
Story by Donald Ato Dapatem