“Honest Politicians Have No Place in Our Party,” says CPP
The decision by the Central Committee of the rump-Convention People's Party (CPP) to nullify the election of Mr. Freddy Blay as CPP candidate for Election 2008, from the Ellembele constituency of the Western Region, ought to provoke both the concern and anger of all democracy-loving Ghanaians. On a more significant note, the decision eerily highlights how little, or absolutely nothing, has changed vis-à-vis the autocratic tendencies of the CPP, since the latter was forced out of power some 42 years ago.
In deciding to nullify the results of the Ellembele CPP parliamentary primary, in which substantive First-Deputy Speaker of the Ghana National Assembly, Mr. Freddy Blay, clinched a whopping 75 out of a grand total of 79 votes, as party General-Secretary Ivan Kobina Greenstreet indicated to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the rump-CPP, once again, chillingly reminded Ghanaians that given another chance to dominate our postcolonial landscape, our jealously guarded fledgling democracy would be summarily smashed to smithereens, as it were.
Ironically though, this is not the first time that Ghanaians are being shown the true colors of the unregenerate rump-CPP. Not quite awhile ago, all the three CPP parliamentarians were summarily suspended (or even dismissed) from the party for, allegedly, committing the “felonious crime” of collaborating with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in order to build an economically livable and politically liberated Ghana, even as the legitimately ousted National Democratic Congress (NDC) was widely and validly accused of creating a terror-charged climate of rank corruption and abject incompetence during the two protracted decades that the Rawlings-chaperoned P/NDC dominated the Ghanaian political landscape. Back then, as now, the “CPP Three” which, by the way, included Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the red-cockerel's flagbearer for Election 2008, was also accused of willfully failing to appear before the party's disciplinary committee. And as we recall, back then, the charge was led by the mercurial and chameleonic Mr. Kwesi Pratt, publisher of the so-called Insight newspaper. The “CPP Three” would be summarily dismissed until sanity prevailing, they were apologetically reinstated into the party's fold.
In the present case of Mr. Blay, unquestionably the most powerful of any CPP parliamentarian or party operative on the national political landscape, the charge regards the Deputy Speaker's alleged appearance at a New Patriotic Party rally organized at Aiyinase, in the Ellembele constituency, whose citizenry Mr. Blay has creditably represented for the last twelve years. Mr. Blay is also accused of having endorsed Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the candidate most likely to handily carry Election 2008. In other words, for Mr. Blay, rather than go on a wild goose chase, as it were, by cynically endorsing an abysmally long shot like Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the sons and daughters of Ellembele would be better off in hedging their bets around the winsome fortunes of the ruling NPP and, concomitant with the latter, the presidential candidacy of Nana Akufo-Addo.
Ordinarily, as a Fourth-Republican Ghanaian citizen, Mr. Blay is perfectly within his democratic rights in calling the political shots as he uniquely sees it. Unfortunately, albeit predictably, the pro-Communist Central Committee of the rump-CPP has decided to both summarily intervene as well as rudely remind Ghana's parliamentary Deputy Speaker that, after all, Mr. Blay is not his own man but rather a puppet of the CPP Central Committee puppeteers. Now, this is too tall an order to swallow when one's psyche and ideological temperament have been profoundly shaped by the Danquah-Busia penchant for cognitive independence.
Curiously, though, the same rump-CPP Central and Disciplinary committees never envisaged it to be equally criminal, or felonious, for Mr. Blay to accept the numerically undeserved post of First-Deputy Speaker of Ghana's National Assembly. And we think we know exactly the reason for such anomaly. And it is that from its inception in 1947, the CPP has been shamelessly composed of diehard opportunists. Else, Dr. Nduom ought to have been preemptively prohibited from contesting the flagbearership of the rump-CPP. But with Paa Kwesi, you see, there is such thing as double-standards and being over and above the internal rules and regulations of the rump-CPP.
In the end, though, Mr. Blay is the better man for being deviously ousted from the rump-CPP. The man never really belonged to this ideological hive of pseudo-neo-Communists, to begin with. Then again, isn't it rather strange for the rump-CPP to be spearheaded by a hardnosed and filthy rich capitalist cormorant like Komenda Kwesi?
What is also worth highlighting, now that we are at it, is Ms. Samia Nkrumah's widely reported observation that anybody who believes that the rump-CPP has an eighth of a shot at clinching the Ghanaian presidency in Election 2008, must be living a pipe-dream. In essence, the preceding realistic observation is hardly any different from Uncle Freddy jumping onto an NPP campaign platform, or podium, assuming that he actually did so, and throwing his quite remarkable weight behind Ghana's presumptive next president, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Interestingly, to-date, nobody has called for Ms. Nkrumah, a daughter of Ghana's first prime minister and, later, president to either retract her widely quoted statement or butt out of the rump-CPP. And to be certain, all available evidence points to the fact of Dr. Nduom vigorously pushing for Ms. Nkrumah to become a CPP parliamentarian. A Janus-faced Nduom, you say? And my riposte is: “This is raw-fleshed envy, dear reader.”
In any case, if I were Mr. Blay, rather than tussle, or litigate, pointlessly with this posse of diehard losers, I would go Independent. But, of course, the rump-CPP boys and girls also need to be reminded of the fact that neither Dr. Nduom nor the so-called Central and Disciplinary committees have sole and exclusive proprietary rights over both the insignia and the very tautological name of Convention People's Party, Komenda Kwesi's quixotic and outright sophomoric attempts at “impersonating” the Show Boy notwithstanding.
Still, were he to personally solicit my counsel, I would promptly admonish that Uncle Blay cross the ideological divide and more meaningfully truck with the ruling New Patriotic Party for the reconstruction of a better Ghana. For personality and ideological differences and all, fundamentally speaking, Dr. Danquah and President Nkrumah both had the utmost interest of our country at heart; the Doyen only had a better, more temporally realistic and politically durable agenda. And even more relevantly, in the time that he has served as First-Deputy parliamentary Speaker, Mr. Blay has eloquently and admirably mirrored something akin to the preceding.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of 18 books, including “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005) and “Reena: Letters to an Indian-American Gal” (Atumpan Publications/lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: [email protected]
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana.