Wed, 10 Sep 2008 Feature Article

CPP and NDC are Loser Clones

CPP and NDC are Loser Clones

To hear Mr. Richmond Lamptey acknowledge the veritable shipwreck that is the rump-Convention People's Party (CPP) makes flagbearer Papa Kwesi Nduom seem like a mischievous lunatic in hot pursuit of a mirage. And that mirage, of course, is the former NPP cabinet member's dream of being catapulted into either the old slave Castle at Osu or the Flagstaff House, come January 2009.

“We are working towards having at least 30 percent of the presidential votes to place second to either the NDC or New Patriotic Party,” says Mr. Lamptey. Tough luck! I would say, were you to ask me, dear reader. Tough luck because the last time that we checked, which was at the time of this writing (9/5/08), the rump-CPP had only 3 seats in the Ghana National Assembly. Compare the latter to the ruling New Patriotic Party's 128 seats and the NDC's 94 seats, and the chimerical, or mythological, dimension of the CPP dream becomes even more chimerical. Add to the latter the CPP's desperate attempt to scapegoat deputy speaker Freddy Blay for the party's steadily tumbling fortunes, and it becomes dolorously clear that the House that the Show Boy built is almost definitively headed for the garbage can of Fourth-Republican Ghanaian political history.

Needless to say, Mr. Freddy Blay is, arguably, the most astute of parliamentarians sporting the CPP's crimson cockerel. And Freddy Blay is astute to near-genius proportions because unlike flagbearer Papa Kwesi Nduom, who seems to see and hear no evil about Ghana's most extortionate civilian regime, Mr. Blay is perfectly able to recognize a spade for what it is; and so in order to remain politically relevant to both his Ellembele constituents as well as himself, Uncle Blay recently threw his considerable weight behind Ghana's best hope for both a salutary economic recovery and industrial development, the ruling New Patriotic Party. People of Mr. Blay's caliber are rare in Ghanaian politics, both during the proverbial good, old days as well as presently. And for those of our readers who may either not know or might long have forgotten, largely due to their rarity, people like Freddy Blay are called “statesmen.” They primarily tend to look beyond the blinkered vista of partisan politics and, instead, look for prime opportunities to serve our nation even better.

For Papa Kwesi Nduom, on the other hand, everything political has garishly emblazoned on it the parasitic words “expediency” and “opportunism.” Thus when the First-Deputy Speaker of the Ghanaian parliament opted to collaborate with President John Agyekum-Kufuor to make Ghana far, far better than the infernally ramshackle state bequeathed by Mr. Rawlings and his so-called National Democratic Congress, Komenda's Papa Kwesi Nduom opted to do the same but for very different and purely self-serving reasons. And as we recently learned via media sources, Papa Kwesi has been counting the amount of money that he has supposedly lost since 1992, when he decided to pitch tent with the effete, pseudo-socialist and otiose Convention People's Party. And the predictable shock of it all is that Komenda Kwesi has actually been counting his purported monetary loss in dollars and cents and pretending, for whatever capricious reasons, that it is Mr. Ato Arthur, the substantive Central Regional Minister, and the ruling New Patriotic Party that are to blame. Papa Kwesi, according to a published media report, claims to have lost $ 11 million since 1992. Now that is not “statesmanship” or a statesman-like perspective to have on things Ghanaian and political. For, political leadership is about incalculable sacrifices, not half-hearted, wishy-washy equivocation.

And so, now, it begins to make sense that having rascally piggybacked the NPP to heft up his résumé, Komenda Kwesi would pounce on the flagbearership of the rump-Convention People's Party. The obvious objective here, of course, is for Komenda Kwesi to recoup at least a moiety of the whopping $ 11 million supposedly lost through his 16-year flirtation with Ghanaian politics.

Perhaps somebody has to call glaring, albeit grim, attention of the CPP's Mr. Richmond Lamptey to the fact that no political party becomes a buffer power broker with a mere three parliamentary seats – two, when one counts the effective loss of Mr. Blay's – and less than 10-percent of the national ballot in a 230-seat parliament effectively controlled by two major parties. Such seductive clout only happens in the dreams of cocaine-toquing political clowns. And one can almost accurately surmise that Mr. Lamptey would rather hang by his gonads than to be criminally envisaged as such. But, of course, when one is ensconced smack dab among the inglorious company of such political daydreamers as the so-called Great Consolidated People's Party (GCPP), People's National Convention (PNC), United Ghana Movement (UGM), National Reform Party (NRP) and the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), then it pays to be a card-carrying member of the rump-Convention People's Party.

In its latest electioneering tantrum, the rump-CPP is accusing the National Democratic Congress of stealing the former's slogan of “Yere Sesamu” (“We Are Winnowing”?) Somebody needs to advise Mr. Lamptey to rest easy; for, just as the proto-CPP filched its catch “Convention” name from Dr. Danquah's United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), it is only too proper that the NDC should, in turn, steal a slogan from the rump-CPP. For neither party is composed of a membership astute in creative and productive thinking, except to simply grab power and return Ghanaians to either the “good, old CPP days” or the “drop-dead if you are sick and poor” days of Ghana's Cash-and-Carry Santa Claus.

Indeed, you are darn fantabulously lucky if all one can accuse the P/NDC of doing wrong is merely stealing some zany and fluffy slogans. Indeed, to “hear” Mike Adjei meticulously detail P/NDC atrocities in his book “Death and Pain in Rawlings' Ghana” (see the Ghanaian Statesman), makes one simmer with fury; how legions of law-abiding Ghanaians lost entire properties and bank accounts to the “Revolutionary Saviors” of the Rawlings Corporation (R.C. Unlimited). But, of course, an equal number of Ghanaians were not even half this lucky – these were the one's summarily converted into human targets for shooting practice at the Teshie Military Range as well as elsewhere across the country.

*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 “Reena: Letters to an Indian-American Gal” (Atumpan Publications/, 2008), his 12th and latest volume of poetry. E-mail: [email protected].