I have been away from Ghana for some time, however, during the past six years, I have visited my beloved country regularly to see my mother and family. Apart from this, I have been closely following the political events in Ghana, courtesy of a Kwawu woman, who sells the papers in her shop at Daltson Market, London. However, within the last 5 years I have been concerned about the way the CPP, founded by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, has been imploding.
For some time now, some people who claim to have been associated with the Osagyefo have been culprits. Instead of preserving the unity of the party and nurturing new ideas to shape the direction of the party, their pre-dominant interest appears to be in engaging in all sorts of in-fighting to satisfy their various leadership aspirations. There are those who, because they have chains of academic letters attached to their names, think that these give them an automatic right to lead the party. Others have successfully built business empires and believe that this qualifies them to ascend to the leadership of the party. There are yet others who claim to be more Nkrumahists than others, parading under the Nkrumahist banner; they have lost the basic tenet of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah which says, “in unity lies our strength”. These people manoeuvre to lead the party and when they are unsuccessful deliberately initiate divisive programmes by sowing seeds of discontent to split the party. Conveniently they have forgotten that the former leader fought to unite the whole of Africa, so that the African man from the North to the South, and from the East to the West could say we are free at last. Africa is free at last but we are not fully united. The least we can do is to start from basics and build the blocks towards unity so that generations behind us would also follow the same path and complete the unification process.
Let us now consider why these people think they deserve to be leaders and compare the situation with two democracies in the developed world ie Britain and America.
How many doctorate degree holders have been Presidents in America or Prime Ministers in Britain? Yet there are many such qualified people from good Universities who are members of the various parties. What they do is to initiate policies that help to shape the direction of the parties to enable them win elections and they are recognised for this. Some may be made Ministers, Policy Makers, Advisers to the Presidents /Prime Ministers, Ambassadors etc
There are hundreds of businessmen in America and Britain and yet apart from Mr.Perrot of America, and the late Sir Oliver Goldsmith only a few of them have fought for the leadership of the main political parties in their respective countries in recent history. They have nevertheless assisted in providing funds instead of fighting for the leadership slot. I am not suggesting that PhD holders or successful businessmen should not become leaders of the party. What I am suggesting is that they should not use their qualifications or wealth as a springboard to lead the party no matter what the cost to Ghana. On the contrary, these comrades could help create the right atmosphere for people with vision to study the changing world situation in order to propose and adapt new innovative and creative socialist policies to meet the changing world situation.
The corollary of lack of unity is that, the CPP was able to win only one seat out of more than 220 seats. One seat out of more than 220 seats! Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Kofi Baako, N.A Welbeck, Inkumsah , Kojo Botsio, Krobo Edusei , Aaron Ofori Attah, Arko Adjei, and all those who died fighting for the cause of CPP etc must be weeping in their graves.
If the CPP is to survive the onslaught of the other political parties, then the members need to recognise that the party can only survive through unity. Jesus Christ said that a house divided against itself can never succeed. If members are not united then even the weakest of enemies will defeat the party. It's as simply as that!
Another important issue is to ensure that our policies remain dynamic and relevant in a fast evolving 21st century world. I recall one of my friend's father used to say “the wise man may not know where he is going, but it is only a fool who doesn't know where he is coming from”. We all know that we come from the Nkrumahist/CPP background, in other words, we are all socialists and we are proud to be socialists. But must we remain socialists of the19th Century - must we become what I call the “concrete” and stagnant socialists? (ie a socialist who is unable to adapt to changing situations and unwilling to amend his economic ideology until the forces of change in the world's economy completely overwhelms him). Perhaps the concrete socialist needs to be reminded that when concrete sets it cannot be remoulded, but can only be broken up to concrete and rubble. Just look at Rumania, East Germany and the former Soviet Union?
I must make it clear that I am not a capitalist. In fact, I used to be an extreme left wing socialist until it became blindingly obvious to me that the socialist policies of 1960's cannot successfully be applied to 21st Century development programmes. Ekow Duncan in his article “It is time for CPP to wake up“ in the Daily Graphic of Thursday 13th March 2003” touched on this matter. The CPP desperately needs a wake up call if the party is not to wither on the vine. Agreed.
The reason is that the world is evolving and changing at a very fast rate and the competing demand for services makes it imperative that, people cannot indefinitely depend on the state for the provision of all services. The challenge that has faced governments throughout the world is to deliver their objectives in ways that make best and most effective and efficient use of the finite resources at their disposal. It was for this reason that, during the 1980's there was a shift towards economic pragmatism in the development policies of many governments, covering the broadest possible spectrum of political philosophies throughout the world.
In 1984, for example, the Communist Party of the Peoples Republic of China approved urban economic reforms, which included a national policy of privatisation. As a result, market mechanisms were introduced within a highly controlled economy, state owned enterprises were forced to deal with economic realities, the growth of private business was actively solicited. Russia also initiated reforms to include a national policy of privatisation. This dramatic shift in economic policy does not constitute a change in political philosophy. The leadership has chartered a bold plan to stimulate economic growth by creating a vital private sector while maintaining the controls necessary to avoid potential abuses and minimise inequities which might otherwise result from a rapid shift in the control of a large majority of assets.
Against the above background, my advice to the comrades of the present generation of the CPP is that, we desperately need leaders with vision to lead the party and not necessarily PhD holders or wealthy people without vision. Very soon the party will meet again to consider potential candidates for leadership positions within the party. Members should note that their choices will shape the future direction and destiny of the party and consequently, if we are lucky to win a future election, the economic and political direction and fortunes of the nation. It is my sincere hope that people with political foresight and integrity will be selected and we pray the good Lord to bring such good visionaries to the fore to be selected for leadership of the party. I end herewith this spiritual song, which I think should act as a catalyst to the revival of the old CPP spirit :
I am pressing on the upward way New heights I'm gaining every day Still praying as I'm onward bound Lord plant my feet on a higher ground.
Lord lift me up and let me stand By faith on Heaven's table land A higher plane than I have found Lord plant my feet on higher ground.
The good Lord will make a way out of no way, if we are honest in dealing with the points adumbrated above.
LONG LIVE THE CPP Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.