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13.08.2005 Politics

Christian Shanko Bruce for Odododiodoo

Nii Armah Kweifio-Okai, Chair, The NkrumaistForum
Christian Shanko Bruce for Odododiodoo

A united Nkrumaist party, in its drive to power, faces the first real test in the Odododiodoo bye-election on August 30. Today, the only Nkrumaist candidate, the CPP's Christian Shanko Bruce, formally launches his campaign.

At election 2004, the CPP's Isaac Nii Annan Mettle-Ofei got 1.2%, the NPP's Reginald Nii Bi Ayibonte, 46.4%, and the NDC won the seat with Samuel Nii Ayikwei Mankattah obtaining 52.4% of the votes.

Following the withdrawal of Wahid Laryea, who was going to stand as an independent after losing the NDC candidature, and following the withdrawal of the second independent candidate, Alexander Nii Ayitey Wiseman, as I learnt yesterday yet to be confirmed, the field has narrowed to four candidates on the ballot paper as follows: [1]. Mr. Tackie Nii Commey (NDC) [2]. Christian Shanko Bruce (CPP) [3]. Mr Issaka Nii Amu Collison-Cofie (DPP) [4]. Mr. Lennox Sidney Asafoatse Kojo Mankattah (NPP)

Would Nkrumaists impress in Odododiodoo on this occasion? Certainly a few things in the favour of the Nkrumaist candidate should rightly raise hopes.

The NPP will face difficulties due incumbency, would cop protest votes or non votes from NPP supporters, would suffer from flagging a petroleum price increase and increasing it three weeks before a crucial bye-election, a bye-election effectively a referendum on its performance in Government.

The NDC would lose votes from the manner it selected its candidate, it would not retain all of Wahid votes, after Wahid's withdrawal from the race. Given Wahid's base of followers, I can only be optimistic those not drifting back to the NDC would turn to the Nkrumaist candidate.

The DPP does not register on my radar, so I defiantly hold that Odododiodoo is simply a three horse race.

I am unable to work out who benefits from the withdrawal of independent Nii Ayitey Wiseman. I do however speculate, rather inconclusively, from two pieces of information. Since announcing his candidature, Nii Ayitey's campaign has been one of a true independent. He is seen as a good campaigner and I understand he has strong support in certain wards in Odododiodoo. One might therefore speculate that he would have diluted the votes of both parties, hence his withdrawal from the bye-election should be seen as of no consequence. Yet I heard yesterday, yet to be confirmed as much as his withdrawal itself, that he was lured out of the race by the NPP. If indeed the NPP lured Nii Ayittey out of the race, the NPP must have considered it to be in its best electoral interest. I disagree that Nii Ayittey out of the race is necessarily in the NPP's interest, but I concede that the NPP is there, and I am here.

Perhaps the point of greatest optimism for Nkrumaists is the quality of the Nkrumaist candidate and the fact that the proposed unity of the Nkrumaist parties, at this stage between the PNC and CPP merger, has already yielded results in a single Nkrumaist candidate in Odododiodoo. I end with comments on those two issues.

On Christian Shanko Bruce, Comrade Ade Sawyerr of the NkrumaistForum has written to us thus: Shanko has fought this seat before - he lost to Odoi Sykes in 1978 on a PNP platform. If enough NPP sympathizers can be wooed with a good message about delivering for the urban poor - we may stand a good chance.”

Shanko Bruce is the most experienced politician standing in Odododiodoo in this bye-election. As Comrade Ade said above, Shanko Bruce's experience goes as far back as Limann, the last Nkrumaist President, in the Nkrumaist-Limann tradition in Ghanaian politics.

Shanko Bruce's campaign posture already echoes what Comrade Ade suggested, that irrespective of what we may think of each other, a society is not judged by how many rich people she has, but how well she looks after the disadvantaged. Shanko Bruce is the only candidate who can articulate the voice of the unfortunate, and therefore the peace of mind of all, in Odododiodoo. The NkrumaistForum urges all who can vote in Odododiodoo to cast their votes for Christian Shanko Bruce.

From a personal point of view, I would urge that Odododiodoo returns to the CPP. My uncle, E C Quaye, also known as Kweifio Kakaboka, was one of, if not the leading, CPP stalwarts of Odododiodoo (Ashiedu Keteke) that ushered in Nkrumah as effective Prime Minister in the Gold Coast legislative assembly. Kweifio Kakabo's best friend was the father of the leader of the Ghana chapter of the NkrumaistForum, Prof Nana Ayisi. Prof Nana Ayisi is currently campaigning for Shanco Bruce in Ghana. My early days of life was being awoken midnights by cops chasing Matemeho thugs into the Methodist cemetery in Korle Wokon and knowing a relative was in the thick of things in Nkrumaist politics. If Christian Shanko Bruce can rescue Odododiodoo back to the Nkrumaist fold, he would be doing more than just wining - he would be setting the Nkrumaist party on to the path to Government. Our leade Osagyefo did that before him, through the same Odododiodoo.

The NkrumaistForum over the past few years have been financially supporting Nkrumaist candidates in electorates in which an Nkrumaist-only candidate stands. This is in tune with our commitment to a complete and total unity of the Nkrumaist family. So on this occasion, as previously, we passed the hat around and, in a week, succeeded in raising $500 and bit for the Shanko Bruce election campaign. But this meagre contribution does not remotely reflect our spirit of support for Shanko Bruce in his quest for election. We wish him all the best.

You all have heard and learned what the The NkrumaistForum is all about. If you want to join in our efforts, please contact the webmaster of the NkrumaistForum, [email protected]