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25.10.2008 Feature Article

Samia Nkrumah’s Doublespeak is to the Benefit of the NPP

When the article reporting the alleged public support of Ms. Samia Nkrumah for Nana Akufo-Addo first appeared in the Ghanaian Statesman's edition of October 16, 2008, I was a bit taken aback. And it was not because the daughter of the founding Life-Chairman of the original Convention People's Party (CPP) was alleged to have thrown her electioneering campaign weight behind the presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). For while, indeed, it obviously had great symbolic significance and appeal, in terms of substance or its impact on the proverbial ground, the alleged support of Ms. Nkrumah did not mean much.

First of all, Nana Akufo-Addo's political credibility and his ability to command the mandate of the Ghanaian electorate had to be squarely predicated on both the Presidential Candidate's enviable judicial and human and civil rights track-record, as well as the general performance record of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the past 8 years, of course. And on the latter score, it could not be gainsaid that the stewardship of the NPP is indisputably without compare in postcolonial Ghanaian history. And the latter sterling record, of course, included Nana Akufo-Addo's laudable services as Ghana's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and then Foreign Minister and ECOWAS activities coordinator on the Ghanaian side.

Consequently, we found the Statesman's headlining its October 16, 2008 edition with the purported approbation of the presidential candidacy of Nana Akufo-Addo by the daughter of Ghana's first Prime Minister – and later President – to be not only without merit and one that did not warrant a banner headline in the august Statesman but, even more significantly, we also found the publication to be tactically unwise, especially since Ms. Nkrumah did not appear to have personally authorized such publication; nor had she indicated any intention of either collaborating with the NPP in the manner that CPP flagbearer Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom had done for some 7 years under President Kufuor. Maybe it was his 7 years of service as a cabinet appointee of the Kufuor Administration that Dr. Nduom appears to be confusing with President Nkrumah's much-touted 7-year Development Plan. A veritable Soviet copycat, the 7-year Plan never left the drawing board; for by the time that the CPP imported it into the country, our national coffers were virtually empty. It is, therefore, patently false for anybody to claim that Nkrumah's so-called 7-year Plan was preempted by the 1966 revolutionary coup d'état that auspiciously toppled the African Show Boy.

In essence, it was outright redundant for the Statesman to publish its story alleging that the rump-CPP parliamentary candidate for the Jomoro Constituency, Ms. Samia Nkrumah, had initiated an ideologically insidious campaign strategy whereby the candidate first campaigned for herself, as she logically was expected, and then for the presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party.

It was pleonastic – or redundant – because those of us avid observers of the 2008 electioneering campaign have already been alerted to the laudably pragmatic perspective of Ms. Nkrumah vis-à-vis her own party's dismal prospects at the national level. Not quite awhile ago, for instance, Ms. Nkrumah was widely reported by the Ghanaian media to have poignantly and realistically observed that anybody who believed that the rump-CPP could clinch the presidency in Election 2008 was living a pipe-dream. And here, it is significant to note that the Jomoro parliamentary candidate did not then deny having made any such observation. In sum, the Statesman woefully blundered in publishing its October 16, 2008 story on Ms. Nkrumah.

Among Ghanaians of Akan descent, there is a maxim that: “One does not preempt an orchestral procession that is homebound” (Agoro a wode reba wo fie no, wonnhyia no abonten so). In other words, the sheer but frank, albeit oblique, admission by Ms. Samia Nkrumah that Dr. Nduom could not clinch the presidency of Election 2008, ought to have sufficed by way of her hearty endorsement of Nana Akufo-Addo.

Then also, the fact that Dr. Nduom, the outgoing CPP-MP for the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Constituency, had vigorously courted Ms. Nkrumah as a possible parliamentary replacement for the former appears to have miserably failed, ought to have edifyingly and eloquently communicated something unmistakably meaningful to the editors and publishers of the Statesman. In Latin, if we recall correctly, there is an expression called “Ipso Facto.” In other words, the preceding more than amply testifies to the ideological or, at least, practical location of Ms. Nkrumah's heart in Ghanaian politics, as it were, her formal affiliation with the rump-CPP notwithstanding.

And it is on the preceding score that we could not agree more with the Jomoro CPP parliamentary candidate's campaign team that overtly suggesting that Ms. Nkrumah was in full and hearty support of Nana Akufo-Addo could well sow undesirable seeds of rancor and bitterness among the rank-and-file membership of the rump-CPP. The latter, of course, is in no way to suggest that the current presidential candidate of the rump-CPP has not been without his own formidable opponents among the ranks of his own party associates 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 “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005) and “Selected Political Writings” (Atumpan Publications/lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: [email protected]

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2008

This author has authored 4769 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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