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Why Kwesi Nduom Cannot Lead CPP   
 
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05-Sep-2011  
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Papa Kwesi Nduom
 
 
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The Nkrumaist Movement is indeed a very formidable force in Ghanaian politics, with serious pretensions of acting for and on behalf of the masses. Since 1949, the Nkrumaist Movement has dominated the political landscape. Nobody has managed to win and hold political power without the support of the Nkrumaists.

Even the military junta, which overthrew the Convention Peoples’s Party (CPP) on February 24, 1966, relied on some Nkrumaist elements including Benjamin Annan Bentum, a Deputy Minister for Agriculture under Nkrumah. The Busia Government had prominent Nkrumaist such as Sam Boateng in its midst and General Acheampong was keenly supported by such pro-Nkrumaist organizations as the African Youth Command (AYC), the African Youth Brigade (AYB), the Organisers Council, the Friends and many more. Even when the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) decided to transform itself into some sort of a popularly elected government, it deliberately fed on the Nkrumaist and pro-Nkrumaist Movement.

It created the impression that it did not really want power for itself and that its main objective was to transfer power through the ballot box to the Conventions People’s Party (CPP) of old. Some of the pro-Nkrumaist elements fell for this obvious deception and from the Nkawkaw train through to the National Convention Party (NCP) they rallied to an agenda which eventually led to the emergence of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and it being strengthened as a Third Force. At the end of the process, the CPP or the pro-Nkrumah Movement had become weak and fragmented to the extent that it could no longer pose even as an alternative to its own creation of the NDC. The CPP lost its esteem and the growing perception of the pro-Nkrumah Movement as a den of opportunists weakened it even further.

The problem is that because of the strategic importance of the Nkrumaist Movement, all manner of power hungry charlatans and pretenders have tended to feed on its membership as a ready made support base and Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, an aspiring flagbearer of the CPP in the 2012 general elections, is one of them. By 1996, it had become clear that elections in Ghana were essentially a two horse race between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Both parties sought to dominate and abuse the Movement for electoral purposes. The NPP made promises including a sharing of parliamentary seats and the presidential slot as a condition for forging an alliance with the section of the pro-Nkrumah Movement which had refused to serve the interest of even the much credible NDC.

Significantly, the NPP manipulated the alliance to its own advantage. It put up parliamentary candidates even in constituencies it had agreed to cede to the pro-Nkrumah Movement and it waged a vicious and bitter campaign of vilification against some Nkrumaist candidates. The Great Alliance of the NPP and the PCP (CPP) lost the 1996 election partly as a result of the web of intrigues employed by the NPP to the disadvantage of the pro-Nkrumah Movement. In spite of the shameful betrayal of the pro-Nkrumah Movement in 1996, the CPP still went into an alliance with the NPP in the second round of the 2000 Presidential elections under the guise of opening up the political space.

Between 2001 and 2008, the NPP behaved very much like the PNDC of old with the active collaboration of Hon. Paa Kwesi Nduom, Minister of Economic Planning and Regional Integration and later the Minister of Public Sector Reform. Nduom knew very well that the NPP would never be tired of power and voluntarily surrender it to the CPP. Maybe in his naivety, Hon. Nduom believed that the NPP would have acted in ways which would push itself out of power and create favourable conditions for the CPP to become the Governing party in 2008. As a result of this naivety, Hon. Nduom and sympathizers busily campaigned for an NPP victory in the 2004 elections. In exchange, the NPP agreed not to put up parliamentary candidates in the constituencies which were not NPP strongholds. If the NPP really wanted the CPP to capture some seats, why did it not cede one or two seats in Ashanti to the CPP?

The truth is that the NPP knew that it would be difficult to win the 2008 elections on its own strength and it needed the pro-Nkrumah Movement for psychological impact just in case the presidential elections travelled into the second round. Hon. Paa Kwesi Nduom presented itself as an accomplice of NPP rule although he posed as an independent candidate of the CPP in the 2008 elections and they undoubtedly came crashing down like a sack of “agblema”. This is the hard truth which must be told Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom in the face.

He must be told that the formation of the Parliamentary Action Group he helped set up during his days in parliament and which fiercely advocated for a second term victory for the Former President Kufuor candidature in the 2004 elections and his “Movement” is not the way to go.

I am not without the shred of doubt that Hon. Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom is not fit to lead the Convention People’s Party if it ever stands the chance of winning the masses back to its fold. Amen!
 
 
Source: Duke Tagoe
 
 

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