"The CPP I Want To See" - Samia Nkrumah Writes

I returned home in 2008 to enter active politics and make a contribution to our country’s development by joining forces with others to revive Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s vision for Ghana. There was only one political force that could embrace this mission, the Convention People’s Party (CPP).

Over the last few weeks a campaign of vilification and denigration has rained over my head from different quarters, all geared to dampen my popularity and misconstrue my mission in the eyes of the Ghanaian public. This comes as no surprise because when you dare to challenge a system, you will be hounded in the process.

Little wonder therefore that recent utterances attributed to social commentators like Ben Ephson and Kwesi Pratt, seemingly sympathisers to the CPP, have been harsh and condemning. “Nkrumah is for the past”; “CPP is not for Nkrumah’s children”. Or a host of negative propaganda from other detractors: “Samia is divisive”; “I really like Samia Nkrumah as a person but I don’t think she’s a politician”.

This latest jab conveniently ignores the fact that I have had the privilege of serving my Party and country as an MP and National Chairperson of a political party.

Today, I am taking steps to go and contest the Jomoro Parliamentary seat once again. By this decision, I am fulfilling an earlier promise to the CPP in the district that I shall be back either as a candidate or actively campaigning for the candidate of our choice as a Party to continue our good work there.

Coincidentally, these developments are happening in the 50th anniversary of the illegal overthrow of Ghana’s democratically-elected government under the leadership of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP.

I recall remarks that appeared in the declassified documents from CIA folders narrating the story of the plot to execute the 1966 overthrow of Nkrumah’s government. “Although Nkrumah’s leftward progress cannot be checked or reversed, it could be slowed down by a well conceived and executed action programme.”

“Intensive efforts should be made through psychological warfare and other means to diminish support for Nkrumah within Ghana and nurture conviction amongst the Ghanaian people that their country’s welfare and independence necessitate his removal.”

The long-standing impact of the vilification of Kwame Nkrumah after the overthrow had taken deep root in the psyche of the Ghanaian despite the enduring evidence of all the good works of the CPP government of the First Republic. Nkrumah’s vindication is not yet total and remains dampened by those unable to understand his mission and vision. Unfortunately, some of those very people are deep within our Party. “Nkrumah is dead and gone,” is a refrain I’ve heard repeatedly in the corridors of the CPP Headquarters at Asylum Down.

There appears to be a struggle within the CPP today between those who want to abandon Nkrumah’s influence, and those who seek to revive his ideals and policies adapting them to today’s circumstances. The former would confer a fake identity on the CPP that will make it difficult to differentiate between our Party from other political parties in terms of our core values and ideology.

The fear of emulating Nkrumah is manifested in the lack of clarity on issues of national concern that impact negatively on the average Ghanaian: IMF austerity package; GMOs, inimical trade agreements EPAs, steady de-industrialisation, the shrinking role of the State in production, and the loud silence over the question of ownership and control by Ghanaians over our natural and national resources. And the list goes on.

Only a sustained ideological educational programme for all CPP members (and all Ghanaians) would bring clarity and understanding and ultimately restore Nkrumah’s vision to transform Ghana into a powerful and productive society. We cannot forget that Nkrumah’s independence mission was aimed at realising the dignity of the Ghanaian, the African and the whole Black race so we can confidently say wherever we find ourselves that, yes, we can fight our own battles and can manage our own affairs effectively.

Understanding this noble and patriotic task will enable the CPP to courageously reject and oppose policies and agreements that preserve our economy as a market for foreign manufactured products and a source of raw material to support industrialisation elsewhere. This understanding will inspire us to revise and present to Ghana the 7-Year Development Plan with its focus on building up a manufacturing capacity based on developing our natural resources.

The industrialization drive of the 1960s remains valid for Ghana today. The development history of recent giants like China, India, South Korea and Brazil, reveals that very few countries have been successful without industrializing and increasing their manufacturing capacities.

The CPP must champion industrialisation with a people-centred approach, respecting our environment and harmonising with it. We must be at the forefront resisting exploitation and dependency that comes under the pretext of innovation and science. We must continue to reject genetically-modified seeds and crops and insist on banning the cultivation, production and distribution of GMOs in Ghana. The CPP must lead in investing in organic farming and protect the Ghanaian farmer by insisting on including anti-monopoly provisions within our seed laws.

The CPP must lead in the struggle for Ghanaians to own and control all natural resources and national assets. We must continue to reject the meagre percentage of shares and royalties in mining and oil production and work to renegotiate all natural resource agreements (mining, oil and gas) to ensure maximum benefit for Ghanaians.

If we try and de-link today’s CPP from Nkrumah’s revolutionary thought and policies then what we hope to offer Ghanaians will be a very superficial and unsustainable programme. Our loyalty to Nkrumah’s vision is a pre-condition for our progress and eventual victory.

To champion a truly patriotic stance in defence of the Ghanaian, the CPP must remain independent from the influence of NDC and NPP, the structural adjustment parties (SAPs) with their failed economic and social policies.

The struggle for the independence of the Party has been going on for some time. During my tenure as Member of Parliament and subsequently as CPP Chairman, I resisted any alliance with either of those parties in order to give full expression to our political beliefs. The Wikileaks report, (https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09ACCRA29_a.html) stand as one testimony of the independent stance I represented. The report demonstrated clearly that I earned the scorn of the NDC when I refused to do business with them in Parliament.

The mindless attacks on my person are aimed at the radical people-centred Nkrumaist CPP that is ready to challenge the status quo and maintain an independent and sharp resistance to everything that is detrimental to the interest of the Ghanaian.

Our mission as followers of Kwame Nkrumah remains incomplete and we have a sacred duty to return Ghana to the development paradigm that delivered development to the people of Ghana.