By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Tuesday, February 5, 2014
Folks, Ghana is on course to return to a two-party political stream. There is no hope for any third force under the guise of the pro-Nkrumahist family. Sooner than later, pro-Nkrumahism will be no more.
A viable political party that wants to remain so does things to grow, not to disintegrate or give politics a bad name. Or create fertile conditions for its members to be poached by rival political parties. Unfortunately, the pro-Nkrumahist political parties aren’t functioning this way.
I have a big issue with them because they are more invested in tearing their own house apart than building it to face the challenges imposed on partisan politics by our democracy.
Since the overthrow of the CPP government in 1966 and strategic efforts made by the Nkrumah haters to erase his name and accomplishments from Ghana’s history, the CPP has not had things easy-going. Its victory at the June 1979 general elections to put the PNP in office didn’t change anything because the Limann government fell victim to military adventurism.
Then, when the ban on party politics was lifted in 1992, the CPP couldn’t bounce back as a united front. It did so in various configurations that have become history. Its main offshoot the National Convention Party flirted with Rawlings’ NDC and entered into a dangerous political marriage with the NPP called the Great Alliance that flopped terribly).
When the brand name (“CPP”) was unbanned, the Nkrumahist front re-emerged again in splinter groups, the main branch bearing that CPP tag, hotly taunted by its half-brothers (the late Dan Lartey’s Ghana Consolidated Popular Party and Dr. E.N. Mahama’s People’s National Convention). Each seemed to be interested in only bearing a slice of the “Convention” but not sharing anything concrete to return the pro-Nkrumahist front to power and glory. Or even rising up by its own bootstraps. Only irritating us with their occasional effusions about governance but doing nothing to take over the rein of governance.
They have attempted merging but not succeeded for reasons best known to their leaders. Sadly, the CPP has faded really fast (with one accidental representation in the current Parliament by virtue of a bye-election victory somewhere in Northern Ghana) while the PNC has had some since the emergence of the 4th Republic, meaning that it is worth recognizing as more viable than the CPP.
Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom still placards his Nkrumahist credentials but is little recognized as such, which is why splitting ranks and forming the People’s Popular Party—and performing abysmally at Election 2012—hasn’t raised him to any high pedestal. He is still making some noises on the flanks but nothing exists to show that his party is growing as a force to reckon with at future elections.
Truth be told, none of these mushroom pro-Nkrumahist parties is worth recognizing as a political force to be trusted to change the current political dynamics that have the NDC and NPP swapping places to be in power—the NDC doing so more than the NPP has done in this 4th Republic.
Now, here is the main issue. While the NPP is doing all it can to put its plans to good use in readiness for Election 2016, the pro-Nkrumahist parties are either crying over spilt milk or in total disarray, unsure of their role in Ghanaian politics. Its national chairman, Samia Nkrumah’s declaration of intent to contest Election 2012 as the CPP’s Presidential Candidate is the biggest joke ever. On the basis of a dead CPP?
The CPP is virtually in its death throes while the PNC is currently being torn apart by allegations against its 2012 Presidential Candidate, Hassan Ayariga. And the allegations have exposed the weaknesses of the party and created a nasty impression about it. Credibility is gone!
It all began when the “Convention Forum” (a youth group in the party) demanded that the party’s leadership should account for Ghc1.6 million of campaign funds meant for the 2012 elections. The spokesperson for the group, Adam Akani, alleged that the money was to be used to pay the PNC party agents who policed the 2012 elections but the agents have still not been paid.
Then, David Apasara (the Treasurer of the PNC) specifically accused Mr. Hassan Ayariga of hijacking and hoarding the party’s cars and money. According to him, Mr. Ayariga received many cars, including Land Cruisers and pickups, as well as different amounts of money as donation in the name of the party but hoarded all of it to himself.
In his reaction, Mr. Ayariga has dismissed the allegations of embezzlement and said that he is not accountable to the party over monies spent during the 2012 electioneering period.
In an interview on Radio XYZ’s “Strict Proof” on Tuesday, he conceded receiving some monies for his campaign just like his fellow presidential candidates but added that all expenses for his 2012 campaign were borne by him without a cedi from the party.
He said that he was compelled to close down all his three restaurants because he had to channel funds from those personal businesses into his electioneering campaigns. He added that until he became the flagbearer of the PNC, the party was virtually dead and so could not have attracted any sponsorship from anybody or groups of people.
“The Chairman is the leader of the party, so if there’s money missing, I think they are the right people to explain to us where the money came from, who gave the money, and how much it was, and where it went to”.
Speaking to Joy News on Tuesday, Mr. Ayariga noted that if any money was directly given to him at all, then, it probably means that the money was not meant for the party.
Mr. Ayariga has a big credibility problem to tackle; and no amount of huffing and puffing will do so for him. No “Ayaricough” or antics similar to “Ayarigate” will do so. It is serious business—to account for anything done or undone in the name of the party that he led at Election 2012. Accountability is the call.
Clearly, the pro-Nkrumahist family is virtually dead and will soon become history. The occasional effusions or misplaced critical assessments of happenings in Ghana coming from its agitated leaders won’t solve the internal problems tearing everything into shreds for them. Neither will knee-jerk public demonstrations of the kind that Dr. Nduom is organizing all over the place as if it is such demonstrations that will enlarge his party’s following.
As these parties waste time and resources splitting their own ranks, they give credence to the claim that the NDC and NPP will remain the strongest political parties to share political power in Ghana.
That returns Ghana to a two-party stream (that had been the case before the collapse of multi-partyism under Nkrumah’s agenda of the CPP’s being Ghana and Ghana’s being the CPP with himself as the Life President).
Interestingly, both the NDC and NPP have a collection of elements claiming to be Nkrumahists but gravitating more toward the gravy train than clinging to the umbilical cord that might nourish their ideological stream as Nkrumahists. They have become politically bastardized and cannot persuade me that they are still Nkrumahists who will do what Nkrumahists are expected to do to grow an Nkrumahist party.
With the return of the two-party stream in Ghanaian politics comes many challenges that the electorate should take note of and ensure that our democracy doesn’t falter. I will be happy to see all these so-called pro-Nkrumahist parties collapsed into the NDC (whose agenda for national development is not far different from that of the Great Osagyefo).
It will be a travesty of politics to have them troop to the NPP because both are ideologically incompatible, even though the dethroned Ellembele Mugabe (Freddie Blay) and Dr. Nduom have been in bed with this Danquah-Busia anathema over the years. Freddie Blay has even picked up a nomination form to contest the position of Vice Chairman of the NPP.
Such turncoats are laughable, not because they come across as political prostitutes but because they have no ideology to stand on and drift as the wind blows. They are not to be trusted.
When the two-party stream is consolidated, it will become necessary for laws to be passed to regulate funding of political parties and the state itself charged with supporting the two parties so a lasting regime for political organization can be established for our democracy.
Then, politics should be used to improve living conditions in the country, not to put in power any group of self-seekers. The game of musical chairs won’t grow our democracy!!
I shall return…