By Yaw Nkunim (CPP Parliamentary candidate for Manhyia South)
As a heartbeat of the nation, the current poor showing of the CPP especially in Ashanti/BA is merely a reflection of the state of the nation. It must be promptly added that even in its scattered form the CPP has consistently been the ‘kingmaker’ of who governs Ghana whether military or civilian
Convention Peoples Party, CPP, has been the soul of not only Ghana, but Africa. This is because it is the party that best portrays the African Culture or Personality. The four cardinal pillars of its formation- the GREEN Colour, SELF RELIANCE and PRIDE, PAN- AFRICANISM and COMMUNALISM (not communism) or SOCIALISM are simply the embodiment of the African Personality.
Ashanti and the Bono-Ahafo Regions on the other hand, as inclusive of other ethnics as they are, are naturally predominant Ashantis and Bonos (Akans). These are a people of PRIDE and CULTURE, SELF RELIANT with a GREEN flag and COMMUNAL SOCIETIES. Politics is very much in the thick of their everyday lives.
With the above background, one would have thought Ashanti and Brong- Ahafo Regions would have been the strongest hold of the CPP. Interestingly, these regions were the fiercest opposition to the CPP super machine that gripped Ghana and Africa to the marrow in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Perhaps, this unfortunate friction between the CPP and Ashanti/Brong- Ahafo Regions could be understood when objectively analysed. Two major factors come to the fore as the major reasons for the political ripples between them.
The world acclaimed dynamics of Ashanti history and culture and by extension, Brong- Ahafo could not have been expected to smoothly merge into the new Ghana without ‘issues’. As the cliché goes, opposites attract and sameness repel.
Hence the MATEMEHO issues of the early independence era, as unfortunate and insurmountable as it seemed then, should rather inspire Africans that African Unity is a realistically present possibility which must be pursued at all cost for our common good. Another important factor for CPP Ashanti/ BA issues at independence was the TIME. Perhaps the CPP and Ashanti /BA were at different stages of their history. Whereas the CPP was preoccupied with achievement of independence and the dynamics of building a new Ghana nation, Ashanti/BA were focused on giving up their independence and how to maintain their identity in the new Ghana. However it must be noted that CPP nevertheless had a strong presence for an opposition region such as Ashanti/BA including prominent members from the royal families.
As a heartbeat of the nation, the current poor showing of the CPP especially in Ashanti/BA is merely a reflection of the state of the nation. It must be promptly added that even in its scattered form the CPP has consistently been the ‘kingmaker’ of who governs Ghana whether military or civilian. Kutu Acheampong’s coup succeeded with mission of restoring the CPP but stayed on upon Nkrumah’s death three months after the January ‘72 coup. The 1979 coup was generally Nkrumaists revolt. This was followed by Limann and the PNP which was toppled by the PNDC, virtually with CPP content. In 1992, NDC could not have won the elections without Arkaah and the fragmentation of the CPP. This scenario repeated in 1996 with Mills as veep to Rawlings. NPP won the 2000 elections obviously with the support of CPP with subsequent appointment of Hagan, Blay, Ndoum and co. The status quo remained in the 2004 elections. In 2008, the NDC could not have won the elections without Nkunim-CPP parliamentary candidate for Manhyia, rallying support for Mills. From all indications, the NDC cannot win the 2012 elections without the CPP factor. The only time CPP factor was excluded, the Busia administration lasted only two and a half years.
The dwindled fortunes of the CPP particularly in Ashanti/BA, has been due to a myriad of factors. Ashanti is clouded with the NPP (another theory of opposite attraction – their blue colour, their western cultured individualism/capitalism etc). It must be argued, that whatever the reasons for Ashanti domination by the blue NPP, the current era-ITS TIME FOR GREEN AFRICA AND THE EAST- nullifies those reasons. Here, the CPP is strongly urged to concentrate on Ashanti and BA, for the times are fertile for penetration. First of all, the CPP elements have aged, and the apparent history of the CPP made it impossible for any strategic succession plan to be effected. Building the CPP here is therefore a herculean lifetime commitment for the current generation. The NDC largely, and the NPP to a limited extent have benefited greatly from the scattered CPP elements for the same historical antecedents. Even more costly to the CPP has been the flight of strong and committed leadership and strategic organisers that left with the numbers.
However, underneath this generally bleak picture of the CPP, is the potentially great revival of this sleeping giant of a political party. This potential lies in its unique character as the vehicle for the attainment of the African Personality which is crying for space to evolve. With the current dawn of a new era for Ashanti/BA, its best partner may be the CPP, whose symbol is interestingly the cockerel which crows at dawn, symbolising the dawn of a new day! If Ghana is to make a giant leap in its development, there is the need for a Cultural Revolution- the Green Revolution (NOTHING VIOLENT, JUST CULTURAL RE-ORIENTATION). The NPP, with its bedrock in Ashanti, as blue as it is cannot organise let alone lead a Green Revolution. The NDC, evolving from a Rawlings Revolution cannot indict itself with another revolution. The CPP is therefore the only political party with a natural responsibility, arising out of its spirit, character, history and mission to lead this inevitable Cultural (Green) Revolution.
In support of the CPP as the most relevant political party for our nation’s current development is the NDC’s propagation of the achievements and modern relevance of Nkrumahism. Especially the discerning youth, and the masses in general are increasingly becoming Nkrumaist/CPP conscious. Nkrumah built only one political vehicle, the CPP.
Ashanti/BA and the CPP currently have converged at the same cross roads. If the development of the African Culture and the evolution of the African Personality are to be the road map for the new era, then Ashanti/BA and the CPP have a common destiny and no one should be surprised to see Ashanti/BA as the new political ’world bank’ for the CPP. Perhaps, the only element yet to complete this jig saw is a committed, dynamic charismatic and youthful leadership for the CPP from Ashanti/BA region to propel the flying of this common Green Flag.