12 January 2006

Choice of emblem delays Nkrumahist's merger

The passion to maintain the red cockerel as the only emblem of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) during the unification talks with the People’s National Convention (PNC) was exhibited at the CPP headquarters during a symposium as part of activities to mark the 56th anniversary of the declaration of positive action by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, towards the attainment of independence.

While others argued that the unity of the Nkrumahist progressive forces into a formidable party to attract more votes was more important than any emblem, others were of the view that other Nkrumahists had the right to demand some concessions when joining the CPP.

Mr Kwesi Pratt, the Chairman of the Publicity Committee of the party, said those who argued that the CPP should not trade its emblem in the interest of unity were legitimate in their claim, adding that a united Nkrumahist party stood to gain tremendously since most people had refused to vote for the CPP because the family was fragmented.

Nana Dumfeh, the Greater Accra Regional Organiser of the CPP, who was so passionate about the red cockerel, spoke at length to the extent that the chairman of the occasion, Mr Michael Nunoo, had to ask those around to snatch the microphone from him to the annoyance of Mr Dumfeh.

According to Nana Dumfeh, the PNC at one time during the early stages of the Fourth Republic, clandestinely requested the Electoral Commission (EC) to grant them the mandate to use the name, the emblem and the motto of the CPP.

He said the EC refused the request of the PNC. He added that with that action, the PNC had an ulterior motive to use the name CPP for other intentions which were not known to the party and advised the leadership of the CPP to tread cautiously in dealing with the PNC.

Nana Dumfeh, who displayed a copy of a letter, purported to have been written by the EC to inform the CPP about the move by the PNC, said he was totally opposed to the use of any other emblem apart from the red cockerel because the CPP at its congress unanimously agreed that under no circumstances should the party’s motto, emblem or colours be changed.

Other members of the party also expressed worry that Mr Pratt, who is the Publicity Chairman of the CPP, had not been using the opportunity he had in the media to propagate the values of the CPP to increase its numbers.

Mr Pratt explained that just when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took office, he began criticising the CPP and said this did not go down well with some leading members of the CPP, some of whom advised him against such criticism.

He said not quite after that, his office was broken into and some equipment and documents taken away.

He said currently he had signed some sort of agreement with Peace FM, an Accra radio station, where he was being paid, and that under the agreement he was not supposed to use the airwaves to advance the cause of any political party.

Speaking on the topic “The relevance of Nkrumah’s ideas and the CPP’s vision for the resolution of the political and socio-economic problems of Ghana, Dr Gamel Nasser Adam, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, stated that the socio-economic prescription of the developed world and their Bretton Wood institutions were not the panacea for the country’s problems but were targeted at enriching themselves.

Referring to Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s argument, he said “the less developed world will not become developed through the goodwill or generosity of the developed powers and that we can only become developed through a struggle against external forces which have a vested interest in keeping us underdeveloped.”

Dr Adam, who was the CPP Parliamentary candidate for Tamale Central during Election 2004, said Ghana’s underdevelopment must be understood in the proper historical context of world imperialism.

He said imperialism initiated the process of under-development through the transatlantic slave trade, during which some 60 million of the most virile segment of the African population were forcibly shipped to the Americas.

He added that prior to the advent of the slave trade, Africa was generally not inferior to the rest of the Western World, because in some instances African mining technology was superior to its European equivalent.

Dr Adam, who made extensive reference to Dr Nkrumah’s writings, said the CPP after taking over the reins of government from the colonial masters found, slums and squalor, nutritional diseases, bad roads, ignorance and few people with skills with over 80 per cent of the people being illiterate.

He said the only industry was the extraction of gold and diamond and the only cloth produced in Ghana were the hand-woven kente and the northern smock, adding that “there had been geological surveys of our subsoil but imperialist Britain scrupulously withheld the report.”

He said that direct foreign investments that recent governments had been globe-trotting for had done more harm than good to the country, because they had not brought the needed technological transfer, created jobs, paid taxes and wages and promoted industrialisation.

Dr Adam said on the contrary, they had resulted in the pillage of the natural resources, exploited local labour, net transfer of capital, technological retardation, structural distortions in the country’s economy and the subversion of national consciousness.

He cited the operations of Coca Cola and Nestle in Ghana and alleged that “the only indigenous ingredients that is added in their product is water, the coke, powder and the powdered milk in both instances are imported from their parent companies.”

He suggested that the alternative therefore, was to produce the country’s own machinery, tractors and the mobilisation of the people to produce to meet the nation’s needs by first of all taking control of “our own resources and by dislodging the foreign stranglehold over our economy.”

“Immediately we attempt doing this, the true nature of our so-called developed partners, the IMF and the World Bank would be exposed. They simply will not permit this”, he added.

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