DR. PAPA KWESI NDUOM IS NOT A FOOL…
Lang T.K.A. Nubuor
Today, a basic principle for the anti-neo-colonial struggle of the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) is that it is the struggle of our people, and that it is our people who must wage it, and therefore its result is ultimately for our people. Obviously a people’s struggle is effectively theirs if the reason for that struggle is based on the aspirations and the desire for justice and progress of the people themselves and not on the aspirations, dreams or ambitions of a single individual who contradicts the actual interests of the people of Ghana.
Kweku Dadzie, CPP: Anti-Nduom Victorious! Political Slate Clean! Not Yet Uhuru!
The December 28, 2011 press conference that Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom addresses ‘to declare (his) resolve to work with like-minded men and women from all over the country, to form a very focused, vibrant, independent-minded and progressive Political Movement to contest the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections’ has all the ingredients that a non-Nkrumaist political movement features. Apart from the avoidance of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s name in the entire speech Dr. Nduom makes it crystal clear that his intended political movement is not directed by any ideology.
‘Unlike the other Ghanaian political parties, we are not selling an ideological mission to the Ghanaian people. We are Pragmatists.’ he tells us. As a Pragmatist, Dr. Nduom is committed to the reform of the neo-colonial state. He has a platform with an agenda to ‘Reform state institutions’. By this he intends to make the government of the neo-colonial state ‘efficient and raise revenue to pay public servants well to motivate them facilitate the work of the private sector and Ghanaian society in general’. If this is not a statement of the capitalist neo-colonial ideological position then what else is? So that contrary to Dr. Nkrumah’s position that the neo-colonial state must be replaced, he, like Hon. Samia Nkrumah, rather seeks to strengthen it for the private sector.
Dr. Nkrumah explains that a reform does not lead to a progress out of the existing state system but rather seeks to maintain it in its essence while making mere concessions to the aggrieved sections of society to sustain the survival of that system. It seeks to forestall a revolution that brings about that kind of progress. That explains the kind of change Dr. Nduom is anxious to make to maintain existing property relations whereby a few control the wealth created by all; for, the dangerously existing explosive situation in Africa and the world promises a revolution to place nationally-created wealth in the hands of the majority.
It is only within the context and on the basis of this fundamental concern that we can understand Dr. Nduom’s choice of Pragmatism as his guiding light. For, Pragmatism, which he cautiously spells with a capital ‘S’ to emphasize its political and philosophical but not its ordinary meaning, is that orientation that emphasizes changes within a system but not over and above it. Hence, his commitment to the neo-colonial system as against Dr. Nkrumah’s radical opposition to it should be seen as an important reason why he makes no reference to the author of Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. He has no need for him.
The current desperate state of neo-colonialism in Africa and world imperialism occasions desperate measures. The concentration of power in the hands of the desperate elite becomes an article of faith, a dire necessity for maintaining the existing order. That explains why in his speech Dr. Nduom takes a special note of the presidential system and seeks to effect such constitutional amendment that would strengthen it contrary to calls by the other parties to reduce the President’s powers. This, again, explains why he calls this the ‘new direction’. It is a direction that makes the President the one who determines the direction of events.
In this respect, he states that by the terms of the New Direction, ‘It is the President who makes or doesn’t make things happen’. To emphasize the personal, and dictatorial and fascist, nature of the Presidency he adds that ‘this new direction should stress the personal comparison rather than party consideration’. The President, so to speak, is independent of his own party. To have him independent of parliament, under the facade of strengthening the legislature, a constitutional amendment will ‘abolish the provision that allows Ministers of State to also serve as Members of Parliament’. That is, Ministers are subject to him alone.
In this kind of presidential system, the New Direction says ‘the president … will cooperate with parliament and forge an effective partnership to ensure agreement on an urgent agenda for the accelerated development of Ghana’. So that by the projections of the New Direction the President, with newly enhanced and personal powers, becomes more amenable to cooperating with Parliament than as obtains in the current situation when the unenhanced powers of the President are considered too much by the other parties and render such cooperation below expectation. That is, the President cooperates if given more powers.
Nduomian New Direction has further intentions of eliminating party control over the President. In the first place, the President does not need to be associated with a political party’s representative(s) in Parliament in order to become a President. The suggestion here is that an independent candidate without a political party that has members in Parliament can be elected President of the country. Dr. Nduom’s own words are that ‘we hold the view that one does not need to have an affiliated seat in parliament to become President. We are governed by a presidential system and not a parliamentary system.’ (Actually, ours is a hybrid of the two).
And, secondly, where a presidential candidate is supported by a political party/movement the latter can only be an election machine: meaning that the party’s/movement’s work ends with the electoral process; after the election it has no further work to do, work like ensuring that he complies with the party’s/movement’s programme. He says this in two different ways. Firstly, he says ‘Our new political movement aims to present a credible, united, disciplined and well-organised election machine that is coupled with a clear, specific Platform for Change …’ Secondly, he states that that movement’s ‘goal is to contest the 2012 elections … This journey must end in the Flagstaff House. That, my friends, is our destination.’ The journey, he says, started in 2008.
Note that the Platform for Change, even before the political movement is inaugurated, has been spelt out in the 10-point Agenda attached to the speech. And, again, even before the projected political movement could open up nominations for its presidential candidate, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom declares himself to be its candidate. Hence, he sets the tone for a New Directionist regime where the political movement has nothing to do with the composition of the Platform which the candidate single-handedly churns out and, in case of electoral victory, implements.
In fact, Dr. Nduom has no primordial need for a political party. His speech makes it clear that his preference is for a political movement in which like-minded persons come together for purposes of elections. The electoral laws, he says, compel the transformation of the movement into a party. Else…? Once again, this is how he puts it: ‘We are a Political Movement guided by an agenda for change. Unfortunately, the Ghanaian electoral laws do not permit a collective of independent like-minded people to use the same platform and symbol for presidential and parliamentary campaigns. So we will by necessity convert from Political Movement to become a political party.’ (All emphasis added)
In case the reader has difficulties in seeing the import of the distinction of a political party from a political movement, we pause here to explain that a political movement, like the Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S.A. or the North Africa and Middle East movements, does not have a formal leadership whereas a political party has a Constitution and Regulations that outline, among others, how its leaders are elected and held accountable and is also registered as such by an Electoral Commission which is a state organ. A mass political party evolves out of a mass political movement.
That calls our attention to Dr. Nduom’s declaration that ‘Ours is a mass movement, a collective, that is not based on any one individual and one that will depend on merit and hard work to determine who occupies what leadership position.’ Such a mass movement is historically set in motion by a spontaneous demand for some particular change. From the speech, we glean bits of that demand as the true yearning for ‘a new political force in Ghana … of all independent and progressive-minded people who want something different from what has been offered by the political parties so far in the Fourth Republic.’
Putting these elements together, he renders it all thus: ‘Ours is a broad-based national Movement with people who have been crying for the “change we need” after experiencing NDC and NPP administrations that have not delivered to their expectations.’ The speech, in spite of its promise to convert this mass movement into a political party, ends up calling on ‘all Ghanaians to join our progressive Political Movement now so that we can build the alternative that will bring the change we need’. This political movement will be inaugurated ‘in the next two months at a national convention’. It has the 10-point Agenda to be implemented ‘when our candidate is made President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013’ as its Platform.
Nothing is heard of a political party. Interesting indeed, this is. Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom is aware that a political movement will not be registered to field candidates for both the presidential and parliamentary elections. Only a political party whose candidates could be subjected to its discipline can be registered. He is clearly intent on creating a platform that can get him and some like-minded persons elected as independent candidates to the Presidency and Parliament respectively without being held accountable by such a platform for their performance in Government.
This is certainly a novelty in African political practice and history. Only an extremely crafty mind can fashion it out. What is of great importance in these manoeuvrings is that Dr. Nduom has correctly gauged the political temperature and discerns the emerging spontaneous mass movement against the entire political Establishment which movement he seeks to hijack so as to deplete it of any revolutionary potential. Like the North African situation, he hopes to assume that leadership with absolute powers to pacify such a scene for the essential retention of the neo-colonial system from which he personally benefits.
Masquerading under the cloak of a progressive-minded leader misdirecting the revolutionary mass movement into a reform movement, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom indeed operates upon the realization that only a determined fascist dictatorship can contain the threatening situation. Not surprisingly, he uses the word ‘progressive’ often as most fascists do – taking the wind out of the sail of truly progressive forces. His loud anxiety to be a President with enhanced powers exercised in independence of a legislature with no in-built checks on such powers stems from his seeing the danger, which his class compatriots do not see or take lightly, and yet not being in the position to immediately defuse it at the embryonic stage.
When Hon. Samia Nkrumah accuses him of ‘indiscipline’ and sees only ‘nonsense’ in his acts she betrays a less discerning mind as to the urgencies underpinning his behaviour. The gentleman is desperate. He sees what his colleagues in the major parties do not see. Thus, they do nothing about it in the face of all the opportunities that they presumably have; while he is helplessly without such opportunities. Let it be understood by progressive forces that the man is not really a fool. He is not an ignoramus but a full-blooded politically conscious animal that sniffs the scent of danger from a distance of five million miles. They must heed to the call of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to prevent the misdirection of the revolutionary potential.
It might explode in their face in a state of unpreparedness. This is the time not only to monitor the evolving spontaneous mass movement in terms of its consent and desire for change but also develop a political party from it to direct it while it also controls that party. The mass movement was discerned long ago by Dr. Nkrumah as a revolutionary mass movement with its revolutionary party and revolutionary armed force that marches across the borders crushing the neo-colonial regimes to liberate and unite Africa under a People’s Republican State of Africa.
When Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom says that ‘A new future beckons but it will not come into being unless we make a break from the old way of doing things. The time for action is now’ he speaks with the insight as well as instinct and meaning of a reactionary mind-set but not a fool. Revolutionaries must repeat it to themselves with the insight as well as instinct and meaning of a revolutionary mind-set. Not a word must be subtracted from it. Not a word must be added to it.
Finally, the quote from Kweku Dadzie at the head of this article shows the ideological current that Dr. Nduom has been contending with all along within the CPP. That he should take a court action against Kweku Dadzie to shut the latter up shows the depth of desperation that opposition to his neo-colonial enterprise caused him to opt out of the CPP. It was an ideological defeat that pushed him out of the party. And it was a triumph of the anti-neo-colonial Cause led by the CPP Youth who now have the task of getting Hon. Samia Nkrumah, the party leader, to commit herself in speech and deed to the Nkrumaist Agenda for the liberation and unification of Africa under the socialist People’s Republican State of Africa. Else, a similar struggle must be waged to force her out with her fellow travellers. We congratulate the CPP Youth.
Forward Ever, Backward Never. Amandla! Ngawethu!
FIND BELOW THE SPEECH BY DR.KWESI NDUOM
Speech By Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom On A New Progressive Political Movement For The 2012 Elections – DECEMBER 28, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for honouring our invitation to participate in this event which we believe will chart a very different and positive course in the political environment of our dear country, Ghana. As you very well know, I do not engage in politics of insults, acts of violence or disrespectful behaviour. I believe that public service is an honourable duty that should be performed with passion and vim. I believe in politics that presents ideas and solutions to the problems that confront us as a nation for consideration and implementation.
I am here this morning to declare my resolve to work with like-minded men and women from all over the country, to form a very focused, vibrant, independent-minded and progressive Political Movement to contest the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Our Political Movement will work hard to be a winner in 2012. It will be difficult, we know, but we are prepared to do everything possible to give Ghanaians an alternative that is progressive and different in a very positive way.
This means that when the Convention People’s Party (CPP) opens its nominations next month to elect a Presidential Candidate, I will not participate in that process. In all human endeavours, it is important to know when to change course to obtain a positive result. I wish the CPP well as it seeks to chart the course announced by its new Leadership. For me, this is the time to look forward and forward only, to a new and different political order.
Our new political movement aims to present a credible, united, disciplined and well-organised election machine that is coupled with a clear, specific Platform for Change Ghanaians can feel in their lives and in their pockets within four years. Ours is a broad-based national Movement with people who have been crying for the “change we need” after experiencing NDC and NPP administrations that have not delivered to their expectations. We are a Political Movement guided by an agenda for change. Unfortunately, the Ghanaian electoral laws do not permit a collective of independent like-minded people to use the same platform and symbol for presidential and parliamentary campaigns. So we will by necessity convert from Political Movement to become a political party. We will inaugurate this truly national Political Movement in the next two months at a national convention that will demonstrate our true character, strength and the depth of human capital that we are gathering. Our goal is to contest the 2012 elections with a positive, progressive, different force not felt in the Fourth Republic.
The progress we are seeking is the one we will make together. It is this progress that will reinvent Ghana. This Movement will succeed because we aim to reinvent ourselves, our attitudes and our way of life as Ghanaians. The voices of the times have moved on and we have listened before gathering courage to stand before you today to speak to the nation.
We are grateful to all the well-wishers and supporters who have been demonstrating their interest in being part of a new political force in Ghana; they are putting together presidential and parliamentary campaign organisations where they find themselves in the ten regions and 230 constituencies. Our action today will solidify the interest of all independent and progressive-minded people who want something different from what has been offered by the political parties so far in the Fourth Republic. Our Movement will have a different character – less bureaucratic and more field and action oriented – from what has typically been the case in Ghana in the Fourth Republic. Ours is a mass movement, a collective, that is not based on any one individual and one that will depend on merit and hard work to determine who occupies what leadership position.
We urge all who think and believe that Ghana deserves better leadership and the best government possible to join us now. If you are a teacher or nurse who believes that you can get your just reward right here on earth, join us. If you are a policeman, prison officer, fire service man or woman or soldier who needs better tools and technology to provide better service to the nation, join us. If you are a driver, a house help, a construction worker, join us for a more secure future. If you are a farmer or fisherman who is crying for help to make a better living, join us. If you are in the public service and in need of better motivation and equipment, join us. If you are in the private sector and need support from your government to grow your business, join us. If you are a Ghanaian who believes that our natural resources – gold, bauxite, manganese, diamond, oil and gas must benefit the Ghanaian now, join us. If you have supported the NDC, NPP and the other political parties and you now feel the need for an alternative, join us now. We are there for the Ghanaian. We are there for you.
Our Movement’s orientation and our core beliefs about the world we live in are Progressive. This means we believe in broad-based human progress that is felt by the people. We believe that under our leadership, Ghana can move from a third world nation to a first world nation by working with a great sense of duty and urgency. We believe in Ghanaian excellence. We believe in Ghanaian prosperity. We believe in all of the Ghanaian people. We will fight for dramatically accelerated developmental progress. We will fight to move Ghana away from the maintenance of mediocrity, the culture of indiscipline, the constant failure of leadership, the cruelty of resource mismanagement and the tragedy of low expectations for developing African nations such as Ghana.
Unlike the other Ghanaian political parties, we are not selling an ideological mission to the Ghanaian people. We are Pragmatists. Ghanaians want food to eat, they want a home to live in, they want good health and safe roads, they want the best education for their children, and they want good jobs. We care about governance that works for all Ghanaian people.
Science, Technology, Education and Math (STEM) will be at the heart of our efforts. Through science, technology, selfless dedication to work and discipline, we will identify, test and implement the policies and programs that will deliver progress to the Ghanaian nation. When the best individuals who can deliver results to the Ghanaian people are at the helm of this nation at the Presidential and Parliamentary levels, Ghana will achieve the transformation that has been denied Ghanaians for so long. Progressive, pragmatic leadership the type that focuses on education, job creation, industrialization, housing and dealing with preventive diseases will lead Ghana to Prosperity in Peace!
Our Movement’s leadership will mandate the use of the purchasing power of the State to ensure that we maximize the potential of local industries in all areas – agriculture, technology, consumer goods etc. Ours is a truly radical Movement that will put the Ghanaian in front of everything that happens in this country.
The pillars of our message are familiar to Ghanaians. Specifically, we have over the years shown a consistency that can only come from strong conviction. First of all we believe in inclusiveness. We are against the winner takes all approach to our politics and will use the brightest and the best to take Ghana to higher levels.
Secondly we hold the view that one does not need to have an affiliated seat in parliament to become President. We are governed by a presidential system and not a parliamentary system. That said, the president we help elect into office, will cooperate with parliament and forge an effective partnership to ensure agreement on an urgent agenda for the accelerated development of Ghana. It is the President who makes or doesn’t make things happen. That is why those who believe in this new direction should stress the personal comparison rather than party consideration. The NPP and the NDC may be big established parties, but none of that translates into effective leadership. We wish to ask all voters to make a change by considering the experience and personal attributes we are offering and vote for me to make the difference that they desire in their lives. Everywhere we go, our young men and women cry out for one thing – jobs, jobs, jobs. Well, what we can say to them today is, “Have no fear, “Edwumawura” is here!
new future beckons but it will not come into being unless we make a break from the old way of doing things. The time for action is now.
What our experience in the 4th Republic has taught us is that we need a President who is by practical experience best suited for the job and who has demonstrated in his private life and in public service the ability to deliver positive results. I, Papa KwesiNduom, “Edwumawura”, believe I am the person most suited for the position of President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013.
A few weeks ago, we stated that the 2012 campaign will be the continuation of the journey we started in 2008. This journey must end in the Flagstaff House. That, my friends, is our destination. In 2008, we were given great reception throughout the country. Our campaign team has great memories we will forever cherish of traditional authorities and people from all walks of life encouraging us to do our best to convince them to vote for us. We remember that from Pusiga to Prestea, from Wa throughWalewale to Wiawso; from Tuobodom to Takoradi; from Enchi through Ejura to Elmina; Dunkwa to Damango to Dzelukope; from Obom-Domeabra to Obuasi you told us that Ghana needed change. You told us that it was our responsibility to give the people positive reasons to vote for the change we were offering.
We had a great message of change you can feel in your pocket to give hope and dignity to the Ghanaian in his or her own country. There was an enthusiastic army of young men and women who believed that Ghana deserved better. We experienced the hopes and dreams of ordinary men and women who walked and used their sweat to support our campaign. We have fine-tuned our strategy to enable us get a much better result than we got in 2008. We are running a Youth-based campaign. Indeed our Movement is driven by men and women under the age of 35. We have built a strong volunteer group powered by youthful energy, enthusiasm and limitless talent. Our goal is to educate and give experience to these young men and women to sit around the decision-making table and gain the confidence needed by them to take over the Movement.
In 2008, we promised that together, we would build a great country. We promised that together, we would unite our people. Together, we would run an inclusive government and do something different – bring inclusiveness into Ghanaian society so that the best people get the right jobs and contracts. We promised that an administration led by me would be open, transparent and will attack corruption and indiscipline with a sense of urgency so that we could build a just and caring society that is prosperous. We still stand by these promises. Ghanaians have a big choice to make in 2012 – stagnation or progress.
We encourage all Ghanaians to join our progressive Political Movement now so that we can build the alternative that will bring the change we need.
Join this new, different Progressive Political Movement!
Thank you for your attention.
There are ten agenda items that our Movement wants the opportunity to implement when our candidate is made President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013:
1. Create a just and disciplined society. Create a just and disciplined society with a passion for excellence within ten years and with science and technology as the cornerstone, become a higher level middle income country.
2. Improve the Performance of Government. Reform state institutions, make government efficient and raise revenue to be able to pay public servants well to motivate them facilitate the work of the private sector and Ghanaian society in general.
3. Give Power to the People for Development. Sponsor changing the Constitution to enable the election of all District Assembly Members and District/Municipal/Metropolitan Chief Executives to ensure local accountability and rapid development. This we will do in one term of office.
4. Strengthen Parliament to perform its legislative duties effectively. Sponsor changing the Constitution to abolish the provision that allows Ministers of State to also serve as Members of Parliament. We believe that this move will make available for governance a large pool of qualified, experienced Ghanaian talent whose expertise is currently unused and therefore lost to Ghana. This we will aim to complete in one term of office. Concurrent with this objective will be a solid determination to give Parliament the facilities and resources needed to pass good laws and scrutinize the proposals submitted by the Executive effectively.
5. Provide Quality Education for Every Ghanaian Child. Standardize school facilities from kindergarten to Senior High School with libraries, toilets, classrooms, kitchen, housing for teachers, playground, etc: and Ensure free and compulsory education in public schools from kindergarten to Senior High School (including computer training). We will deploy an “Education Police” to enforce the compulsory aspect of our policy. An integral part of this objective will be an objective to significantly increase vocational training so that all school leavers gain employable skills.
6. Provide Energy for Industrialisation and Rapid Development. Implement solutions with a sense of urgency to meet domestic needs for industry and domestic use and make Ghana a net exporter of power again in four years. To enable us achieve this objective, we will provide tax incentives to enable development of alternative sources of fuel and power – bio fuels and solar. We aim to ensure that the contribution from alternative sources of energy reaches a minimum of 10% of what we need in a decade.
7. Provide Better Health Care and Cleaner Environment. Ensure a cleaner environment free from preventable diseases like malaria, cholera and guinea worm. Provide affordable and accessible health care for all in every region. Ensure emergency care throughout the country to save lives. Our focus will be in the area of prevention where education is the key.
8. Attack Crime, the Drug Trade and Corruption. Attack crime, the drug trade and corruption aggressively using leadership by example, being modest in government, passing and implementing the Right to Information Bill and ensuring an independent prosecutor’s office exists separate from the Ministry of Justice. Strengthen the Narcotics Control Board to make it the agency responsible for fighting the drug trade with all the human, financial and other resources needed for success. Strengthen the Police Force by providing resources and training to fight crime.
9. Create a Homecoming Secretariat. Establish a Secretariat to cater for the needs of Ghanaians Abroad and the African Diaspora by June 30th 2013. Provide a support system to encourage re-entry, investment, safe and healthy vacations and transfer of knowledge and technology.
10. Create Jobs. Use government’s purchasing power to ensure that we eat what we grow and use what we produce in Ghana. Improve Ghana’s business climate to enable investment in job creation so that our people will stay at home to help develop the country and its economy. We will be relentless in providing support to Ghanaian industry and our farmers and fishermen using low interest loans, technical assistance, tax incentives and priority access to the Ghanaian market. To accelerate job creation nationally, an inter-region highway will be built with the same high quality throughout the country to open up the country for investment and development.