The quite predictable decision by Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom to quit the rump-Convention People’s Party (CPP) – what I have facetiously dubbed as “Doing an Nkrumah on the CPP” – with which political organization he had hitherto been trucking for some two decades, came as a great amusement to me. And here, of course, I take this prime opportunity to vividly recall an open note that Dr. Nduom dispatched to me sometime between 2007 and the lead-up to the 2008 general elections, in which the former rump-CPP MP for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) sanguinely predicted that this writer would return into the jolly and convivial fold of the rump-CPP in the offing. The note in question had been sent to me via the Ghanaweb.com chat-room. Believe me, my dear reader, I am not having a proverbial last laugh here, at all. I am only trying to remind readers who might have forgotten that maxim which says that: “Wonders shall never cease.”
Anyway, after I read Paa Kwesi’s note in the chat-room of Ghanaweb.com, I promptly shot back by reminding the former cabinet operative of the Kufuor administration, that I was damned afraid that he was wistfully confusing his Elmina Young Pioneer Days with the relatively more mature and advanced Ghanaian, Fourth-Republican political culture of the twenty-first century. I also reminded Paa Kwesi that 1965, and the middle-school experience and faux-epic imagination of a twelve or thirteen year-old boy was vastly different from the existential reality of the postcolonial Ghanaian experience of 2007 and/or 2008.
And if memory also serves me accurately, I also then suggested to Paa Kwesi that if he had been a mature adult then and as successful in business as he is today, or that day some four years ago, back in the Nkrumah days, I bet my bottom-dollar, as it were, that he most definitely would have found himself incarcerated at Nsawam and cynically and scornfully asked to prove where he had come by his “ill-gotten wealth” and insufferably “nauseating” bourgeois existence. I also admonished the U.S.-trained capitalist entrepreneur to quickly get over his quixotically wistful flirtation and child’s nostalgia with the tautological CPP, because the Convention People’s Party, as he had known the same as a child in good, old Elmina, was never coming back to assume any dominant or remarkable position on the Ghanaian political landscape, as surefire as Mr. Kwame Nkrumah was highly unlikely to be breaking the terrazzo bounds of his tomb in Accra’s old polo grounds, to reprise his long-vanquished tyranny over the Ghanaian people.
Thus, when in the dying days of 2011, the former Energy Minister under the Kufuor-led and Danquah-Busia-Dombo-leaning New Patriotic Party (NPP), at long last, proclaimed that he had seen the proverbial light, I could not but feel unreservedly vindicated, and even downright prophetic, in my prediction of nearly a half-decade ago.
Well, in announcing his rupture with the rump-Convention People’s Party on the last Wednesday of 2011, this is what Mr. Kufuor’s former lieutenant in charge of labor and manpower modernization and restructuring had to say: “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 and progressive political movement to contest the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections” (Daily Guide 12/29/11).
Needless to say, what made it rather difficult for listeners and observers not to envisage Dr. Nduom for the shameless and veritable hypocrite that he ineluctably is, stems from the fact that it is precisely the preceding qualities which Dr. Nduom claims to have endeared him to the rump-CPP for the past two decades that he has been associated with the same. Indeed, what I have always maintained is that Edina Kwesi is a cynical opportunist who only recognizes any means of appropriating pre-established organizations to meteorically realize his vaulting ambition of being elected President of Ghana without having to stand on line (or in queue) and patiently waiting for his turn, in the famous dictum of former President John Agyekum-Kufuor.
And, indeed, all-too-predictably, sources close to the Nduom “presidential ambition” claim that the 2008 rump-CPP presidential candidate had, until his publicly declared parting of the ways with the Nkrumaist faction, been privately nurturing a political action campaign group called the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), which he now intends to activate into a full-fledged political party. If the name MSJ sounds strikingly akin to the Adu-Boahen and Akufo-Addo-led, anti-Acheampong (SMC I) Movement for Freedom and Justice (MFJ) of the 1970s, it vividly confirms what critics like me have maintained all along – that Paa Kwesi Nduom is a bona fide elephant pretending to be a red cockerel.
Anyway, the former Kufuor cabinet operative also appears to have deeply regretted his long, lost years spent shuffling among the ranks of the rump-CPP constabulary. To the latter effect, Dr. Nduom bitterly observes: “When the Convention People’s Party (CPP) opens its nominations [register?] next month to elect a Presidential candidate, I will not participate in that process.” Further, the self-styled Nkrumah avatar averred: “As 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-organized election machine that is coupled with a clear, specific platform for [the kind of] change [that] Ghanaians can feel in their lives and in their pockets within four years.”
And like the seasoned charlatan that he has always been widely known to be, Nduom further suggested that his new political party would be “a broad-based national movement composed of people who…have been yearning for change after experiencing NDC and NPP administrations, both of whom [sic] have failed them.”
Indeed, had he been even a half-honest politician, Dr. Nduom would also have added the stark fact of having, himself, been a key player of the Kufuor-led NPP administration whose sterling performance record, the former rump-CPP presidential candidate has not hesitated to tout as his sole claim to any political relevance and/or achievements of national proportions.
That Dr. Nduom may never really have been welcome among the ranks of the proverbial movers and shakers of the rump-CPP, is attested by the reaction with which party chairwoman Samia Yaba Nkrumah met the Edina MP’s decision to part ways with the Nkrumah camp. “This offers us a golden opportunity to move the party forward,” the daughter of former President Nkrumah noted. The unmistakable implication here, of course, is that the former Africa representative of Touche and Deloitte financial firm’s vaulting presidential ambitions have seriously undermined the progress of the rump-CPP. Then also, Ms. Nkrumah suggested that the presence of Dr. Nduom may well have generated considerable distrust with eligible Ghanaian voters for the rump-CPP: “We wish Dr. Nduom well, but we knew [all along] that [there] was a possibility [that] he would leave the party. It does not affect us in any way. It rather presents us with a great opportunity to do away with the ambiguity that had been attached to this party for sometime now. I would [also] like to assure Ghanaians that there is [absolutely] no disunity within the party,” Ms. Nkrumah declared.
The man who is widely believed to have been behind Ms. Nkrumah’s midday telling off of the man who has singularly supported her political ambitions more than any Cii-Pii-Pii-ite, Prof. Agyeman-Badu Akosa, also had a parting shot for Dr. Nduom, whom the former caustically characterized as a veritable stumbling block to the potential good fortunes of the rump CPP. “For me, this is not surprising at all; this is the beginning of the [radical] reorganization of what I call the [real] CPP” (See “Akosa: Nduom’s Departure Not Surprising” Spyghana.com 12/29/11).
His vaulting presidential ambition or not, the top-echelon membership of the rump-Convention People’s Party may be suffering from what I term as the “Nichodemus Complex,” a pseudo-socialist crisis of ideology. This may well explain the insistence of Ms. Nkrumah that Dr. Nduom “formally” resign from the party (See “CPP Asks Nduom, Others to ‘Formally’ Leave the Party” Ghana News Agency 12/30/11). The bourgeoisie-hating CPP constabulary appears to be in a clinical phase of denial. The next stage is regret. And then acceptance of the inevitable finality of the functional demise of the CPP. I don’t particularly care for the political opportunism of Paa Kwesi Nduom; I simply and firmly believe that he did not deserve any insults from Samia Yaba Nkrumah and the notoriously petulant Prof. Agyeman-Badu Akosa. I was born in Asante-Mampong, my ancestral home; my father campaigned for District Commissioner J. C. Akosa, who was literally educated by my maternal grandfather, Rev. T. H. Sintim. The Akosas do not have an admirable reputation in Asante-Mampong, according to a reliable informant. Nduom may do well to find out why a senior brother of Prof. Akosa had to die so violently.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005).
The opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com