NPP Cannot Claim Ownership of Multiparty Democracy in Ghana - CPP

 

The CPP has read with great interest the presentation made by former President JA Kufuor recently. Even though the subject matter refers to “Empowering the People to Develop,” we could not find any designed strategies for empowering the people as noted by the former President. The presentation insisted that the PP/NPP has been consistent on its principles for multiparty democracy.

We are aware, however, that the PP/NPP Government supervised the banning of the CPP immediately after the 1966 Coup to the extent that it was even a crime to hold an effigy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah or for that matter anything that bore any relation to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP. It was illegal to hold or possess Dr. Nkrumah’s Pictures, T-Shirt, Coins, Book, etc.

 

By Decree 233 promulgated by the NLC when Dr. K.A. Busia was the Chief Political Advisor, principal members of the CPP were not allowed to engage in any business of profit. Assets of the CPP and its ranking members were arbitrarily confiscated to the State under the watch of the PP (Progress Party) Democrat.

President Kufuor also stated in the said lecture that the Progress Party Government only assumed power in 1969. The CPP does not accept this assertion because Dr. KA Busia became the Chief Political Advisor to the NLC Government (National Liberation Council) led by General Ankrah  in 1966.

The entire principal Commissioners (Ministers) were made of prominent progress party members, indeed when Dr Busia assumed power in 1969 those prominent members who had held ministerial positions in the NLC Government changed their designations from Commissioners to Ministers.

General Ankrah who led the NLC publicly stated that the Army had no political experience, therefore, left the management of the country in the hands of Dr. Busia who was a Defacto Prime Minister of the NLC and his Party. This means that, the NPP/PP had three years under General Ankrah bringing their cumulative tenure to thirteen and half years instead of the ten years as claimed by President Kufuor.

President Kufuor also stated in the said address that “we do not need natural resources to develop a Nation.”

National Resources determine the Human Capital required exploiting and utilizing the God-Given Resources.

If the people have no capacity to develop and put value on the resources the people are powerless and development would not take place. In fact, this is the state in which we are as a nation. Probably, it is the misunderstanding of this axiom that made it difficult for the NPP to move Ghana to a much higher stage than we are. This is why the CSIR, during that period, did not receive sufficient empowerment. The people’s welfare and wellbeing depend on their capacity to efficiently harness and utilize their natural resources. It is a fact that both the NPP and NDC have relied tremendously on the Human Capital principally created by the Dr. Nkrumah Government.

For the 8 years in power the NPP never had a clearly defined National Defined Agenda. All their programmes were adhoc and therefore had no vertical and horizontal linkages that ensured sustained development. Former President Kufour made reference to “Command Economy” and subtle suggested that the CPP had used that strategy.

His reference to (command economy) creates problems because there was no time in the life of this country where a command economy was practised.

During the 11 year period of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP, the State Enterprises co-existed peacefully with private enterprises. For instance, GNTC (Ghana National Training Company) peacefully co-existed with Kingsway stores, UTC, Lebanese and Nigeria Trading Companies. In short CPP practised a mixed economy. Private Road Contractors were never threatened by the SCC (State Construction Company). The State Transport, STC, operated without threatening the private transport organization in Ghana.

It must be explained at this point that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP did not start the establishment of State Enterprises. This was done by the British Colonial Government, when it established the Industrial Development Cooperation IDC, as far back as 1947. It must also be noted that all Nations apart from the United States, started with the establishment of State Enterprises before they subsequently denationalized.

In Britain for instance, the mining, telecom, engineering, aircraft manufacturing, etc. were all in the hand of the State or heavily subsidised by the State.

The CPP government was doing exactly what the Chinese have done to reach where they are. Developing a Nation is a process and modern wealth can only be created by people with knowledge, technology and financial power.

In 1950, Ghana had over 90 percent illiteracy. There was no way that our people could be used as private sector engines to develop this country without massive state intervention. To criticise the CPP for using that strategy is certainly an under-estimation of the forces militating against wealth creation by un-empowered people.

It is also important to state that the CPP had started from ground zero, in as far as human capital, and basic infrastructure were concerned. Most of the human capital available to the NLC and all subsequent Government was created by the CPP under its educational and scientific programs. Could anybody imagine what the CPP would have done in the 50s and 60s if the engineers, architect, etc. were available when the CPP took power in 1957? Therefore, it is misleading for the subsequent Government to claim that they have done better than the CPP by totally ignoring the value of the human capital created by the CPP within our short period of reign.

The assertion by President Kufuor that the NPP has the most formidable team for moving this country forward must be left in the hands of the Ghanaians to Judge.

 

The CPP believes that it is misleading to compare the success of the United States as a capitalist country to that of Ghana. The United States was formed by people who had knowledge, technology and financial power from Europe and other places who settled on that continent. Furthermore, using Military Power they enslaved our people as free labour to work on the sugar cane and cotton farms to create wealth. It is therefore not fair to sight their success as against the failure of our people.

Ghana had a better structure of the economy during the CPP ‘s time in office  than any other party, and both the NDC and NPP collapsed the industrial infrastructure of Ghana by selling out the entire establishment that dealt with production, e.g. shoe factory, tyre factory, glass factory, etc.

The country suffered from four major decisions taken by the Busia Government when it took power from the NLC Government.

 

  1. The Alien’s Compliance Order: This order was made with aim of deporting all aliens without Resident Permits. This was made to satisfy general agitation against so called domination of the economy by aliens or non-Ghanaians, especially by those of Middle Eastern extraction i.e. Lebanese, Syrians and also Nigerians.

 

Unfortunately, almost all the labourers on all cocoa farms were “aliens” from Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali, etc. who had no Resident Permits; and there was a mass exodus of these people who lived on the farms without specific wages apart from yearly bonuses. It is important to note that the cocoa farmer was basically, an absentee farmer.

 

The exit of these people dealt a major blow to the cocoa farmer and subsequently the cocoa industry. The cocoa farmer lost his cheap labour.

 

  1. The Second Major Blunder of The Busia Government Was The privatization of Cocoa Purchases: This resulted in the formation of a host of cocoa buying companies and agencies who collected the cocoa and never paid the farmers, compelling them to abandon their farms and consequently reducing the national revenue.

 

  1. Open General License (OGL): To regulate expenditure on imports the CPP Government operated an Import Licensing System. The Busia Government on assumption of power scrapped this system and introduced the Open General License that allowed mass importation of everything. Many companies with accumulated dividends that could not be repatriated due to lack of foreign exchange seized this opportunity to import all sorts of non-essential items including drinking water, in order to repatriate their dividends. This action essentially wiped out the National Foreign Reserves compelling the Government to devalue the currency. This was the 1st major devaluation of the currency and did not go well with the population.

 

THE SALLAH-CASE – NO COURT

 

  1. The Busia Progress Party Government also sacked 568 public servants for “poor” performance. A senior public servant by name Sallah took the Government to court for wrongful dismissal and won the case. The Busia Government stated that no court could compel it to work with people it did not want. This reaction created great uncertainty and hostility among public servants resulting in strikes nationwide. The Government reacted by disbanding the TUC (Trade Union Congress).

 

Simultaneously, the Government started privatizing the state enterprises at a time when the private sector did not have the capacity to take over the enterprises. It was perceived that the divested enterprises were going into the hands of PP (Progress Party) members.

It is important to note that at this time the CPP had been banned. In fact, it was a crime to hold or possess Dr. Nkrumah’s effigy in any form, pictures, t-shirt, coin, book, or anything that had his picture

Under a decree No. 223 no senior member of the CPP had a right to engage in any formal business. The assets of the CPP and many of its high ranking officers were confiscated to the state.

 

The Busia Government also cut off trade and aid relationship with Soviet Bloc Countries – i.e. the States lying East of Berlin excluding General Tito’s Yugoslavia, and stretching out to Vladivostok in the Union of the Socialist Soviet Republic.

These countries were financing all the major projects in Ghana at that time. Some of these projects were the Bui Dam, Takwa Gold Refinery, Tamale International Airport, Abosso Glass Factory, Aveyime Tannery, Kumasi Shoe Factory, Tema Dry Dock, Atomic Energy, Prefabricated Housing Project, Bonsah Tyre Factory, Saltpond Ceramics, Tomato Processing Factory in Bolga, etc. Other important institutions included the Tema Technical Training Institute and the Adidome Farm Mechanization Training Institute

The biggest Printing Press in Africa was built in Tema with the aid of the then East German Government.

We are therefore calling on Ghanaians to be conscious and vote the CPP back to power.

 

Nii Armah Akomfrah                                                               

Director of Communication