What is the Convention People’s Party?
The Convention People’s Party also known as CPP was formed in 1949 during the struggle for independence. It became the main political vehicle in this struggle leading to independence in 1957. The CPP was the governing party from 1957 until it was illegally overthrown in a coup d’état organised by dissident army and police officers in collaboration with Western intelligence agencies. The coup was promptly hailed by Western governments, including the U.S.
Allegations of American involvement in the coup d’état arose almost immediately because of the well-known hostility of the U.S. towards CPP's socialist orientation and pan-African activism. These allegations were subsequently confirmed by declassified U.S State department archival files detailing the CIA’s active undermining of the CPP and in its eventual illegal overthrow. However, time, events and history have vindicated the CPP’s achievements as evidenced in its legacy which at the time revolutionised the lives of the Ghanaian people and served as the foundation of Ghana till date.
Important Dates in CPP’s Calendar
January 8, Positive Action Day
This is one of the important remembrance dates in CPP’s calendar. Nkrumah organized a "Positive Action" campaign in January 1950, including civil disobedience, non-cooperation, boycotts, and strikes against the colonial government for various injustices including a new constitution which gave only those with sufficient wages and property the right to vote.
February 21, Youth Day
In recognition of the role played by the Youth in the formation of the CPP and the struggle for independence, this day has been set aside to remind
the youth of their historic role in the CPP and to encourage their active participation in all aspects of society in Ghana.
Q March 6, Independence Day
This marks the historic day of Ghana’s independence from the British colonial rule.
Q April 27, Founder’s Death Anniversary
Founder’s day commemorates the date of the passing of the founder of the CPP, Ghana’s founding President, arguably, the greatest African of all time, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah. It is a day of calm reflection and rededication of adherents to his teachings and life.
Easter, Women’s Day
The valour, commitment, dedication and sacrifice of women in the struggle for independence and since, is often overlooked, therefore this day is set aside in recognition of the women of Ghana, past and present.
August, Annual Delegates Conference
As stipulated in its constitution, delegates’ conference is mandatory to take stock of the party’s affairs. This day ensues the mandate is carried out.
September 21, Founder’s Day
The founder of the CPP, Kwame Nkrumah was born in September 1909 and this day is national public holiday in honour of Ghana’s illustrious founding President. It is also a day of reflection on his teachings, writings and life by his party, the CPP and his followers world-wide.
What is Nkrumaism?
A political party is an organised group of people who have similar ideas about how the country should be run. The ideas they share are often called Ideology. Every political party has an ideology. The political ideology or philosophy of the CPP is Nkrumaism. Nkrumaism simply means Self Reliance, African is capable of managing his own affairs. The values CPP stands for or the guiding principles of Nkrumaism today are those which have guided it throughout its existence. Social justice Pan-Africanism Self Determination African Personality Anti-Imperialism
Social Justice: The principle of social justice is derived from the CPP’s understanding and acknowledgement of the obvious inequalities and imbalances inherent in the availability of natural and institutional resources and its distribution in Ghanaian society. To this end, the CPP is resolved to the application of social justice to reduce poverty through the fair distribution of the state’s natural resources, provide basic education, provide basic health care, and provide judicial service and other social facilities to enhance the stability and cohesion of the state without discrimination regarding gender, religion, social standing or tribal origins.
Pan-Africanism : The CPP’s profound understanding of Africa’s tragic historical and contemporary experiences with external powers going back over several centuries and the party’s pre-eminent role in the struggle for independence from western colonialism, imperialism and neo-colonialism is the basis of the concept of Pan-Africanism which predicates that without a unified Africa, politically, economically and militarily, Africa and Africans leaving outside the continent
shall continue to fall prey to the more powerful exploitative neo-colonialist influence of other continents and races.
Self-Determination: The same historical and contemporary historical experiences have influenced this concept of self-determination that, we, as a nation, people and race have all the resources and ability to determine our future successfully within the community of other nations and races without recourse to subservience and abject dependency on other nations.
African Personality : The reasons as provided above gave rise to this concept especially in the context of Africa’s utter humiliation and dehumanising experience of centuries of slavery and its implicit implication of inferiority of the African race. The concept of the African personality is therefore to reverse the crippling effects of this experience and restore our dignity, capabilities and abilities through the promotion of our race, tradition, culture, and religion as the equal and not the inferior of any.
Anti-Imperialism: The CPP is opposed to any form of imperialism, to this end, the party is postured to resist this in collaboration with other anti-imperialist forces around the world.
In Ghana, National Democratic Congress political ideology is Social Democracy, the New Patriotic Party’s ideology is called Capitalism and also known as Property Owning Democracy in Ghana.
Pan-Africanism means that we must necessarily work with other Africans, far and near, to uplift the image and welfare of Africa at all times since we face common problems and share the same aspirations.
"The foreign firms who exploit our resources long ago saw the strength to be gained from acting on a Pan-African scale. By means of interlocking directorships, cross-shareholdings and other devices, groups of apparently different companies have formed, in fact, one enormous capitalist monopoly. The only effective way to challenge this economic empire and to recover possession of our heritage is for us also to act on a Pan-African basis, through a Union Government." "No one would suggest that if all the peoples of Africa combined to establish their unity their decision could be revoked by the forces of neocolonialism On the contrary, faced with a new situation, those who practice neocolonialism would adjust themselves to this new balance of world forces in exactly the
same way as the capitalist world has in the past adjusted itself to any other change in the balance of power." Neocolonialism The Last Stage of Imperialism
More in visit (http://www.panafricanperspective.com/nkrumahquotes.html)
Is Nkrumaism Relevant Today?
Nkrumaism is very much relevant today even more so than ever. Ideologies and concepts are for specific purposes and if the conditions that spawn them exist, then the concept remains relevant. Colonialism, exploitation, imperialism, racism and neo-colonialism are the underlying prevalent and historical conditions which influenced Kwame Nkrumah to set out Nkrumaism as the guiding principles on which our policies are framed. With the exception of colonialism, all the conditions prevail, therefore making Nkrumaism relevant and indispensable. Quite often, people confuse the Nkrumaism with the practical day-to-day running of the party and its structures. For many years people have been talking about modernisation of the party's ideology without demonstrating what exactly they want to modernise. They simply equate the concept of Nkrumaism with a period in history, and in their minds if it’s old then it needs changing. Some also confuse the CPP's organisational and operational structure with its ideology. The two are not the same. Nkrumaism is the only relevant, indispensable political ideology designed by Africans, for African and implemented by Africans. All the tenets above are still relevant.
Who is an Nkrumaist?
Someone who believes in Nkrumaism values and practices Nkrumaism by way of practicing the principles outlined above. A classic example of this is what the man himself quoted on numerous occasions:
Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Plan with them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have
What is Democratic Centralism?
The authority of the party is derived, sustained and emanates from the centre to all its organs, functionaries and structures.
Democratic centralism is the organizational principle on which the whole party edifice is built. It means simply that at every level the people freely elect all organs of the party. And flowing from this, all lower organs of the party must follow the directives of the higher organs; and the entire party membership must follow the directives of the Central Committee of the party.
In essence, it is the supremacy of the party. This is the principle on which party discipline is built. The party must be obeyed by all its members because the organs issuing the directives are elected by the members themselves.
Obedience to the party is not sought on the fascist concept that it represents divine will revealed only to the leader or fuehrer. The rank and file obey directives because these emanate from party organs elected by the rank and file and the organ itself is bound by a program and an ideology which the rank and file had freely adopted. Discipline is accordingly high because it is not mechanical. Rather it is conscious and self-imposed (Some Essential Features of Nkrumaism, page 95)
What is Central Committee (CC)
The Central Committee (CC) is the supreme administrative organ of the Party and is responsible for implementation of policies and decisions of the Party under the leadership of the National Chairman;
The Central Committee consist of the following Party members:-
(a) The National Chairman;
(b) The Three National Vice Chairmen;
(c) The President;
(d) The Vice President;
(e) The General Secretary;
(f) The National Treasurer;
(g) The National Organiser;
(h) The National Women’s Organiser;
(i) The National Youth Organiser;
(j) The Director of Party Education
(k) All Chairmen of Committees of the National Executive Council
(l) All Regional Chairmen
(m) The Leader and Chief Whip of the Party’s Parliamentary Group
(n) 4 (four) members appointed by the Central Committee, 2 (two) of whom shall be women; and
(o) A member from each Region normally resident in Accra elected by the Regional Executive Committee. See constitution for more details.
What is The National Executive Council (NEC)
The National Executive Council is the chief executive organ of the Party which is responsible for the efficient execution of the policies and programmes of the Party as approved by the National Party Congress; It is also responsible for guiding and supervising all Party activities through the Central Committee of the Party;
The National Executive Council of the Party, consisting of the following members:-
(a) All members of the Central Committee;
(b) All National Party officers;
(c) All members of the Committees of the National Executive Council;
(d) All Regional Vice-Chairmen, Secretaries, Organisers, Treasurers, Youth Organisers,
Women Organisers, and Education Secretaries;
(e) Five members of the Council of Elders;
(f) All Party members of Parliament, and the adopted Parliamentary Candidates;
(g) All Party Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
(h) Two Representatives of Overseas Branches;
(i) Two Representatives of the Youth Wing;
(j) Two Representatives of the uncharted Organisations;
(k) 10 (ten) Representatives of the Women’s Wing; and
(l) 2 (two) Founding Members from each Region
Who is the leader of the party?
The leader of Convention People’s Party is the chairperson. S(he) is assisted by three vice chairpersons. Presidential Candidate is not the leader of the party.
What make CPP different from the other parties?
With CPP, the party belongs to the people and the party also lives with the common man, discuss his problems, shares his aspirations, and organises him to resolve his own problems for his salvation