The leadership of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) has taken strong exception to claims by former President John Kufuor that the party’s founder and Ghana’s first democratically-elected president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah ‘killed’ the country’s democracy upon assuming office in 1957.
“At a meeting of the International Democratic Union (IDU), an association of right wing parties from all over the world, ex-President John Agyekum Kufour, the former president of Ghana, who was a one-time Deputy Foreign Minister in the 2nd Republic and an erstwhile Local Government Secretary in the military dictatorship of the PNDC, which overthrew the democratically elected government of the PNP led by President Liman on 31st December 1989, accused the first President of the Republic of Ghana of having created a unitary State that did not tolerate varying ideologies,” the CPP said in a statement signed by its leader, Prof. Edmund N. Delle.
According to the statement, “As a Ghanaian, Kufour is within his rights to comment on the political history of Ghana, but it is quite unfortunate and sad that as a citizen and former President, he goes down a lane of propaganda, half-truths, twisted logic and a rendition of a pedestrian understanding of our history in front of foreigners.”
“Before 1951, was there democracy under colonial rule in the Gold Coast? Was it not through the struggles of Nkrumah and the CPP and others, who fought for and achieved universal Adult suffrage for the ordinary men and women, to achieve internal self government and subsequently political independence in 1957 and full sovereignty as a republic in 1960?” it quizzed.
“Throughout all these times did we not hold elections and did the CPP not consistently win? In the presidential contest of 1960, did the people of Ghana not vote for a republic and Kwame Nkrumah as President?”
Ex-President Kufuor, who was speaking after being honoured by the International Democratic Union (IDU) for his support of the centre-right ideology in Ghana, had sought to trace the origin of the centre and centre-right political philosophy in the country which he said dated back to 1947, and went on to state how the founding fathers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had invited ex-President Nkrumah into the country to join the struggle for democracy and subsequently he (Nkrumah) parted ways with founders of the NPP to form his own party, moving on to win the 1957 elections and dropping the centre-right ideology in favor of socialism.
He stated that Nkrumah, upon winning power, focused on the then Soviet Union and the Communist nation of China and that such a decision during a time when the Cold War was taking place, caused hardship for the country because nations like the United States and United Kingdom who were fighting with the Soviet Union and Communist China, became adamant to continue their financial support to Ghana since its leader at the time was seen to be an ally of Russia and China.
“But in what appears to be a misrepresentation of Mr. Kufuor’s assertion, the media reported the ex-President of accusing the CPP founder of killing the country’s democracy, even though from what he said it appeared that he meant Dr. Nkrumah failed to continue with the centre-right ideology after departing from the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the party NPP came to replace.
However, the CPP said that life in Ghana during Dr. Nkrumah’s rein was better than it is today.
“The unprecedented poverty afflicting Ghana now has made the middle class so poor and ensures that it subsists on second-hand consumer goods and are forced to go cup in hand begging and forced to adopt a neo liberal policy of selling all our factories, looting them by giving them to cronies or abandoning them. Is this better and has it made us richer, according to Kufour, than the first half of the 1960s when Tema Habour, Tema township, over 400 factories, scores of secondary schools, Akosombo Hydro Electric Power and roads were constructed all over the country?”