Monday, 21 September 2015

Why All The Nkrumahist Parties Must Unite Under The CPP's Banner To Save And Transform Ghana

To remind today's Nkrumahist politicians of the urgent need for them to unite to rescue Mother Ghana from the doldrums, and revive the national economy for the benefit of all Ghanaians, I shall begin this posting, with a  quotation from a 1963 speech delivered by President Nkrumah at Tema.

"The Ghanaian-Italian Petroleum Company is an inter-state enterprise of a special kind. And here I must pay tribute to a friend. It is interesting to note that AGIP-MINERARIA itself, which has given birth to the Ghana-Italian Petroleum Company, owes its origin and growth to the vision and foresight of a politician and entrepreneur who harnessed his commercial genius with state enterprise in his own country. This is indeed an example of how the genius and skill of patriotic citizens can be put at the disposal of the State and not for the exploitation of the many by the few." - Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

The above quotation is from the speech delivered by Ghana's first president, Osafgyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, when he opened the oil refinery at Tema, on 23rd September, 1963.

Today's crop of Ghanaian politicians - from across the spectrum -  would be wise to study the agreement that the Convention People's Party (CPP) government of President Nkrumah signed with AGIP-MINERARIA, for inspiration, when preparing to sign agreements with investors - especially public private partnership (PPP) agreements. They should also read the whole of the  speech President Nkrumah delivered on that occasion.

Although Signor Enrico Mattei, who died tragically in a plane crash in October 1962 - and who Nkrumah paused to pay tribute to in that speech - was Nkrumah's personal friend, it was the national interest and the welfare of all the people of Ghana, not Nkrumah's secret personal wealth-creation agenda, that guided the negotiations that led to the win-win agreement that the CPP government eventually signed, which made the building of the oil refinery at Tema possible.

The deliberate crippling of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), to enable a select few to enrich themselves at society's expense, by buying and importing dodgy parcels of shiploads of petrol and diesel for sale in Ghana, speaks volumes about the nature of the dog-eat-dog society that has evolved in Ghana, since Nkrumah's overthrow in 1966.

The State now exists to enable a powerful few with greedy ambitions to profit at the expense of the rest of  society.

It should therefore not come as a surprise to anyone that some Ghanaian bulk oil distributers, can collude with a company like Trafigura, to import substandard petrol and diesel - and concur when Trafigura has the gall to say to critics that it produces fuel for export to Ghana that that particular market's standards require.

Yet, what those bulk oil distributors are doing, in effect amounts  to the criminal conduct of knowingly selling substandard products - that damage the engines of many vehicles that purchase petrol and diesel across the country - to some of the petrol filling stations in Ghana.

Do vehicle owners in Ghana not also deserve to regularly fill up with the same high quality fuels demanded by regulators  in Europe, the UK and the US, for sale in the forecourts of petrol filling stations in their markets,  to vehicle owners in all those jurisdictions,  I ask?

A CPP government under Nduom, would immediately see the wisdom in creating a west African energy giant, by vertically integrating the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), by merging it with TOR, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST), and the Ghana Oil Company (GOIL), to sell finished petroleum products produced by the restructured and expanded TOR, in GOIL petrol filling stations across west Africa. Would that not help improve our trade balance?

As a people, we need to ensure that the well-being of our nation, and the welfare of all its people, are the considerations that always underpin government policies, and all the agreements that our leaders sign for the exploitation of our nation's resources.

If that were the case, Ghana's natural capital would not be egregiously squandered, for example, by permitting lawless and greedy individuals to denude our forests, and poison our soils and water bodies with heavy metals and toxic chemicals, on top of that, with such impunity in illegal logging and illegal gold mining operations, across vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside.

And if we had an honest, selfless and patriotic  political class, would action not have been swiftly taken, the moment employees of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) publicly demanded the dissolution of the bank's board of directors - whom they alleged were in hock with the managing director (whose dismissal they are also calling for, incidentally) to asset-strip the ADB and sell its properties at fire-sale prices to themselves and to their cronies?

And to compound their perfidy, those in charge of that selfsame state-owned bank spent hundreds of thousands of cedis on a media campaign, in which sundry groups and associations, were inveigled into publicly giving their approval of an IPO - on the basis that ordinary Ghanaians would be given the opportunity to own the ADB: when at all material times the bank's management was fully aware that those underwriting the IPO had presold a 25% stake to foreign investors, whose conditions for investing included the right to appoint the managing director and two board members?

And we haven't even mentioned the vast sums spent to buy off influential opinion leaders, and persons-lacking-moral-compass, some of whom in effect were more or less blackmailing a bank struggling to stay afloat. A list of the ADB's biggest borrowers would most certainly make interesting reading.

Such are the troubling times we now live in - with our bloodsucking vampire-elites uninterested in staunching the nation's bleeding wounds.

Is it also not unfortunate that a nation which began the building of a gold refinery as far back as the early sixties, because it was blessed with a visionary and patriotic leader, is today the hapless victim of foreign crooks, who last year,  as a result of under-declaration (of actual ounces of gold exported) at the Accra international airport, secured through bribery, were apparently able to export as much as US$2.5 billion worth of unaccounted-for-gold to India, without paying a pesewa in taxes to Ghana?

The same daylight robbery also apparently goes on in the falsification of the documentation covering the harvesting and shipment of container-loads of round logs of redwood and teak to India and China.

As we celebrate Founder's Day, in memory of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who was born  on September 21st, 1909, one's prayer is that Ghana will be blessed with honest leaders, whose sense of patriotism will make them block all the loopholes, through which dishonest people siphon off taxpayers' money. There will be no need to rely on foreign aid and loans to develop Ghana if that is done.

Despite decades of laser-focused-propaganda, and endless misinformation to belittle his achievements, today, it is abundantly clear to most ordinary Ghanaians that Nkrumah was a visionary leader, who genuinely cared about Ghana's well-being, and always sought to  promote the welfare of ordinary people. Many in today's Ghana yearn for such a selfless leader to lead  Ghana again.

That is why one humbly appeals to the leadership of all today's Nkrumahist political parties to unite under the banner of Nkrumah's party, the CPP.

A reunited and reinvigorated CPP, with Paa Kwesi  Nduom as its presidential candidate, and Samia Yaaba Nkrumah as his running mate, will have a presidential ticket, which will sweep all before it, to win the 2016 presidential election - as Ghanaians vote tactically to avoid a post-election bloodbath, resulting from violence and chaos occasioned by the intense and unyielding rivalry between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ghana's equally corrupt and morally-bankrupt largest political parties.

The selflessness of both Nduom and Samia Nkrumah cannot be doubted. Nor can their devotion to our country be questioned. Ditto that of all the other leading lights of the  Nkrumahist movement throughout Ghana.

The reunited CPP's leaders can resolve the issue of what to do about those elected to fill their respective Nkrumahist parties' national executive positions, through creative thinking.

One humbly suggests that they simply  adopt a troika-plus-one model - in which all their elected national officers work in unison to run the day to day affairs of the united CPP. The position of chairperson of each committee, such as that for women organisers, for example, will rotate amongst its four members on a yearly basis.

A CPP president's government of national unity, sworn into office on 7th January, 2017,  will ensure that Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's vision for a prosperous and egalitarian society, underpins all its policies for the transformation of our homeland Ghana, into a happy nation in which members of each strata of Ghanaian society fare well in the international quality  of life index.

For Mother Ghana's sake, and to honour the memory of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah,  all the Nkrumahist political parties must unite under the CPP's banner to secure the  transformation of our nation - by a government of national unity made up of world-class and patriotic individuals: appointed to their positions regardless of party affiliation  and tribal background.

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