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30 June 2016

Whose interest is the CPP leadership serving?

Ivor Greenstreet and President Mahama“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently” – Friedrich Nietzsche.

In the past weeks, the news wires and the attention of Ghanaians have been gripped by the alleged Ford Expedition bribe received by President John Drama from a Burkinabe contractor with a business interest in Ghana.

Government communicators and propagandists have responded variously to the claims – ranging from outright dismissals or denials to subtle attempts to discredit the story. The president himself has had his say albeit pedestrian.

Typically, opposition politicians, especially those in the NPP, were swift in their condemnation of the president. One opposition voice, however, stood out – the Flag bearer of the CPP, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet – in his view, there is nothing wrong with the giving of the gift and the acceptance of same.

To him, it is immaterial that the President’s own Code of Conduct for government appointees says otherwise. It was a golden opportunity for him to demonstrate to Ghanaians how distinct the CPP is from the NDC and NPP – sadly, he failed. However, in a rather refreshing twist, the Youth League of his own party thinks differently and has since petitioned CHRAJ, a move that appears to have restored some credibility to the CPP.

In the past few days, leading functionaries of the CPP have expressed divergent views on the matter in what appears to be a battle for the soul of the Nkrumahist Struggle with some supporting the Flag bearer’s position, and others endorsing the progressive stance taken by the Youth League.

Notable among those supporting the stance taken by the Youth League are the party’s General Secretary, Nii Armah Akomfrah, and the National Youth Organiser and Commander in Chief of the Youth League, Ernesto Yeboah.

In all of this, it is obvious there is a certain lack of understanding of the ideological foundation of the Youth League’s action. While the position taken by the Flag bearer and those who support him may have been occasioned by personal considerations, the Youth League’s position is firmly anchored on what Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah preached and practiced.

At the IEA’s Evening Encounter with presidential candidates, the flag bearer of the CPP missed yet another opportunity to clearly and effectively communicate the Nkrumahist position on this matter – he was excellent on all fronts but the one critical subject of corruption.

In his attempt to deal with the dichotomy between his earlier comments and the action taken by the Youth League, he sought to undermine the position of the National Youth Organiser and the entire Youth League.

His assertion that the decision of the Youth League to petition CHRAJ is a personal decision of the National Youth Organiser is too far from the truth and disingenuous. I fail to see how a petition that was not even signed by the Youth Organiser will suddenly transform into a personal position of his! I dare say that handlers of the Flag bearer got it wrong, especially, when he himself said that he anticipated that question.

The Youth League is not the personal property of Ernesto Yeboah, and whatever decisions and actions it takes, it does so in the larger interest of the CPP and not the personal interest of Ernesto Yeboah, therefore, I find it a bit strange that the leadership of the party, especially, the Flag bearer appears to have a challenge with the steps taken by the Youth League to get the Ford Expedition Gift Saga probed by CHRAJ.

The greatest beneficiary of whatever successes the Youth League may chalk in this noble quest to fight corruption is no one else but the Flag bearer, therefore, he should be the last person to attack them – rather than undermining; he must be seen and heard actively encouraging the Youth League in this fight!

It is my considered opinion that all persons and organs of the CPP must work in harmony toward the success of the Nkrumahist Struggle – that should be the overarching agenda. Increasingly, it appears some key functionaries of the CPP are serving two masters which often times beclouds their judgment when such critical issues come up.

The Ford Expedition Bribery allegation against the president is of paramount national interest hence the CPP leadership should desist from this ostrich approach.

They should leave the defense of the president to his appointees and party propagandists. Unless the leadership of the party is covertly working in the interest of another party, they must as a matter of urgency, political tactfulness, and morality associate themselves with the stance taken by the Youth League. As Dante Alighieri puts it succinctly in his Divine Comedy, “the darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”

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