Deputy Majority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament Alexander Afenyo-Markin has said it is sheer opportunistic populism that drives some politicians to publicly describe themselves as ‘Nkrumaists’ who believe in the socialist political ideologies of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, yet continue to feed fat as direct beneficiaries and key supporters of the a political movement which in 1981, overthrew an undisputed Nkrumaist party – the People’s National Party (PNP).
Mr. Afenyo-Markin has specifically called out Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the deputy Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for the Ellembelle Constituency as one of such self-acclaimed Nkrumaists of political continence.
Afenyo-Markin, while making a remark in response to a statement read on the Floor by Kofi Buah to mark the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President and founder of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), challenged the honesty in the ‘Nkrumaist’ tag Mr. Buah had claimed on himself while making the commemorative statement.
“Mr. Speaker, again in 1992, we saw many Nkrumaist parties coming up. Today, the Honourable Member who made the statement said he is an Nkrumaist. Indeed Honourable Okudzeto Ablakwa also said that Honourable Armah Kofi Buah is an Nkrumaist. But we have a CPP, why did you not join? Why did you join the NDC? [National Democratic Congress]?”, Afenyo-Markin noted.
He continued: “You are coming from the Nzemah area, you are coming from Ellembelle; we have an Nkrumaist party at least two of them – the PNC and the CPP why did you no join any? Okudzeto Ablakwa says you are an Nkrumaist but you are in the NDC. Is the NDC an Nkrumaist party or a Rawlings party? Is your founder Nkrumah or Rawlings? Why did you not join the CPP? Mr. Speaker, we do not any unnecessary political patronage. People want to patronize Nkrumah. People who do not believe in the ideologies of Nkrumah are calling themselves Nkrumaists. We want a practical manifestation of Nkrumaist demonstrated in you Honourable Kofi Buah.”
Afenyo-Markin further noted: “Let those who say they are Nkrumaists demonstrate practical demonstrations of Nkrumaism in them. We do not want Nkrumaists by mouth-mouth. Not in form but in substance. So that if Armah Kofi Buah is a true Nkrumaist, so that if Okudzeto Ablakwa is a true Nkrumaist, they should participate in reviving the Nkrumaism in them and revive the Nkrumah vision”.
Mr. Armah Kofi Buah, obviously unhappy about the comments from Afenyo-Markin, sought an opportunity from Mr. Speaker, Alban Bagbin, to rebut:
“Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member must focus on his submission but he keeps mentioning my name and his argument is that just because I am Nzema, I should be CPP. You are from the Eve area why you are not in the NDC. I mean that is a very .. And we are talking about Kwame Nkrumah Mr. Speaker, Kwame Nkrumah is an idea and not a political party. This is the guy, they think too small. They think too small. That is why we are where we are. You think too small. We are talking about the man who has visionised Ghana and we are celebrating him and you are narrowing it down to a simple argument about a political party. We are talking about Kwame Nkrumah and his achievements, talk about that and not about tribes”, Kofi Buah stated.
Afenyo-Markin Fires Back
But Afenyo-Markin was quick to fire back: “He has made a statement that he thinks is profound. So you are a tribal politician. You are saying that Voltarians are NDC and NDC is Volta. Is that what you are saying? Mr. Speaker is that what Armah Kofi Buah is saying? He is introducing tribal politics at the Front Bench of the Minority. Really?
“You say you are an Nkrumaist. Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa on his feet says you are a profound Nkrumaist. My argument is that to the extent that you say you are an Nkrumaist, I expect you to join the CPP or the PNC because these are the Nkrumaist parties. In any event the NDC is not an Nkrumaist party. Is the NDC an Nkrumaist party? Why did you not join the PNC? This has nothing to do with tribes and you should know better than that. Armah Kofi Buah, you should know better than that. Mr. Speaker, I would proceed.”
Afenyo-Markin noted further in his remarks that though many are claiming to be Nkrumaists, it is the New Patriotic Party that has rather demonstrated a real practical socialist agenda as espoused by Dr. Nkrumah.
He mentioned the Free Senior High School policy, the Free Maternity Care, the Capitation Grant, the Free School Feeding as practical examples of socialist developmental policies introduced by the NPP and dared the Minority to point out a single social intervention the NDC had introduced.
Dr. Nkrumah, on February 24, 1966, was overthrown as Ghana’s first President.
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