Ghana's opposition Convention People's Party (CPP) has vowed to win this year's general elections, accusing President John Kufuor's ruling New Patriotic Party of failing to live up to its promises. This comes after the party released its manifesto Tuesday ahead of the elections, claiming that it has plans to alleviate the suffering of the masses and bring hope to Ghanaians. The opposition party, which is the first political party to rule the nation democratically, said it put Ghana on a high pedestal that many African countries were proud of and emulated. But it criticized the ruling NPP and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for failing to build upon or maintain the country's infrastructure. Nii Moi Thompson is the chairman of CPP's manifesto committee. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from Ghana's capital Accra that it is about time Ghanaians reclaim the spirit that led to the country's independence.
"We believe that the time has come for us to reclaim the initiative and the spirit that took us to independence. And this we do by situating the manifesto within the context of the party's ideology of Nkrumahism, and there are three elements of Nkrumahism, that informed the manifesto. The first one is self-determination; that we need to take over our resources and our destinies into our own hands, just as we did in years leading to independence, and develop this country according to our aspirations and efforts, and not what someone determines for us from a distant land," Thompson noted.
He said the CPP would transform not only the country, but also its people.
"The second is social justice where, again, we make sure that for example where you are born does not forever determine destiny. If you are born in the rural area and poor, it doesn't mean that you remain poor. And then the third element is pan-Africanism. We cannot develop in isolation. We need to necessarily collaborate with other Africans at home and abroad," he said.
Thompson said previous governments have failed the nation because those parties lack clear definition of their philosophies to take the country forward.
"We have failed to meet our challenges in the past precisely because we didn't have such a clearly articulated ideology. Our mentality in this country remains very colonial. We believe that we are incapable of doing anything, even running a telephone company. Only the white man can do that. Our national teams are being coached by fourth-rate French coaches. Our presidential palace is being built by Indians. This is a retreat away from the independence ideals of self-reliance and due spirit. We need to reclaim that ideal, and this is precisely what the manifesto seeks to do," Thompson noted.
He said there was need for the citizenry to find self worth again.
"We need to instill into the Ghanaian once again a spirit of self pride, self respect, self confidence and of course the culture of excellence," he said.
Thompson denied the CPP party is not attractive to the country's youth.
"Actually one of the challenges that we are facing now is getting out enough registration forms for the youth. And everywhere we go, there is oversubscription. In the course of preparing the manifesto, questions kept coming up, especially from the youth as to what the CPP actually stood for because they have heard so much negative propaganda from our detractors. But as the result of that, included in this manifesto is a brief history of the CPP, dating back to its formation through the periods of struggles for independence, through independence, the subversion and the years after the 1966 coup. And so the youths are now beginning to understand the real CPP story, that we did not squander the resources of the country. We actually used them to develop this country," Thompson pointed out.