CPP leadership in turmoil
With exactly 362 days to the 2024 polls, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) is in turmoil that threatens to worsen the dwindling fortunes of Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s political hegemony.
While a section of the party’s leadership claims that the entire national executive have been replaced with an Interim Council to steer the affairs of the CPP, the national chairman, Nana Akosua Frimpomaa Sarpong Kumankuma, insists she remains the leader of the party.
A statement signed by the spokesperson of the 13-member Interim Council, Dr Akwasi Bosompem Boateng, said after the voluntary resignation of the eight national executive members, with the exception of the National Chairman, the National Executive Committee (NEC) removed her from office in accordance with the party’s constitution and the powers of the NEC.
The Interim Council is chaired by Kwame Nkrumah Botsio, who doubles as the Secretary.
However, indications are that the internal wrangling in the country’s first ruling party could drag for some time.
Nana Kumankuma, in an interview with the Daily Graphic discounted the claims about her removal and explained that she chaired the NEC meeting in Kumasi and confirmed the resignation of the eight because “the NEC which I chaired did not make any decision.”
She added that their resignation was accepted at the meeting, “and that as the chair of NEC I closed the meeting without tendering my resignation nor was I removed from office nor formation of any Interim Council.”
She said those parading as Interim Council members were not known anywhere and challenged them to quote where they derived their legitimacy in the party’s constitution.
Nana Kumankuma noted that during the discussion on other matters, a letter purported to be accusing her of running a one-man show was read after which some members attempted to put it to vote to remove her.
She said she asked for a copy of the letter and asked that the accusation be made to go through the party’s structures for dealing with such matters and ended the meeting.
Another statement from the Vice Chairman of the Council of Elders, Christian Yao Zigah, corroborated the chairperson’s position and described the Interim Council as illegal and alien to Chapter 12, Article 111 of the CPP Constitution.
The statement said “the Council of Elders of the party in adherence to their mandated responsibilities outlined in Article 68 of our party's constitution, described the Interim Council as “illegally constituted”.
The Interim Council said in a statement that since the NEC decision, it had taken notice of conflicting positions and statements by certain persons in the public domain, especially that of the former National Chairperson and Leader; former General Secretary; and a co-opted member of the Council of Elders.
It cautioned the former leaders and leading members to respect the unanimous decision of the National Executive Committee and desist from making statements and utterances that put the name of the party into disrepute.
“The Interim Council has been legitimately established by the NEC which is the second highest decision-making body after the National Delegates Congress, and the Council is an entirely legitimate body created by NEC to steer the affairs of the party in the short term,” the statement said.
The Interim Council is made up of selected Regional Chairmen, Regional Secretaries, Regional Organisers, Regional Women Organisers, Regional Youth Organisers, Council of Elders and other members representing various organs of the party, all of whom were appointed and approved by the NEC.
“We, therefore, call upon the rank and file of the CPP to put their faith and trust in the decisions that the Interim Council will be taking.
These responsibilities will be executed with a sense of fairness and urgency, as well as an unwavering commitment to the party,” it added.
Council of Elders
Another letter made available to the Daily Graphic dated December 6, 2023, and signed by Mr Zigah, who was a representative of the Council of Elders at the Kumasi meeting, said the NEC meeting which was supposed to have nullified the position of National Officers was carried out without due process as per Article 82 of the party's constitution and was therefore null and void.
“The voluntary resignation of some national officers at the NEC meeting is purely their personal decisions and is therefore valid as such.
I therefore call on all party members and sympathisers to ignore the said press release.
I wish to remind all party members that at any rate, “the appointment of an Interim Council is purely the responsibility of the Council of Elders”.
A leading member of the CPP, Mr Bright Akwetey, who backs the Interim Council, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that, “the party had suffered at the hands of women who are always fighting and we do not know what they are fighting for and the party was not going forward so we had to take a decision”.
He explained that “it was to ensure that the party moved forward that a decision was taken to set all of them aside because they were all a stumbling block for the party.”
Asked if what had taken place was in conformity with the CPP Constitution, he answered in the affirmative.