On such a day and in such times, where are the Cadres

... A rhetorical thought provoking question from Comrade Shmuel Ja’Mba Abm

Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah never underestimated the potency of a cadre corp to champion his nationalist programmes for nation building. For this reason and to prepare a set of leaders for the emerging country, an ideological institute was started at Winneba, the very venue of today’s 38th commemoration of December 31/June 4th Revolution.

Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah also introduced a Young Pioneers Corps to equip, orientate and prepare the youth with essential details of a set of functions and responsibilities of a good citizen in service of the community, the nation and society towards a certain future of the country. These standards were consistent with similar colonial youth programmes such as the Boys/Girls Brigade/Scouts, the Catholic Youth Organisation and the Red Cross Society, just to mention a few of such creations at the time.

The Young Pioneers Corps was tailored at the time with imbued aspirations for a total independent Ghana, and to set assessment, measuring, performance criteria to meet the anticipated local needs from adaptations of precolonial adolescence and adulthood passage rites from various traditions of the new nation-state to satisfy the prequusite values of responsible dedication, discipline, sacrifice, volunteerism, and all such good leadership traits for an equitable and prosperous tomorrow, that unfortunately has overgrown with betrayals, distortions and excessive and expressive greed at every turn, today.

Since the overthrow of the First Republic, cadres converged and conversed till on January 13, 1972, it succeeded in annexing state power as did the reactionary forces on February 24, 1966. But the glory was shortlived with the sad news, that the health of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah had deteriorated, making it impossible for his return to Ghana to continue from where he left off on February 24, 1966. He died later in April, the same year.

His death created a situation of power vacuum and generated intense internal power struggle. Nonetheless, Col IK Acheampong and his National Redemption Council persisted, forming a civilian-cum-military government of eminent Ghanaians. The NRC metamorphosed into Supreme Military Councils I & II, in all these processes having ignored the grassroots cadre formations at all stages, where the military governments of both Gen IK Acheampong and Gen FWK Akuffo failed to address or appreciate rural peasants, students and workers aspirations, concerns and agitations expressed in demonstrations, protests and strikes across the country.

The galvanised cadre energy coalesced into a formidable energy after May 15, 1979, when a relatively unknown airforce officer shot to political limelight and prominence, having been arrested and facing military tribunal for treasonable offences on charges of trying to overthrow the military government of Gen FWK Akuffo. This cadre energy was transformed into a military coup on June 4, 1979, where the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council seized power from another military government under the command of Gen FWK Akuffo, who together with seven others were tied to stakes at the Teshie Military Shooting Range, and shot dead. Cadres around the nooks and crannies of Ghana embarked on a House Cleaning Exercise, which unfortunately suffered from excesses of military brutalities, a scar the reactionary forces which maliciously and wickedly fought tooth and nail since 1948 to assassinate Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, are throwing back at the NDC without shame.

The NPP, an offshoot of the remnant Busia-Danquah Tradition of the United Party, and a vile opponent of the NDC, representing the vast interest of the progressive forces, has spared no moment to demonise and vilify the NDC at the least opportunity, hanging on its neck all atrocities committed under the military AFRC & PNDC regimes of Flt Lt JJ Rawlings, who is the Founder of the NDC. Indeed, the NPP is an offshoot of the remnant Busia-Danquah Tradition, which is the architect and first introduced violence into Ghana’s body politics, and responsible for the introduction and a huge beneficiary of coup d’ètat in Ghana.

The cadres corp received a boost and a shot at front line politics, during the June 4th and December 31st regimes under President Flt Lt JJ Rawlings. It became the bedrock to the rollout of revolutionary programmes such as the People’s Defence Committees (which operated at the community level) and the Workers Defence Committees (which were workplace specific bodies) under the December 31st PNDC government of President Flt Lt JJ Rawlings.

The PDCs and WDCs worked efficiently in restoring a sense of equitable distribution of government goods and services, and discipline at the community and work place. The heed to a call for the restoration of constitutional government and a return to civilian rule, necessitated the urgency for cadres to form a political party to continue with its progressive ideas of nation building as outlined in the leadership traits of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, the Founder of the Republic of Ghana, and President Flt Lt JJ Rawlings, a living legend of the Fourth Republic. The NDC was the result, after other tests like the Democratic Freedom Party, Eagle Party and the National Convention Party, stunted and shrank.

Sadly, cadres were told at a final meeting at Cape Coast to recoil from active politics and allow members of society who took no part in activities of the AFRC and the PNDC to take front line roles of the party. That was how comodified politics of monetisation and patronage in the NDC was diluted with its revolutionary tenets of probity, accountability and transparency. Once in position, these entrenched politicians dismantled and wrecked any mechanism of the revolutionary antecedents which preceded the NDC. This practice persist, to date.

Cadres were alienated and isolated from party programmes, deliberately and tragically cruel. Some cadres, however, barred all challenges and rose beyond any hurdle. In fact, many of these successful cadres were well positioned to excel, unless they are dishonest to this fact. Largely, cadres became their own enemies, turning into political pawns of big players as it is the case of land guards today, who serve as a pool source for vigilantes. Intense bickering, internal power struggles and loathsome aggressive ego bloating and bigotry took the shine out of the operational and organisational prowess the cadre corps once prided with glee. One is good. But two is better. In unity is strength. Bring back the cadre.

The idea of a united cadre front is bogus, and a lampoon of racketeers who derive premium from causing confusion within the cadre fraternity. Leadership in the NDC, which encourages this sort of behaviour, where such miscreants are sponsored in their destructive activities to speculate and racketeer, are extended enemies for uniformity and unity in the NDC.

Aluta continua! ! !

Comrade Shmuel Ja’Mba Abm

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