Monday, January 01, 2018

The Fight on Two Fronts on Assumption of Office as General Secretary and Chairman of CPP--Statement by President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana
 May 1, 1961


This morning, I assumed duty as General Secretary of the party and chairman of the central committee. I have done so at the request of the Central Committee because, we have entered a new phase. Firstly, even though our political revolution is over, we are entering into a new political revolution with regard to the struggle for the total liberation and unity of Africa. And, secondly, at home, we have entered a new phase of industrial and technological revolution, and the whole country must be mobilized for the realization of these two objectives. As general secretary, it is my responsibility to give personal and p executive direction to the party and to the government and to make sure that our forces are properly developed to give victory in this most important exercise. Incidentally, this day is also May Day —the international workers day, and I take this opportunity to send greetings to workers throughout the world, and particularly to the workers of Ghana and of Africa.

This arrangement whereby I have taken over the General Secretaryship of the party, has necessitated some administrative changes at party headquarters, as a result of which the following appointments have been made: Comrade H. H. C. Crabbe has been appointed Chief Administrative Officer and Comrade A. A. Adjaye has been appointed District Commissioner for Accra in his place. Comrades J. K. Bonsu, S. Annan (formerly Assistant General Secretaries) and Comrade A. G. Quartey, former District Commissioner, Krachi, have been appointed Deputy Chief Administrative Officers. Comrade A. Y. K. Djin has been appointed National Treasurer and Comrade N. A. Welbeck as liaison officer. Comrade G. Y. Odoi has been appointed National Auditor. The whole party administration will be carefully coordinated and streamlined under my personal supervision.

I want to take this opportunity to warn the public against these negative slogans of "one man one car, one man one house." It does no good to anyone, and particularly to those who shout them. I call upon every member of the public to help check these slogans, which do the country no credit.

The Convention People’s Party is tested and well-seasoned. It has grown through the years and gathered an invaluable wealth of experience. This experience has strengthened the party and enabled it to give leadership to our people and our nation.

The enormous strength the party has gained through the growth of our membership (which is 1,760,000 paid up), makes it important for all of us to exercise extra vigilance to ensure that this strength shall be put to uses beneficial to the country. The tremendous power also exercised by the party, through the government which as I have often repeated, is the agent of the party, must be guarded and used in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian people.

You will see, therefore, that it is exceedingly important from time to time, to examine and re-examine ourselves both collectively as a national party and individually as members. I recently set in motion this self-examination and self-criticism. The response has been remarkable, and I hope this exercise will bring moral health to all of us, and reinvigorate us for higher purposes.

The party’s responsibility has doubled. In the pre-independence era, it fought on a single front and concentrated all its effort on the attainment of independence. Now, it is engaged in fighting on two fronts. The Convention People’s Party is actively engaged in the fight for the total liberation and unity of Africa, and it is also engaged at home in the battle for food, shelter and clothing for the people. This is not an easy task. Many splendid armies in history have been known to go to places for trying to fight on two fronts at once. The Convention People’s Party, however, is a different type of army. It is the People’s own political army, built by their sweat and labour and selected through its battles with imperialism and colonialism, so that this double fight can hold no terrors for us. We are determined to conquer and we shall conquer on both fronts. But first, we must sacrifice everything for the victory and that means extra hard work for every member of our party. Instructions have been issued and all necessary arrangements made for the membership integration of the various wing organisations of the party. All trade union members who hold Trades Union Congress cards should hand in these cards to the branch party secretary, who will give party membership cards in exchange for the union cards. Those trade unionists who hold both party and Trades Union Congress cards, have been   instructed to surrender their Trades Union Congress cards to their union secretaries. Members of the United Ghana Farmers’ Council have all obtained their party membership cards. Members of the cooperative societies will act in the manner as I have outlined for the Trades Union Congress. Members of the National Council of Ghana Women have never done any card of their own.

The central committee has decided that as from today, regional commissioners will become the regional secretaries of the party in their respective regions. The present regional secretaries of the party, of the Trades Union Congress, of the United Ghana Farmers’ Council, of the National Co-operative Council and of the National Council of Ghana Women, will all be re-designated assistant regional secretaries of the party. Henceforth, all appointments to these offices will be made by the central committee. In each region, the party regional offices will house all the integral organisations in the building. In the meanwhile, regional secretaries — that is, the regional commissioners — will hold joint staff meetings periodically to ensure co-ordination of activities of party functionaries in the regions. We must all tackle vigorously and with selfless devotion, the industrial and technological reconstruction of Ghana, and the total liberation and unity of Africa.  But our determination must be based on the realities of our position. As a revolutionary party, we must be prepared, if need be, to adopt revolutionary methods and rid ourselves of anything that will impede our progress.

The Convention People’s Party has distinguished itself in this great struggle for the redemption of Africa and no one can think of Ghana without acknowledging the greatness of our party. Indeed, throughout the whole of Africa, the mention of the Convention People’s Party brings inspiration, hope and encouragement. Comrades, we have reached a stage where we must take stock and look back. This party, formed on the 12th of June, 1949 —that is, eleven years ago, started from small and difficult beginnings. The material resources available to us then were practically nil. There was colonialism and imperialism sitting on our necks and yielding no quarter. The Convention People’s Party carried on and gained not only experience but also strength, until, slowly but surely, this party has attained proportions baffling to our foes and detractors and has grown beyond recognition.

This growth has brought with it, a great responsibility — the responsibility to give correct guidance to our people and nation and to enable them to have a new world outlook which will create for them new opportunities to rebuild their self-respect, restore their faith and re-discover for themselves, their human dignity.

Today, the party does not stand at any crossroads. It stands at the beginning of a straight road, a straight road to socialism, to a society in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

In recent speeches, I have made clear, the position of the party and government in relation to industries to be owned and operated by the state, I have also stated our policy in connection with cooperatives. Today, I want add a word about individual enterprise.

There is nothing to prevent the individual Ghanaian, if his public obligation so allow, from setting up a new business, provided that, that business is not the state sector, and provided that it fits into the pattern of our cooperative and state enterprises. In addition, I want to emphasise that foreign enterprises we still be able to conduct their business in accordance with my earlier speeches. They have never been permitted to operate in the state sector of the economy, and I am confident that, where necessary, they could adjust their operations to fit into our future development of state cooperative or state enterprises.

To travel this road, every member of the Convention People’s Party, every Ghanaian man and woman, every boy and girl, all of us together, must work and • give service to the nation to the best of our ability. Even the disabled, the blind and the crippled, must be equipped in this great crusade to contribute their quota to the total national effort.

In this respect and with regard to the compulsory free primary and middle school education which is to start next September, I have given instructions that all unemployed persons who are interested in teaching should register in the nearest district education office for employment in the teaching service.

Emergency training centres will be established to instruct these volunteers in teaching methods and appropriate certificates of recognition will be given at the end of the training. To meet the problem of accommodation in schools, I have instructed that, the shift system should be adopted. The first shift could be from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the second shift from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This will ensure that no pupil will be left out in the implementation of the free and compulsory primary education scheme.

One of the most important aims of our economic and industrial reconstruction is to increase productivity and efficiency in work, so that we can produce more goods at less cost while also improving the quality of the goods and services. To facilitate this, it is my intention to introduce a system of incentives in the form of bonuses, awards and other forms of recognition for meritorious service.

There are some people who wrongly think that party membership confers privileges for selfish ends. There are some also who make the mistake of demanding reward from the party for services rendered. Membership of the Convention People’s Party does not confer any such privileges on individuals. Rather, it confers duties and rights on its members. The duties of party member are as follows:

1) To protect the solidarity and unity of the party at all times.

2) To pay dues regularly.

3) To protect the good name of the party under all circumstances and to correct wrong views held against the party.

4) To carry out party decisions and directives to the best of his ability and to ensure that any disregard of such decisions or directives is promptly reported to the appropriate party authority.

5) To be the first to obey the laws of the country, passed by the government.

6) To defend any action of the party or the government.

7) To try to understand all party government matters and to explain the same to the people.

8) To set an example by working hard, efficiently and honestly and by showing a keen sense of responsibility and duty.

9) To pursue a study of the principles of African socialism and to endeavour to be guided in action by these principles.

10) To guard jealously any secrets of the party and to maintain constant vigilance in this respect.

11) To criticize and accept criticism in good faith and spirit and to make frequent self-examination for correction, remembering that all criticism and correction should be made not to destroy but to build.

12) To be faithful and loyal to the party always and to eschew all qualities of opportunism, nepotism, ostentation, vanity and self-seeking.

13) To remember that the party is supreme and to do everything within his power to uphold this supremacy.

 The rights of members are as follows:

1) To take part in all party activities.

2) To attend meetings and freely express views on all matters in discussion, and to vote according to conviction.

3) To elect and be elected to party bodies.

4) To be present in person whenever decisions are taken regarding his activities or conduct.

5) To address any question or statement to any party body including the national executive and the central committee.

6) To appeal against any adverse decision against him from his branch party upwards to the central committee, and to the leader of the party in person.

7) To appeal as a last resort to the national delegates’ conference.

If we look at the progress of our nation since independence, we are tempted to sit back and rest, to have deep sigh of relief, pat ourselves on the back and say, we have done very well indeed. This attitude of complacency constitutes a real danger. It is true that we have built roads, expanded education and health services, consolidated our independence, improved agriculture and increased the cocoa yield and made good strides all round. But this is not enough. We have only accomplished but little of the total task ahead of us. The party’s role as the vanguard must be exemplary in the discharge of this duty.

The Convention People’s Party cannot rest on its oars. Let a spirit of patriotic, fiery enthusiasm grip it once again. It has to lead Ghana to produce great scientists, great technologist, great technicians, great farmers and fishermen, great singers and writers and great administrators.

We must turn out our experts and specialists by the thousands and produce in great numbers, the "dare-devil go-getters" who will produce results, whether they fly an aeroplane, thousands of feet above or mine gold deep down in the bowels of the earth. I have directed that primary and middle education will be free as from September. This is a great step we are taking to kill illiteracy in the nation. The effects of this will be that, within the next ten years, every Ghanaian man and woman of a certain age will be able to read and write.

Another step I have taken, is the compulsory study of science in all schools. The future belongs to the nation that takes to scientific and technological studies and development. Ghana must force the pace of our growth in science and make Ghanaians science-minded. We must produce Ghanaian scientists and technologists to help in the rapid development of Ghana.

Our students will be compelled to study science. Their interest in science subjects must be aroused and sustained. The necessary facilities and incentives for the encouragement of scientific studies and pursuits in our schools will be provided. We are a nation in need and our needs must guide our action. In all these matters, the Convention People’s Party must give leadership and I expect that party boys and girls in all the secondary schools and the party study groups all over the country, will take up the challenge and lead the way.

When people quote my statement that our independence is meaningless unless linked up with the total liberation of Africa, I wonder whether they pause to think in concrete terms, the effect of Ghana’s independence. When in 1957 we achieved independence, only seven African states existed. Within four years of Ghana’s independence, and within three years of the Accra Conference of Independent African States and the All-African People’s Conference, Africa wears a new look, she has changed the composition of the United Nations and the face of the world.

It is my view, that the unity of Africa could be more easily and effectively forged were we to have, throughout the various territories in Africa, a common party with identical aims and programme. This is something we have to think about.

At the moment, our efforts are feeble because, we are divided and the colonialist and imperialists are taking advantage of this state of affairs to sow seeds of dissension among us. They are doing everything to make it very difficult for us to come together as one people. They know that their interests are finished, once Africans come together and realise that we are one people with one destiny.

It is for us ourselves to recognize this situation and to fight vigorously against the machinations of these exploiters and to prevent them from teleguiding us and pulling us around on strings like marionettes.

If we were united, France would not dare to flout African opinion with regard to atomic tests in the Sahara. Our party is a great asset to Ghana. We should keep our eyes and ears wide open and be ever alert to the issues confronting Ghana and Africa. It is important, therefore, that the party should stand together even more solidly than in the past.

All members of the Convention People’s Party must make it a point to attend their branch or ward meetings. This year, we have abolished floating membership and every member must belong to a branch. This is to enable proper records to be kept of all comrades, their activities, their contributions and sacrifices for the party — indeed, their complete record.

It is for this reason that no membership cards to individuals are issued from headquarters. All party members, no matter their rank, must obtain their cards from their branches or wards. Arrangements are being made for me to receive my card from my own branch at Nima.

The Convention People’s Party will now see to it that all persons who claim membership, possess membership cards. Persons who claim to be members of the party, but who hold no party membership cards, will be strictly excluded from all party meetings. Everyone of you must therefore obtain your card, if you have not done so already. In connection with this subject, I wish to stress once more that the cost of the party membership card is 5s. I repeat, 5s. No branch or ward has right to sell these cards at a higher price than the authorized cost of 5s. The cards are not priced differently — the same price holds for old as well as new members. The unauthorized practice whereby new members are requested to pay a specific sum of money to the branch coffers before admission is forbidden and must stop forthwith.

Any cases of contravention of this instruction should be reported to national headquarters or to regional headquarters, as the case may be, for the offenders to be dealt with immediately. Anybody who sells a party card for more than 5s. is a DSULO. Nobody should be allowed to take advantage of the renewal of membership cards to fill their pockets at the expense of the party.

It is necessary now, to turn to the women’s section of the party, with the formation of National Council of Ghana Women that used to be called the women’s section which has ceased to exist. The National Council of Ghana Women is an integral part of the party. The National Council of Ghana Women will organize all women in the party and the country, and prepare them especially for the great social task involved in the economic and industrial reconstruction of Ghana. In this national exercise, women will and must play an important part.

In the factories and the ships, on farms and in the universities, in the departments and ministries, in all aspects of our national life and at all levels of party activity, the Ghanaian woman must make her presence felt. The National Council of Ghana Women must give a great opportunity to all women to serve their party and country and to make a useful contribution to the total African struggle.

I must now also say something about the party youth league. In the same way, with the formation of the Ghana Youth Authority and the Ghana Youth Pioneers, the party youth league has also ceased to exist. Its functions have been taken over by the Youth Pioneers.

The Ghana Youth Pioneers, having been constituted as the sole youth authority in Ghana, has the responsibility for ensuring that all organisations of youth are conducted in accordance with our national directives and not in relation to any foreign concepts. The youth of Ghana must cultivate great pride and love for our nation and for our African brotherhood. Comrades, it is glorious and a great honour to belong to the membership of the Convention People’s Party, but it is equally a great responsibility. It is we who set an example to the rest in qualities of honesty, integrity, sense of duty, selfless service and sacrifice. We must guard against the great temptations that accompany power and we must remind ourselves all the time that it is the masses of the people who matter.

Our contact with the masses must remain constant and unbroken and so must our sympathy for them remain deep and unaffected. It is a heavy task, but it is the price of leadership and we, like all other leaders, must pay for it. Comrades, in our advance to our objective, many obstacles may arise. Great difficulties will raise themselves in our way. We must always remember that no difficulties are insuperable.

It is here that the study groups come in. The members of the party study groups must study our constitution, our nationalist objectives and our African relations. They will of course, learn our socialist principles and apply them as a guide to action.

It is necessary to point out to members of the party study groups, that these groups are not independent units of the party. Every student of a party study group must be a member of his branch or ward. Officials of the party who conduct these groups, must ensure that those comrades who attend study group meetings equally- attend their branch meetings.

Attendance at party study group meetings cannot be a substitute for attendance at ward or branch party meetings. These meetings of the party study groups are open to all party members. In fact, a student of party study group has a greater duty to attend branch or ward meetings. Conductors of party study groups must bring this home to their students. I come now to party officials — the men and women paid by the party to carry out administration of the party’s affairs. Party administration, since April, 1960 has greatly improved.

In the first place, before that date, office accommodation was so small that the national secretariat was unable to function in its fullest expression. In April last year, however, we opened this magnificent building as the national secretariat of our party, and set up a modern administrative machinery, fully equipped for the proper discharge of its responsibilities. This act constituted a great advance in our party administration.

The party secretariat has since functioned with efficiency and precision and party matters now receive the proper administrative attention they deserve.

Party officials must always be aware of their heavy responsibility. They are paid by the party to give service to the party, but their role is more than that of paid servants. They must throw their body and soul into their work and, being party members themselves, they should realise that their whole time must be at the disposal of the Convention People’s Party. They must live exemplary lives and, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion. Party officials, whether at national headquarters or at regional headquarters, must know that it is a great honour and privilege to work for the party as a recognized party official and they should show gratitude for this opportunity to serve.

Some party officials, instead of realizing this position, drag themselves low and misuse their party position in many undesirable ways. Any party official caught in any such act will be dealt with in most ruthless manner. Party officials should exercise patience in their dealing with the masses and show sympathy, when other comrades approach them for direction, guidance and help. They have a difficult task, but I am sure that, with confidence in themselves and faith in the party, they can carry out their duties with conviction and efficiency.

Discipline is important in any organisation. Discipline is that which sustains the solidarity of the party and I urge all party members to bear this in mind in all their activities. Comrades, I charge you to keep our flag flying high. We have won several victories. We shall win yet more victories; for, we have faith in our cause and confidence in our party and hope for the future.

I salute you. Freedom

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