We Want Confiscated Assets Back: CPP

The Convention People's Party (CPP), on Wednesday called on government to hand over its assets that were confiscated after the overthrow of the First Republic on February 24, 1966. The party said continued retention of the assets by government was discrimination against the party because most individuals whose assets were confiscated had been returned to them. Mr. Ladi Nylander, CPP's National Chairman, made the appeal at the commemoration of the 44th anniversary of the February 24, 1966 coup d'etat, in Accra on Wednesday. He said available reports from various commissions of inquiry such as the Justice Annie Jiaggie Commission, indicated that those assets, including the current Ministry of Information building in Accra, were not acquired with state funds but through deductions from salaries of CPP party members. Mr. Nylander said "Is it not time to make amends to this great party that led the country to independence and indeed lit the torch towards African liberation..We shall struggle on regardless for Ghana". He said since the coup d'etat in 1966, Ghana had retrogressed into a neo-colonial country "where we appear more in tune with seeking manna from abroad". Mr. Nylander noted that the country had developed and adopted several nomenclatures such as "strategic investors", "development partners", "donor agencies" and �stakeholders" to mask its gradual slide into subjugation within the 'bosom of the same' countries, bodies, groupings and institutions from which the country declared its freedom and independence in 1957. He said successive governments had sold off strategic national assets and had over the years enacted investment laws without an effective machinery to monitor their implementation. Mr. Nylander said these had resulted in a regrettable situation where foreigners competed with Ghanaians even in areas that were exclusively reserved for indigenes in trade, commence and industry. He asked "When will government finally do something about this? We have to ask when initiatives and advantages would be given to Ghanaians in the land of their birth. "Fifty-three years after independence we have no excuse to offer for being in this predicament. This is time to stop the slide into economic subjugation. It is about time we recaptured control over our natural resources," he added. Mr. Nylander said the country needed to review its mineral and mining laws to make the extractive regime more beneficial to the country and Ghanaians, as well as institute monitoring systems, encouraging enough to facilitate the efforts of patriotic Ghanaians. He said government's focus should be to ensure maximum benefits for Ghanaians in the extractive industry, most importantly in the emerging oil and gas sector. Mr. Nylander said this year's celebration of Ghana's Republican status should be used to appreciate the efforts of those who worked relentlessly with Dr Nkrumah and the CPP to attain that status. He said July 1, 2010 should be celebrated in a unique manner as part of the Centenary Celebrations of Dr Nkrumah's birth.