The purpose of this tutorial is to highlight six reasons why Kwame Nkrumah broke away from the U.G.C.C. to form the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
Kwame Nkrumah accepted the invitation of the newly-formed United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) to become its first general secretary. But within a short period, Nkrumah broke away from the UGCC. He went on to announce the formation of a new party known as the Convention People’s Party.
So why did Kwame Nkrumah have to break away from the UGCC that early?
Certain factors created a difficult and strained relationship between Nkrumah and the UGCC party leadership. They were among the reasons why Nkrumah founded the CPP.
Among these conditions were:
- Mutual distrust on both sides. In fact, both Kwame Nkrumah and the other leaders of the UGCC felt right from the onset that his radical ideas could make the working relationship difficult.
- The demotion of Nkrumah from the post of General Secretary to Treasurer. This happened in August 1948 in the aftermath of the February 1948 riots. FIND OUT THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF THE 1948 ACCRA RIOTS IN THE GOLD COAST/GHANA
- The UGCC leadership blamed Nkrumah for the 1948 disturbances. Pa Grant, in particular, made this known at the Watson Commission hearing. The UGCC leaders claimed that Nkrumah’s communist radicalism was to blame for the 1948 riots.
- The exclusion of Nkrumah from the Coussey Committee. This was despite the fact that the other five of the Big Six were included.
A committee was set up to bring reconciliation between the two sides. It was under the chairmanship of William Ofori Atta. This committee failed to achieve that goal.
The final break came at a meeting of the working committee on 11th June 1949 at Saltpond.
The Birth of the Convention People’s Party (CPP)
On the following day, 12th June 1949, at a mammoth rally at Accra Arena attended by about 60,000 supporters, Nkrumah announced, on behalf of the Committee on Youth Organization (CYO), the formation of a new party, the Convention People’s Party.
In Nkrumah’s own words, the primary objective of the CPP was to “fight relentlessly, by all constitutional means, for the achievement of full self-government now for the chiefs and people of the Gold Coast”.
Why Nkrumah Broke Away
Here comes an outline of the major reasons why Nkrumah left the UGCC to form his own party.
1. He wanted a mass party
Nkrumah felt that the UGCC was too narrow in its outlook. It focused on the support of a few urban educated elite while Nkrumah wanted a mass broad-based national party.
2. Nkrumah regarded the UGCC as being too conservative
The conservative, legalistic methods preferred by the UGCC did not sit well with Nkrumah’s radical orientation. This was another reason why Kwame Nkrumah thought the break was inevitable.
3. Pressure from Nkrumah’s youthful followers
Thirdly, agitation from such young followers of Nkrumah as Krobo Edusei, Kojo Botsio and Komla Agbeli Gbedemah also played a significant role. They stressed the need to break away from the “old men” in the UGCC.
4. Open-ended objective of the UGCC
This was a key factor that accounted for Nkrumah’s departure from the United Gold Coast Convention. Nkrumah did not agree with the open-ended time frame of the UGCC for the achievement of independence. Its slogan ‘ self–government within the shortest possible time’ was not ambitious enough for the radical Nkrumah.
5. Kwame Nkrumah wanted to protect his pet projects.
The leadership of the UGCC demanded that Nkrumah abolish his Committee on Youth Organization, Accra Evening News newspaper and Ghana National College at Cape Coast.
He personally founded these. Nkrumah’s refusal to abandon these projects further worsened the strained relationship between the two sides.
6. The demotion of Nkrumah from the post of General Secretary of the UGCC.
This clearly created bad blood between him and the founders of the UGCC. Therefore, Nkrumah’s breakup with the UGCC was something that was just waiting for the right opportunity to happen.
Now you can write a complete essay on why Nkrumah broke away from the UGCC.
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