Samia Nkrumah steps into her father's shoes: former President Kwame Nkrumah's only daughter, Samia (pictured below on becoming CPP chairman), is now in pole position to salvage the fortunes of her father's once great party. Stephen Gyasi Jnr reports.

Author:Gyasi, Stephen, Jr.
Position:Ghana
 
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SAMIA CHRISTIANA YABA Nkrumah, daughter of Ghana's iconic first president, Dr Kwarne Nkrumah, made history when she became the first-ever female chairman of a political party in Ghana, after warding off stiff opposition from three other contestants to steal the show at the Convention People's Party (CPP) national delegates congress in Accra on 11 September.

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Her father, Kwame Nkrumah, founded the party in 1949 and it went on to dominate Ghana's politics until Nkrumah's overthrow in a military coup in 1966. The CPP was banned after the coup, but it resurfaced in another name (People's National Party) in 1979 and won that year's elections that put Dr Hilla Limann in power.

Since then, the CPP's fortunes have greatly waned as more than half of its heavyweights were poached by former President Jerry Rawlings, when he founded his now ruling National Democratic Con gress (NDC) in 1992. The current president, John Atta Mills, is from the CPP rump in the NDC. But the original CPP has suffered greatly, as it has splintered into different smaller parties, leaving the core struggling to find space in Ghana's itical firmament. It has now been reduced to the third-largest party in the country.

It was against this background, of needing to revive itself, that the CPP held its September congress. And on the cusp of midnight on that fateful Saturday, the Electoral Commission - which supervised the poll--declared Samia the winner.

She garnered 1,191 votes to secure a resounding victory. She beat both the incumbent chairman, Ladi Nylander, and his predecessor Prof Edmund Delle, who had 353 and 332 votes respectively. The other female candidate, Araba Bentsi-Enchill, got only 10 votes.

Born at Aburi in the Eastern Region on 23 June 1960, Samia is the only CPP member in the current parliament, having won her Jomoro seat at her first attempt in the 2008 elections. She was forced to leave Ghana with her mother and brothers after the 1966 coup. She returned with her family in 1975 at the invitation of the then military government headed by Gen Kutu Acheampong and attended Achimota School in Accra.

She, however, left the country again when her mother returned to her native Egypt in the early 1980s. Samia proceeded to...

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