General News of Saturday, 8 December 2018
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday described Ghanaian political great, Chief Simon Diedong Dombo, as the unsung hero of the three founders of the Danquah/Dombo/Busia political tradition, whose principled life ought be emulated by the current generation of leaders.
Dombo’s brand of leadership, which was characterized by integrity, selflessness, courage and principled loyalty, the President said, should guide the socio-political doings and discuss in the country’s body politics in furtherance of the democratic gains made by Ghana.
The President said this when he launched in Accra, the Chief S. D. Dombo Foundation for Development and Leadership Studies.
He said no monument could compensate for the sacrifices S.D Dombo made to ensure the sustenance of the country’s independence, multi-party democracy and survival of the UP political tradition.
President Akufo-Addo, however, said it is fitting and appropriate that the new University of Business Integrated Development Studies in Wa in the Upper West Region be named after him for the pioneering role he played in the independence struggle, development of the Northern Territories and sustenance of the country’s Multi-Party Democracy.
The launching and unveiling of the legacy of Chief S. D. Dombo attracted high profile personalities including Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife Samira, Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, members of the Council of State, Council of Elders of the NPP and National Executive of the New Patriotic Party.
President Akufo-Addo pledged his commitment to do whatever was legitimate to promote the Danquah/Dombo/Busia political tradition, saying; “It is incumbent on our generation to work hard in realising the dreams and aspirations of free and prosperous Ghana.”
He said Chief Dombo was firm in his beliefs and convictions and never compromised his principles for good governance and democracy, and resisted all juicy promises by his political opponents to thwart his political ideals.
For instance, Chief Dombo resisted Nkrumah’s One-Party State agenda and Preventive Detention Act (PDA) and survived the tempestuous waters of Ghanaian politics, persecutions and harassment, the President said.
Chief S.D Dombo, was born on March 3, 1923, in Duori, a village in the Upper West Region and died on March 18, 1998.
He was enskinned as Chief of Duori (Duori Naa) on April 17, 1949, and played a pioneering role in the Gold Coast Legislative Council.
Chief Dombo represented the Northern Territories on the ticket of the Northern Peoples Party (NPP), a party he co-founded and became the leader.
He became Ghana’s first official Opposition Leader in his capacity as Leader of the Northern People Party (NPP).
Upon the merger of the NPP with the other opposition parties, including the National Liberation Movement (NLM), to form the United Party (UP), Chief Dombo was elected Deputy Leader of the UP with Dr Busia as the Leader.
His life was characterized by selflessness and humility and never sought for personal aggrandizement.
In spite of many lucrative inducements, including promises of high ministerial appointment by President Kwame Nkrumah, Chief Dombo refused to compromise his integrity.
He ensured that multi-party democracy thrived in the country and played a prominent role in ensuring that the ideals of multi-party democracy remained engrained and cherished in the consciousness of Ghanaians.
At a time the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) caused several politicians to either go into exile, or to cross carpet to the CPP, Chief Dombo stood firm at a very dire personal cost to his freedom and quality of life.
Despite threats to his life, Dombo led the opposition to President Nkrumah. Like Dr. J.B. Danquah and other victims of the PDA, under which opponents of the Nkrumah Administration were incarcerated without trial.
Chief Dombo was twice imprisoned and detained at the “condemned cells” at Nsawam Medium Security Prison and gained his freedom in the February 24, 1966 coup d’état that overthrew the government of President Nkrumah.
Chief Dombo was elected the Member of Parliament for the then Lambusie-Jirapa constituency in the Upper West Region, having won the seat on the ticket of the Progress Party (PP), led by Dr. K.A. Busia.
He was appointed Minister of the Interior and later Minister of Health by Prime Minister K. A. Busia during the Second Republic.
In 2009, the second highest body of the NPP, the National Council, deliberated and passed a resolution that formally recognized the enormous contribution of various past leaders to the sustenance of United Party (UP) political tradition and its offshoot parties like the New Patriotic Party.
The National Council of the NPP decided that in order of impact on the UP tradition, the fixed order of recognition should be Danquah-Dombo-Busia.