Then I heard a Voice from heaven saying onto me, Write, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours and their works do follow them.” Revelations 14:13 (KJV)
“Please, my children, I plead with you to come together and unite for victory. It is only with unity that victory shall be ours…. We should remember that, united we stand, divided we fall…. united we stand, divided we fall.. united we stand, divided we fall. I plead with you, my children, to let us forgive each other and embrace peace and unity which our forebears taught us, so that when I die, I will have a good report to give to our ancestors”.. Echoes of the words of C.K Tedam in his usual admonition to the NPP especially during turbulent times.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP), sadly, has been hit by a number of deaths in recent times; as shocking and disbelieving as all were, none struck the party in a manner that the passing of the legendary Clement Kubindowor Tedam did on Friday April 26, 2019, in view of the kind of invaluable service and treasure in him which the party had lost. The death of Uncle CK, as we affectionately called him, has certainly left in the party’s trail, a monumental pain and grief beyond consolation.
His passing signaled that a mighty tree not only in the NPP but in the whole of Ghana, had fallen. And indeed, the deep sorrow expressed by the generality of the Ghanaian people following news of his passing bore ample testimony of his might and greatness. It is thus with a heavy heart and great sorrow that the party pays this tribute in memory of the man who had lived all his life in selfless service and dedication to the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition, and to God and Country.
We pay this tribute in memory of the last of those gallant men and women who led the fight for independence from colonial rule fighting from the side of freedom, rule of rule and property rights. To the bereaved family, we say, it is a singular honour to be with you today, to celebrate a life like no other. To the people of Chiana-Paga, the NPP thanks you for sharing CK with us. His struggle was our struggle. His victory was our victory. Our ideals and our hope found expression in his life, and our cherished democratic credentials would be his cherished legacy.
Uncle C.K. was not only a founding father of this enviable political tradition, which the NPP takes its root, but also an embodiment of the party’s heritage and a symbol of peace, who was revered by all including his political opponents. The NPP cannot, and I repeat for emphasis, the NPP cannot say enough ‘thank you’ to Uncle C.K for the conflict-resolution role he consistently played in the party, particularly in 2015, when the party was plagued by arguably, its worst internal turbulence of all times, culminating in the suspension of the then National Chairman, National 2nd Vice Chairman and General Secretary.
The party also recalls how Uncle C.K, called the bluff of old age and constantly stood in person, as a co-defendant in court, representing the party, when it was sued during the infamous 2015 internal turbulence. Even when we tried feverishly to convince him to stay back and allow other relatively younger and more energetic members of the party’s National Council of Elders to represent the Council, Uncle C.K would have none of that, and would at all times, insist that he be allowed to go to court himself. He was more than a party elder extraordinaire whose virtues we cannot finish extolling.
Of course, Uncle C.K had, since 2008, been the Chairman of the NPP’s Council of Elders and until his passing, he steered the affairs of the Council with impeccable distinction and was punctual and active in every meeting of the national party including NEC meetings, National Council meetings and National Delegates Conferences. He was almost always the first to attend these meetings and would sit throughout no matter how long the meetings would take, and irrespective of his other important schedules especially as a Family Head and a Royal of the revered Paga skin, Paga pio, in the Upper East Region.
Beyond providing nuggets of wisdoms and admonition to guide proceedings, Uncle C.K also had a special role he played in all party meetings and conferences, which nobody could dare take away from him. He was the sayer of all opening and closing prayers which he would always do so passionately to invoke God’s interventions. Once again, nobody could dare usurp this role. Such a lovely father we had in him.
The NPP is again pleased to extoll Uncle C.K’s role in co-founding the Northern People’s Party with his compatriot, S.D. Dombo, Mumuni Bawumia (the father of our current Vice President), Naa Abayifa Karbo, J.A Braimah, Mumuni Dumbie, Tolon Naa Yakubu Tale, Mumuni Kore, Imoru Salifu, Jato Kaleo, and B.K. Adama.
With the instrumentality of Uncle C.K and these founding members of the Northern Peoples Party, the party merged with other like-minded smaller parties to form the United Party (UP), on November 3, 1957 at Ga Mashie following the passage of the Avoidance of Discrimination Law in August, 1957 by the Nkrumah government under the pretext of banning political parties with sectional, ethnic or religious traces, and which did not have national character.
Hon. C.K Tedam, was in 1954, elected to the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly when he stood as an independent candidate. He was therefore with the first batch of parliamentarians from the northern territory to be elected into the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly in the pre-independence era. When later, he led in co-founding the Northern Peoples Party, Uncle C.K won another election, on the ticket of the party, to parliament in 1956, ahead of Ghana’s independence.
He also served as a Minister for Local Government in the SMC administration, and finally, as a member of the Council of State during President Kufour’s tenure between 2001 to 2008 when our political tradition was returned to government after over two decades in opposition. He was simply an amazing patriot who shall be missed greatly.
Oh! Uncle C.K, why have you chosen to abandoned us? Who will fill the huge vacuum in the party you left behind? Who will lead conflict-resolution efforts in the party with the kind of meticulousness and tactfulness you did? Who will be our father and mentor? Who will call us his children? Who will constantly remind us of the very expectations of our ancestors? Who will say the opening and closing prayers during our NEC and National Council Meetings? Who?… Who? .. Who? I wish I could get an answer to these questions so that I can report back to the party in the next NEC and National Council Meetings. Such a loss!
We, in the NPP in particular, have indeed lost a father, a mentor and a colossus. The party, once again, extends its heartfelt condolence to his immediate family especially his surviving children, the good people of Paga and the Upper East Region, and the rest of the nation for this unbearable loss. We stand with them in these difficult times.
May the soul of our dearly departed father and mentor find solace in God’s bosom and may the family he left behind and indeed all of us find fortitude to bear this great loss.