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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is set to immortalise the name of a celebrated nationalist and revered traditional ruler, S D Dombo.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is set to immortalise the name of a celebrated nationalist and revered traditional ruler, S D Dombo.

Chief Dombo played an outstanding role in Ghana’s democracy and in the coming into being of the NPP. The party is therefore expected to launch the S D Dombo Foundation for Development and Leadership Studies tomorrow at the Accra International Conference Centre.

This was conveyed in a press statement signed by John Boadu, NPP general secretary.
“The NPP, otherwise known as the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition, is touted as being founded on rich democratic principles that have stood the test of time because of the illustrious works of our forebears, including Chief Dombo,” the statement said.

The NPP is calling on all and sundry to join in celebrating the legacy of “this distinguished personality, whose legendary contribution to laying the foundation for Ghana’s thriving democracy cannot be overemphasised”.

Teacher and chief

Simon Diedong Dombo was a politician, teacher and chief in the then Northern Territories of the Gold Coast, known today as the Upper West Region.

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As Douri-Na, he was reputed to be the first educated chieftain in the whole region. He was also one of the founders of the Northern People’s Party, which later merged with the United Party and came under the banner of the Progress Party.

In the Second Republic, Chief Dombo was MP for the then Lambusie-Jirapa constituency in the Upper Region, having won the seat on the ticket of the Progress Party (PP), led by Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia. Chief Dombo was appointed Minister of the Interior and later Minister of Health by Prime Minister Busia.

Rural development

As Minister of Health, Chief Dombo effected the proliferation of rural clinics throughout the country. This ensured that basic health care was available at the point of need even in the hinterland.

The clinics were accompanied by low-cost bungalows to house the health personnel. This was in line with the PP government's Rural Development Programme.

Chief Dombo retired from active politics after his release from custody following the coup d’état of 13 January 1972, led by the then Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, which overthrew the PP government.

Chief Dombo became an elder statesman and a mentor to the younger generation, among whom were John Agyekum Kufuor and the late Alhaji Roland Issifu Alhassan.

He helped form the successor parties to Progress, namely the Popular Front Party (PFP) from 1979-81 and today’s New Patriotic Party (NPP).