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C.K. Tedam laid to rest

BY: Vincent Amenuveve
  The late C.K. Tedam
The late C.K. Tedam

The mortal remains of a former chairman of the council of elders of the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP), Mr Clement Kubindiwo Tedam, was laid to rest on Saturday, at his hometown, Paga, in the Kassena Nankana West District in the Upper East Region.

A state burial mass, officiated by the Most Rev. Philip Naameh, the Catholic Archbishop of Tamale, was held at the Tedam Junior High School Park at Paga before the interment.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and his wife, Samira Bawumia, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, the Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, were among the NPP political bigwigs that witnessed the solemn ceremony.

Other government functionaries, traditional authorities, the clergy, metropolitan municipal and district chief executives, as well as Members of Parliament witnessed the ceremony. Also in attendance was the Ghana Armed Forces Band that played various hymns.

President

In a tribute, President Akufo-Addo observed that the late Tedam became an important activist of the United Party,the Progress Party,the Popular Front Party and the NPP.

The President further explained that he played an integral and vibrant part in the development of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo political tradition.

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“Age did not diminish his commitment to the cause of the NPP and despite his advanced age he was very active in the affairs of the party until the very end, and a major influence on its growth, ”President Akufo-Addo pointed out.

According to the President, the late Tedam served graciously on several committees of the party and as chair of the council of elders, he played an “invaluable and unforgettable role in preserving the stability and unity of the party when it became embroiled in a series of unnecessary disputes that sought to undermine its coherence".

He intimated that the late Tedam “was a rock in that painful era of distress when anti-party elements occupying high positions in the party launched attacks against the unity and sense of purpose of the NPP".

“C.K. Tedam leaves a void not only in the NPP family and in the Ghanaian nation but also in my personal life,as he was a constant and consistent source of invaluable counsel; I will miss him dearly"President Akufo-Addo further eulogised.

Honour

The President in honouring the late Tedam announced that the Navrongo campus of the University for Development Studies(UDS) in the Upper East Region would be named after him.

According to President Akufo-Addo,already there were processes to make the university autonomous, and that when the various parliamentary processes were also completed it would be known as C.K.Tedam University for Technical and Applied Sciences.

The programme for the burial ceremony was quite elaborate, however,it was cut short because of bad weather conditions which started around 11:25 a.m. with a windstorm accompanied by rains.

The windstorm dismantled some of the canopies erected for the ceremony.

Political career

C.K. Tedam was born on November 25, 1925 to the Paramount Chief of the Paga Traditional Area,Pe Tedam Bayemvua and Madam Kawuri Tedam.

He was a revered personality in the NPP who played a founding role in bringing together the Danquah, Busia and Dombo tradition into what is now the New Patriotic Party.

He was the last surviving member of the Northern People's Party.

His leadership qualities manifested early in his life.

He was a House Prefect for most part of his elementary school years and also at the teacher training college.

He became a member of the Paga Local Council and a Member of the Kassena Nankana District Assembly(KNDA) from 1952-1954.

He served on the Northern Territories Board of Education in Tamale as a representative of the KNDA from 1953 to 1957.

He thus played a role in the establishment of a special scholarship scheme for the acceleration of education in the then Northern Territories.

He entered the political scene in 1954 and was a member of the Legislative Assembly in that same year.

The late C.K.Tedam was elected to parliament as an independent candidate.

He then proceeded to co-found the Northern People's Party.

He was a member of the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly from 1954 to 1956, first on the ticket of the Northern People's Party and again on that of the United Party later in 1956 to 6th March, 1957.

In 1969, he won another election and served his term up to 1971 before a legal suit disqualified him and a by-election was declared.

He offered to support his sister, Catherine Katuni Tedam, who contested and won the elections on the ticket of the Progress Party, thereby maintaining the seat for the Danquah-Busia-Dombo political tradition.

He briefly served as a Commissioner for local government during the regime of the Supreme Military Council.

The late C.K.Tedam was a Member of the Council of State during former President J.A.Kufuor’s regime.He used his position to resolve many disputes.

Education

After his primary education he gained admission into the Tamale Senior High School(TAMASCO) and upon completion he became a teacher, as teaching was compulsory for all senior boarding school leavers.He also gained admission into the Law Faculty of the University of Ghana,Legon, in 1969 where he studied law, political science, philosophy and African Studies.

He was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church in 1949 and confirmed in 1950 in Tamale and remained a staunch Catholic until his death.

Death

He died peacefully on the night of April 25, 2019 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

During his life,he rendered his service to God, Ghana, his party, northern Ghana, the Paga community and the Upper East Region, which many people at the burial described as unequalled in recent memory.

He is survived by six children and a number of grand children.