The emergence of the Northern Peoples Party could be traced to the works and efforts of members of the Northern Territorial Council which was an active political body as well as members of the 1951 Legislative Assembly. The first attempt to form a different organization which could respond to the needs of the north was the formation of the Northern Youth Association in the early 1950’s (NYA). The NYA however, did not survive for long.
J.A. Braimah and S.D. Dombo were the first to raise the possibility of a northern political party which could play the same role as had the Northern Group under the 1951 Constitution- that was championing the interest of the North in terms of development. J.A. Braimah, together with Dombo, Yakubu Talli and Mumuni Bawumia drew up a draft constitution for such a party and secured the support of other prominent Northerners such as J.A Nagbah, Secretary to the Northern Territorial Council. At a meeting in Accra in February 1954, it was decided that Mumuni Bawumia would act as interim chairman and J.A. Nagbah as interim secretary.
A tour was quickly organized in March 1954 by the then Interim executives to speak to Chiefs and educate Northerners in order to secure their support. In the Northwest Corner (now Upper West) B.K. Adama, Jatoe Kaleo, Abeifaa Karbo, and James Momor prompted the idea of the Northern Party, while Yakubu Talli and J.A Braimah sough support in Dagbon and Gonja, respectively. The party symbol was a clenched fist, with words, “Always Together” as its party slogan. The Party came up with a song entitled, “The More we are Together”. The aims and objectives of the NPP reflected the desire for development, particularly of education, health, infrastructure and agriculture. A draft of the aims and objectives of the NPP drawn up in Accra was more explicit in the Party’s electoral ambitions: To capture as many seats as possible in the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly at all general elections so as to be able to have a commanding voice to be able to achieve the Party’s objectives.
The NPP held a delegates conference at the Tolong Naa’s house at Saabongida in Tamale on Apriul 10th, 1954. The delegates’ conference approved the draft constitution elected officers and discussed finances, staff and local branches. The officers elected at the conference include:
• S.D. Dombo- Chairman
• Mumuni Bawumia- Vice Chairman
• Fuseini Darimanu- General Secretary
• Imoru Salifu- Propaganda Secretary
• J.B. Fuseini- Treasurer
A rally followed the delegate’s conference. This was held outside the house of the Dakpema, Chief of Tamale. Bawumia, the principal speaker at the rally declared that the NPP was “a party owned by the people of Northern territories and was formed to promote the rapid economic and social development in the North and to safeguard its internal freedom.” Other speakers at the rally were Imoru Salifu and two Chiefs, the Nandom Naa and the Wulugu Naaba, a Mamprosi divisional Chief. It was at this public rally on the 11th of April 1954, that the Northern Peoples Party was officially launched.
Source: S. D. Dombo Foundation
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