April 12, 2024

The late Tolon Naa Yakubu Tali


The late Tolon Naa Yakubu Tali, teacher, statesman, civil servant, envoy and a politician, is to be honoured with the naming of the Tamale International Airport after him.

The late Tolon Naa Alhaji Yakubu Tali was the Chief of Tolon in Dagbon, a man who contributed immensely towards the development of not only Dagbon but the country as a whole.

During his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Akufo-Addo made the announcement about the naming after doing same for the almost completed Kumasi International Airport, which he named after Nana Prempeh I.

Tolon Naa Yakubu Tali was the first person from the Northern Territories to gain admission to the famous Achimota School upon completion of which school he became a teacher and posted to the North.

As a teacher, he impacted immensely the lives of many people in the Northern Territories.

Historians have great remarks about the chief, many of whose pupils became prominent personalities in the North and also touching on the lives of many others and still counting.

In politics, he became a Member of Parliament (MP) for the then Western Dagbon besides many other roles during his lifespan.

He and other prominent Northerners formed the Northern People’s Party (NPP), a political grouping which was launched in his palace in Tamale, with the objective of protecting the interests of the North.

He played many roles in politics having become the National Chairman of the Popular Front Party (PFP) and a running mate in the 1979 elections.

He has been touted as the most prominent traditional ruler in the Northern part of the country in the past century.

The recognition which President Akufo-Addo is about to bestow upon his memory is one he merits, observers of the country’s history have noted.

In a related development, many persons from Dagbon and beyond it have expressed excitement about the recognition.

He was also a Deputy Speaker of Parliament and partook in the drafting of the Constitution of the Third Republic.

Until the announced honour by the President, he was the only one unhonoured among his contemporary nationalist politicians such as Ako Adjei, SD Dombo, CK Tedam, Paa Grant and Ofori-Atta.

He left his footprints in the diplomatic realm having served as Ghana’s envoy to Nigeria, Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone.

Vice President Bawumia inaugurated the Phase Two of the Tamale International Airport last year, completion of which means that passengers can now fly abroad through direct or connecting flights from Tamale.

Indeed, pilgrims from the Northern parts of the country now fly directly to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Tamale.

The US$70 million project was funded by the UK Export Finance and KFW IPEX-Bank of Germany, with Ecobuild Consult as consultants.

“This project is part of the government’s vision to expand the frontiers of the aviation industry and to make Ghana the aviation hub within the West African sub-region. It is, therefore, gratifying to note that the development of the Tamale Airport Phase II is in line with the government’s aviation sector infrastructure development programme.

“This project is so dear to the government and particularly the hard working people of the Northern Region and their trading partners across the length and breadth of the country and the sub-region,” the Vice President said.

Dr. Bawumia further stated that the completion of the ultra-modern facility project, together with the multi-purpose terminal and other ancillary facilities, are expected to provide the needed impetus for increase in economic activities and reinforce Tamale’s status as a strategic location.

The Tamale International Airport will also serve as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport and Kumasi Airport.

Born in 1916, Tolon Naa Yakubu Tali passed on in 1986.

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