Statement by Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, MP for the Sissala East Constituency

Img Amidu

Mr. Speaker,
Ghana has been blessed to have many illustrious sons and daughters who played various roles towards its rich history and establishment of our democratic culture. Alhaji Imoru Egala happened to be one of these very distinguished illustrious sons of the country.

Mr. Speaker,
Alhaji Imoru Egala was born in Tamale on the 5th of December, 1916. His father was from Pieng in the sissala East Municipality and his mother was from Sandema. He grew up in an agrarian community but immersed himself in community services. During the struggle for independence, he played significant roles in mobilizing the Sissala people and the people in the Northern territories to support the fight against colonialism.

Mr. Speaker,
Alhaji Imoru worked with the local government administration as his first job and became a clerk to the paramount chief of the Sissala Traditional Area, where he served for three years from 1937 to 1939. In 1937, the British colonial government established the Lawra Confederacy Local Authority Primary School and Alhaji Imoru Egala took an appointment there as a teacher. Before he left for his new station in Lawra, he persuaded his uncle, the then Paramount Chief of Tumu, His Royal Highness, Kuoro Kanton Wogere II, to allow him to send some boys from the Sissala enclave to Lawra in order for them to gain formal western education.

Mr. Speaker,
Alhaji Imoru Egala succeeded in gathering 10 boys from various parts of the Sissala area to go to school in Lawra. The boys he took to Lawra included Dr. Hilla Limann, Kuoro Mumuni Dimbie, Hon. George Nandzo, Hon. Alidu Kanton, Master Issaka Kanton, Master Aduna Issifu, Master Basin Dasima, Master Bukari Amadu and Master Abu Nankpa. This group of pupils were the first batch of literates from the Sissala area. With these recruitments which was a single act of thoughtfulness and innovation from Alhaji Imoru Egala, the Sissala area was brought into mainstream western education and civilization.

Mr. Speaker,
Alhaji Imoru Egala whilst in Lawra as a teacher was then tasked with the assignment of establishing the very first primary school for the Sissala people. This he succeeded in 1945 with the establishment of the Tumu Local Primary School which is now named after him, the Egala Primary School. He became the pioneer teacher in that first educational institution in the Sissala area and single-handedly managed the school for a while before others joined him later. It can be confidently said that Alhaji Imoru Egala is the father of formal western education in the Sissala area having being able to send the first batch of pupils to school in Lawra and also being the one who established the first school in the Sissala area in 1945.

It is equally worth mentioning that one of the pupils Alhaji Imoru Egala recruited and took to school in Lawra became the president of Ghana between 1979 to 1981. Interestingly, it was through the instrumentality of the same Alhaji Imoru Egala that Dr. Hilla Limann won the presidency on the ticket of the People’s National Party. The other pupils of Alhaji Imoru Egala also occupied various high positions in Ghana and beyond.

Mr. Speaker,
Politically, Alhaji Imoru Egala was first elected in 1954 to represent the Sissala Constituency in the legislative assembly. He gained 3,599 votes coming top among four other aspirants. He joined the legislative assembly and due to his commitment and loyalty to the fight for independence and also his technical expertise, Dr.Kwame Nkrumah appointed him to serve in various cabinet positions under his government, including the very strategic Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Information. He also held the positions of Minister of Health and Minister of Industries. Significantly under him as the Minister of Health, the Kumasi Central Hospital (now Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, GEE) was built in 1954 as a referral center for the Ashanti and Northern Territories.

He was also instrumental in the establishment of the hundreds of industries and factories by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Dr. Nkrumah appointed Alhaji Imoru Egala as the Minister of Industries in 1963 to promote his industrialization policy through his famous 7-Year Development Plan. It was under his stellar leadership that Ghana achieved positive results in its industrial sector. Among the many industries established during his tenure as the Minister for Industries include: the State Textile Manufacturing Ltd (now GTP), Atlantic Hotel, City Hotel, Cocoa Processing Company (Tema), Takoradi Cocoa Processing Company, Bonsa Tyre Factory, GIHOC, Zuarungu Meat Company Limited, Tema Steel Works, Asutsuare Sugar Factory, Aboaso Glass Factory among others.

Mr. Speaker,
Alhaji Imoru Egala became the first Black Executive Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board (GCMB) in 1958 and maintained the position until 1961.
When the ban on the formation of political parties was lifted in 1978, Alhaji Imoru Egala together with other former Nkrumah appointees formed the People’s National Party. He was so instrumental in its formation that many people and international media houses refer to him as the “founder of the party”. Alhaji Imoru Egala was on the verge of running as the flagbearer of the People’s National Party but a commission set up by the NLC government in 1966 barred him from holding public office.

This prevented him from running as the flagbearer of the PNP in the 1979 presidential elections. In January 1981, Alhaji Imoru Egala began a court action against the Electoral Commission seeking a court ruling restoring his eligibility for public office but he could not get the ruling before his unfortunate demise. The children of the late Alhaji Imoru Egala continued the case and he was eventually redeemed from any wrongdoing. His daughter Hajia Ramatu Aliu Mahama became the second lady of the republic between January 2001 to January 2009.

Mr. Speaker,
It’s worth mentioning that the political legacy of Alhaji Imoru Egala lives as we currently have his grandson Hon Farouk Aliu Mahama representing the good people of Yendi in this August house.

Despite his enormous contributions to the country, it is unfortunate the country has not honoured him enough and has not given him his due recognition. I wish to request for a major national monument to be named after him. I also wish to request so that his life, works and contributions be captured and taught in schools as one of the leading pre and post independent historical figures of our country. The state can also consider instituting an annual Memorial Day for this our great illustrious son.

Thank you Mr Speaker for granting me the opportunity to make this statement in memory of the late Alhaji Imoru Egala.

May his soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

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