- September 19, 1983

Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Ghana Democratic Movement

By J.H. Mensah

The GHANA DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT has been formed to lead the fight to restore democracy in Ghana.

The State of Ghana Today

A year and a half ago, Ghana's democratic Constitution was violently overthrown, its Parliament shut down, and all its freely elected officials, representatives and leaders thrown into jail.

The perpetrators of this violence were a small group of erratic, self-proclaimed revolutionaries, supported by various fringe radical sects and some disaffected junior members of the Ghana Armed Forces. Ftl-Lt. Jerry Rawlings and ex-Captain Kojo Tsikata, who led them to seize power, were financed in this anti-democratic conspiracy by Col. Gaddafi of Libya. Since then, Gaddafi has had to provide them with a terrifying arsenal of guns to protect themselves from the anger of the people of Ghana whom they have betrayed. Their regime has shed more Ghanaian blood trying to hang on to power than any other regime in our history. Tainted by the public conviction of their closest personal and political associates in the crudest abductions and political murders, Rawlings and Tsikata still hope to brazen it out and continue to rule Ghana.

We have seen Rawlings' so-called "holy war" turned into a bitter and destructive class war along traditional communist lines. In place of the true democracy which Ghanaians have known, we now have an oppressive and anarchic "people's democracy". In our towns and villages, self-appointed bullies have taken absolute power into their own hands even the power of life and death. The Courts of Justice have been officially sentenced to be closed down as soon as the government feels that the democratic opposition has been terrorised into silence. Meanwhile, "people's tribunals" which are nothing but kangaroo courts are freely dispensing the death penalty against patriotic civilians, soldiers and policemen who have stood up to oppose this Rawlings-Tsikata dictatorship.

This regime is only fighting to preserve itself in power: it has no positive plan of nation-building to offer Ghana. Our young men have been sent to Libya, Eastern Europe and Cuba, not to learn how to enhance life or develop the nation, but how to kill. Ghanaians today are suffering the most harsh deprivation in their day-to-day living that has. ever been experienced in our generation, because of the disastrous management of the nation's affairs, by the Rawlings regime. It is the most inept administration that we have ever witnessed. Hatred, envy and social strife have been elevated in place of the harmony, peace and co- operation that is needed to increase, or even to maintain, the wealth of the nation.

The Ghana Democratic Movement

Many individuals and groups of Ghanaians have risen up to fight against the Rawlings-Tsikata regime. Many have lost their lives in the process; but the regime has also been shaken to its foundations. A wounded viper is a dangerous animal: Rawlings and Tsikata in their desperation have turned ever more violent and destructive. The democratic forces need to move on to a new level of organisation and effectiveness.

Members of the PNP and PFP who have been able to escape the grasp of the Rawlings dictatorship have taken the initiative by forming in London the GHANA DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT to lead and coordinate all aspects of the struggle to remove oppression and restore freedom in Ghana.

Our founding members represent the present-day successors of the two great strands in Ghana's politics: Dr Kwame Nkrumah's CPP and Prof. Kofi Busia's Progress Party. Together we speak for the overwhelming majority of the Ghanaian masses who, along with our political colleagues at home, are muzzled and have their hands tied behind them. The GHANA DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT is open to all Ghanaians who are free to join, whether they belong to the founding parties, or to any other political party, or to no political party at all provided only that they believe in democracy and are prepared to fight for it.

Aims and Objectives

Members of the GHANA DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT have pledged themselves as follows: i. To continue an all-out fight until freedom and democracy are restored in Ghana;

ii. To mobilise all the available human and material re- sources needed for this struggle;

iii. To inform the world of the true state of affairs be- hind the walls that now imprison the people of Ghana;

iv. To promote unity and cooperation among Ghanaians of every social, political and ethnic background, both in this period of struggle and also in the period of national reconstruction that will soon follow;

v. To ensure that the institutions that are hereafter set up to govern the political, social and economic lives of Ghanaians are based on the fullest possible degree of individual freedom and initiative, equality, the rule of law and respect for our traditional values;

vi. To bring comfort and relief to all our people who have suffered in a particular way from the present dictatorships in Ghana and to look after the welfare of Ghanaians now dispersed in many places of exile.


This inauguration of the parent body of the GHANA DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT in London will soon be followed by the establishment of branches in West Africa, other European countries and America.

All citizens and well-wishers of Ghana should send their messages of support, their financial and other contributions, and their applications for membership to our present address:





J.H. Mensah
Chairman, Ghana Democratic Movement

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