Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Sweet Taste Of Power

Dear Editor,

After reading through the "Talking Drums" I was particularly struck by the article on the Cameroons - "Tissue Rejection Biya comes of Age". The utterances of the former President Ahamadou Ahidjo and other political leaders in Africa give me the impression that once an African has tasted power, he simply cannot quit and live peacefully in retirement.

It was not long ago when the ousted Bokassa of the Central African Republic, not satisfied with declaring himself life president, also decreed that after his death his son should succeed him.

In Ghana the late General Afrifa handed over power amid pomp and pageantry and after a brief and peacefully idyllic life in the Mampong hills, he had to get involved in politics only to be shot at the stakes. At the moment we have Flt-Lt J.J. Rawlings who after handing over the reins of power could not sit back but had to come and fulfil his lifelong dream of turning Ghana into a holy land.

I have the impression that most politicians are simply power loving and do not care two hoots if their countries are reduced to cemeteries.

Emelia Forson-Blyth, Edinburgh

Leave Libya Alone

Sadly, Africa the dark continent remains neglected after its riches, mineral and human resources had been exploited to develop Europe and the New World.

As you reported correctly in the article on Chad in the maiden issue of your magazine, while famine persists in Ethiopia and other Sahel countries apartheid in Azania and Namibia is condoned and poverty has become wide spread in Africa, there is over abundance of almost everything in Europe to be enjoyed not only by human beings but also dogs and other pet animals.

But if the return of the whiteman to Africa is to result in the provision of deadly weapons to be used by Africans to kill their own kith and kin as the French are doing in Chad then Africans must be left in their honour and dignity to die in poverty.

French intervention in the conflict in Chad therefore must be condemned but if they claim colonial links to justify their action then the Libyans who are the next door neighbours of Chad have a better justification to intervene in the country's troubles so as to at least en sure that their own borders are safe and secure.

Mrs Agnes Dosoo, Walthamstow

Blame The Journalists

Dear Editor,

The article "Focus on the Media - Question of "Disagreeing to disagree" in Talking Drums" of September 19, 1983, made interesting reading. It looks as if the official attitude towards the press in Ghana is characterised by an inexplicable ambivalence on the issue of press freedom.

Apart from the harassment and arbitrary arrests of journalists the - present government in one breath admonishes the press and asks them to be the vanguard of the revolution and in the same breath castigates them for either being sycophants or critical of the government.

As far as I can tell, this is a sign of a government suffering from "split personality disorder". All the same, in all this, the operators of the media cannot escape blame for their tendency for being subservient to the government of the day.

The arrest and detention of Mike Adjei and Tommy Thompson of the Free Press is a typical example of the plight of the Ghanaian Journalist who is prepared to fight from within.

Kwabena A. Opoku, Balham

Bury All Jealousies

Dear Editor,

I was very happy to read in the issue of "Talking Drums" - 19th September, 1983 an advertiser's announcement by the Ghana Democratic Movement.

I was glad to learn that at long last all members of the political parties in exile after the 31st December coup have united to form a movement which will fight until freedom and democracy are restored in Ghana. This movement is long overdue considering. the fact that the suffering majority in Ghana are totally helpless about their present situation.

It is a refreshing thought to know that instead of the politicians rushing to the airport everyday to ask travellers from Ghana about how hard the situation is, they are now doing something about it.

I hope for once, all their petty squabbles and jealousies will be submerged for the sake of our once beautiful Ghana.

Akua Serwaa, Birmingham

Common Front

Dear Editor,

The birth of the Ghana Democratic Movement is welcome indeed. Before this latest efforts, all attempts to create a common front for fighting the present deprivations in Ghana had been sacrificed on the altar of selfish and individual interests.

It is important that such individualistic tendencies are submerged for the general good. The old politicians who have always thought they should be in the fore-front even though they suffer serious credibility gap, must now stay in the background.

John Awuku London

talking drums 1983-10-03 Hunger is a desperate reality for Ghana's 14 million people