Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

People, Places, Events


Salaries Cut

The Bendel House of Assembly has passed a motion slashing the salaries and allowances of public officers in the State. The motion also abolished some public offices with salaries of between 4,000 and 13,500 naira.

The motion, titled "Statutory Offices Emoluments Law 1983" reduced the salaries of the Governor and his deputy from 20,000 and 17,000 naira to 17,000 and 15,000 naira, respectively. Their allowances were also reduced from 10,000 and 6,000 naira to 6,000 and 3,000 naira, respectively.

The legislators' emoluments and personal allowances were also slashed, The speaker and his deputy will now earn 15,000 and 14,500 naira, respectively, instead of 17,000 and 15.000 naira, respectively. Their allowances were also cut from 6,000 and 4,000 naira, respectively, to 3,000 and 2,400 naira, respectively.

Other members of the House of Assembly not holding legislative offices will now earn 12,000 instead of 13,500 naira with an allowance of 1,800 instead of 2,500 naira. Commissioners will earn 13,000 instead of 14,500 naira while their allowances were reduced by 800 naira each.

The House abolished the offices of director of services, political secretaries and political assistants. The offices of head of personal staff, chief executive (special services) and part-time special advisers were also abolished.

The speaker of the House, Chief Louis Ijoma, said that the salary cuts were to help the State to recover from its financial difficulties.

Baby Food Prices Up

Infant death rate in Nigeria has shot up in the past few months due to recent increases in the price of baby food in the country.

The increase which reached the one hundred per cent mark in August this year has forced some mothers to revert to feeding their kids on "pap" or porridge which has been certified by doctors to be of low nutritional value. A newspaper survey indicated that market mammies could not stock the available brands of imported baby food, NAN, Cerelac, 526, SMA and Similac with Cereal because of their high purchasing and selling prices.

A tin of 400 grams NAN, Cerelac and Similac which sold at N 1.80 by August this year is now on the shelves for N3.50 each.

Some of the manufacturing Companies including Food Specialities Nigeria Limited, attributed the increase in the prices to "lack of raw materials" and inability to obtain licences to import the necessary raw materials.

Shagari's Cabinet

Expectations of an overhaul and a cut in the number of cabinet ministers in Nigeria were confirmed last Monday when President Shagari named a thirty member team of seven veterans and thirty one newcomers. Seven were dropped. Three of the most important portfolios - economy, budget affairs and national security have gone to some of the new ministers.

Alhaji Yahaya Dikko and Alhaji Sulaiman Takuma, two of the survivors, will continue to hold the posts of special adviser on Petroleum and Energy Affairs and Special Adviser and Political Matters, respectively.

Other top level administrative post holders are Chief Phillips Asiodu as Special Adviser on the Economy; Mr. Gamaliel, O. Osonode, Budget Affairs; Shehu Galadanci, National Security matters. Prof. T.S.B. Aribisala, Agriculture and Mr. S.G. Ikoku; National Assembly liaison.

Others re-appointed are Mallam Adamu Ciroma, formerly Minister of Agriculture and one of President Shagari's closest confidants and Alhaji Umaru Dikko, (brother of the energy adviser) who was chairman of the President's re-election campaign committee.

Freedom Fighters

President Shehu Shagari has said in Lagos that the racist South African forces are "waging a lost battle against the world".

The President said this while exchanging views with the Provost of Glasgow who paid him a courtesy call in Lagos.

He said that the situation in that territory needed urgent attention, adding that it was unfortunate that the United States saw the efforts of liberation movements only in the context of East and West confrontation.

Alhaji Shehu Shagari said that what the freedom fighters needed was in dependence and the means of helping their people economically and not interested in the politics of the West and East.

In response, the visiting Provost praised the imprisoned South African Leader, Nelson Mandela, and said that his country would want America to understand and appreciate the plight of the black people in Southern Africa and come to their aid.

Ajasin Is Governor

Ondo State at long last has an undisputed governor. He is Adekunle Ajasin who has been confirmed as Governor by the Supreme Court to start a second term.

By this, the legal battle which was sparked off by Fedeco's declaration of NPN gubernatorial candidate, Chief Akin Omoboriowo as elected, is over.

Nigeria Re-Elected

Nigeria has been re-elected a category two member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO).

The election took place at the last session of the Assembly of the Organisation in Montreal, Canada.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Aviation, Mr. George Nwanze, who led the country's delegation at the session was also elected the Second Vice-President of the Assembly.

The objectives of the International Civil Aviation are among other things to ensure safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic throughout the world.

At present it has a membership of 100 countries including Nigeria which joined in 1960.


List Of AFRC Convicts

The PNDC has appointed a special sub-committee to review cases of AFRC convicts including those convicted in absentia who wish to vindicate themselves.

The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council headed by Flt-Lt. Rawlings seized power in 1979 for three months, executed eight army officers including three former heads of state, sentenced a number to death and many more to various prison terms.

For the benefit of our readers we reproduce here the list of fifty persons the PNDC expects to appeal to them.

Name of Convicted Person Sentence
E.K. Buckman, Ex-Commissioner for SMC Affairs Death
Owusu-Adjei, Ex. M.D. SCH Accra 25 years
E.O. Boakye alias Boakye Mattress 25 years
B.S.K. Kwakye, former IGP 25 years
Ernest Arko, former IGP 25 years
E.K. Owusu, Kowus Motors Accra 25 years
Colonel Akwagyiram 25 years
Group Captain Kutin 25 years
Adolf Pluss 25 years
Kodwo Archer, (WRDC) 25 years
Alex Hutton-Mills, alias "Chappie" 25 years
Gove Dotse (Ho) 25 years
Akpor Awumee (Ho) 25 years
Kudzo Kulekye (Ho) 25 years
Bensakpala Kpeglo (Ho) 25 years
Ahedor Ganu (Ho) 25 years
Kwasi Gbezo (Ho) 25 years
Okey Dotse (Ho) 25 years
Wini Acbror (Ho) 25 years
Kweei Ahomka Lindsay 25 years
Commander J.C. Addo (CMB) 25 years
Col. Charles Techie-Menson 25 years
Akwasi Kuma Ex-M.D. GNTC 25 years
David Effah, Legal Practitioner 25 years
Maj. Gen. Charles Beausoleil 25 years
Colonel Iddisah 15 years
Colonel Slater 15 years
Pascal Akwasiga (aide of Beausoleil) 15 years
Major Adjei Ampofo 15 years
Emmanuel Kobina Nyarko (former CSP) 15 years
J.K. Siaw of Tata Brewery 10 years
Commander Boham 10 years
Mad. Akosua Addae of "Adom Wo Wim" 10 years
E.A. Kissi of GOIL 10 years
Alhaji Sibidow of GMRC 10 years
Yusif Ibrahim alias Usif Gado 10 years
J.F. Asare, PWD. Koforidua 10 years
K. Dwemo of MOH, Koforidua 10 years
Kwaku Appiah of MOH. Koforiduȧ 10 years
Atsifo Kuleke, Accra 10 years
Yaw Ofori, M.D. of GCHC. Tema 10 years
Adjetey of Fisheries Res. Inst. 10 years
Henry Djaba 10 years
Mr. Kanda, Min. of Industries 10 years
Capt. Buckman (rtd) former M.D., R.T. Briscoe 5 years
Kofi Nyawuta Gbologa of Anyanui 5 years
Vitus Gondona of CMB. Accra 5 years
Maj. Yirimambo. Ex-Commissioner 5 years
Afanyo Azakpeti 5 years

Priority For Military

The PNDC has directed that all cases before the public tribunal involving military personnel should be given priority over all other cases and dealt with speedily..

But the Force Commander, Maj Gen Arnold Quainoo, has directed that with immediate effect all commanding officers are to assume personal and direct responsibility for the apprehension, investigation and conclusive disposal within eight days of all offences alleged to have been committed by military personnel under their command.

Cases beyond their jurisdiction should be referred to the special military tribunal or the public tribunal without delay.

Police Indiscipline

Mr. R.K. Kugblenu, Inspector General of Police (IGP), has described as false the notion that the PDCs in the Police Service are contributing to indiscipline in the service.

He was speaking on the theme, "The new Standards of Discipline and Efficiency in the Police Service", on the fourth day of the special seminar 25 years for senior police officers at the Police College in Accra.

The IGP said the PDC idea concretises the concept of power to the people adding that after almost two years of the revolutionary process, it was clear that the "major social changes created by December 31 will ever remain part and parcel of the social system of Ghana."

The IGP urged officers to overcome the fear that PDCs would react against them for enforcing discipline adding, "on the contrary they will admire and adore you."

"In a revolutionary era like this we must regard the PDCs as our partners in running the affairs of our areas of command" Mr. Kugblenu stated.


Trade and military cooperation between France and Gabon is increasing constantly. France, which is Gabon's most important trading partner, has seen its exports reach almost 120,000 million CFA Francs in 1982, that is more than half the Gabonese import market. On Gabon's side, 50% of Libreville's exports, essentially raw materials, are absorbed by France and the United States.

In the military sector French assistance represents a third of the annual allocation which is granted to Gabon. About 200 Gabonese service men are now under training in French military colleges while there are more than 100 French officers and NCOS with the Gabonese army.

During 1983, Paris supplied more than 500,000,000 CFA francs' worth of military equipment to the country. This is without counting the substantial French military presence in Gabon. An intervention force of about 500 men is permanently stationed there, men who belong to the Sixth Marine Infantry Battalion and rapid deployment force.

Ecowas Energy Network

The Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), in cooperation with United Nations Economic & Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) is to set up a regional energy information sharing network and database in Dakar, the Commun ity's Director of Transport, Communication and Energy, Mr. Daniel Faux, said in Lagos.

Mr. Faux said that a memorandum of understanding on the project had been signed by ECOWAS and UNESCO.

He said that the objective of the project was to make available to member-states, information on the most recent research applications, case studies, manufacturers, consultants and patents on renewable energy.

Mr. Faux said that the Community lacked the framework and resources to collect information and that the project would link up with other centres participating in renewable energy information sharing throughout the world.

Upper Volta


Two former Heads of State are among a number of persons restricted to their residences by a decree signed by Captain Sankara. They are Col. Sure Zerbo and Maurice Yameogo.

Others with the names of their ages listed after their names are Tongo at Bourgou, Bourountinga Joseph Conombo Bourountinga at Province; Bissou at Koudougou, ukouna Province, Joseph wat Kayha, Fenemetinga Pro Joseph Ki-Zerbo at Toma, Province, Bamba Konate at Comoe Province; Ani Lan le at Fada Ngourma, Courma Joseph Quedraogo at Tanga, umtinga Province; Gerard Kango at Guahirila, Ouatinga Mahamoudou Ouedraogo at Pasore Province; Ouelse Pita Ghoula, Kourou Province.

They cannot leave their residences without written permission from the current head of the district administration and are under surveillance.

They cannot also receive any visits between 1800 and 0600 and contact from foreigners should be approved beforehand by the head of district administration.

Breach of these measures will be met with revolutionary punishment.


Pledge To Consult Elders

Head of state Dr. Samuel Doe has pledge his government's willingness to always consult elders before making decisions. He said the government has shown willingness to listen to people in finding solutions to any problems facing the country and asserted that the people had not been consulted before the PRC announced the date for a return to civilian rule.

Dr Doe, who was addressing chiefs, elders and citizens at the development meeting in Lofa county, promised that when the Constitution Advisor Assembly completes its work, all the chiefs and elders will be consulted for their recommendations.

The Head of State warned against ritual killings and noted that some people were doing so to gain political office. The Liberian leader also said that the PRC Government would not hesitate to mete out punitive measures against those caught in ritualistic killings.

The Executive General of the PRC, Brig-Gen. Abraham Kollie, asked the citizens to do away with evil and work together with the Head of State and the Council for the Development of Liberia.

Several chiefs and elders asked the Head of State and the PRC to reflect on government activities over the past three years and consider whether rushing to the barracks was the solution to the problems facing the state.

Warning To Socialists

Dr. Samuel Kanyon Doe, has issued a warning to people of socialist tendencies in the country. Addressing thousands of local citizens in Bendaja, Dr. Doe said Liberia would never become a breeding ground for socialism. He also warned parents, teachers and students against the evils of a socialist form of government. He said all those with the idea of socialism would not live to tell the story. This is the second same warning against socialism in a week. He said the PRC appreciated the support by students and teachers, but it would never allow anyone to bring misery to Liberians by bringing socialism to the country.

Dr. Doe told them that the PRC government appreciates the spirit of nationalism shown by the people of Lofa county. He said as encouragement, the Council has decided that whatever amount the county collects for self-help development, the government will contribute an equal share in the next fiscal budget. He also requested for the names of all local citizens who refused to make their contributions towards the Lofa county development fund drive.

Post Recreated

The post of Vice Head of State has been recreated after its abolition and execution of General Thomas Wey Syen. The new appointee is Brigadier General Abraham B. Kollie.

Also newly appointed Secretary General of the People's Redemption Council (PRC) by Head of State, Dr. Samuel Doe is Brigadier General Thomas Quiwonkpa.

OAU Message To General Assembly

Current Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Mengistu Haile Mariam has called on the UN to render moral, political and material support for promoting development and peace in Africa and live. up to its commitment to human freedom, dignity and equality in Southern Africa.

In a message to the 38th session of the UN General Assembly in his capacity as Chairman of the OAU, Mengistu said the inhuman system of apartheid in South Africa and Pretoria's continued illegal occupation of Namibia were matters of extreme concern for Africa.

The OAU Chairman reminded the UN that the racist Pretoria regime was committing repeated acts of aggression against Angola, illegally occupying parts of the territory and trying to strangulate the Kingdom of Lesotho.

talking drums 1983-10-24 Nkrumah's widow starves - Rawlings stabs press in the back