Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

People, Places, Events



THE World Bank resident representative in Ghana, Dr Werner Schlzig has told newsmen in Accra that 15 traditional and non traditional donor nations and international financial establishments have so far agreed to attend the next consultative group meeting in Paris on November 24 to discuss how best to support Ghana financially.

Dr Schelzig said that the readiness with which countries had agreed to attend the meeting was an indication of their confidence in Ghana.


The United States' Ambassador to Ghana Robert Fritts has told Flt Lt. Jerry Rawlings, chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council that the USA is prepared to provide emergency food assistance to Ghana

In a long discussion in which a message from President Reagan to Chairman Rawlings was delivered, Ambassador Fritts said the gesture would be done in cooperation with the Ghana government, World Food programme and other donors. The message was in response to one sent by Chairman Rawlings previously. Ambassador Fritts noted a positive development in human rights in Ghana since the December 31 revolution. He cited the way prisoners were treated in the country and requested to know what areas his government could help to further human rights programmes.

On his part Chairman Rawlings stated he was gratified with improvement of relations between the two countries and fully accepted the positive and constructive role of the US embassy in Ghana.


The PNDC has appointed Rear Admiral C.K. Djan as the new Secretary for Defence Rear-Admiral Djan the former Navy Commander was Ghana's High Commissioner to Australia.

Mr S.S.Omane, former Commissioner of Police has been recalled into the Ghana Police Service, a government announcement has stated.



The Britain-Nigeria Association has congratulated President Shehu Shagari on his continuing success in administering Nigeria.

In a message sent from London to mark the beginning of the President's second term in office, the association expressed the hope that during the next year, President Shagari will further bring prosperity to Nigeria and ensure a very fruitful administration.

The message was jointly signed by the association's President, Lord Grey of nanton, the chairman, Mr G.H. Wilson and the Secretary, Mr P.H. Balmer.


The Federal radio in Lagos has broadcast a commentary on the practice of Nigerians who grant interviews to foreign news media, particularly the World and African Service of the BBC

The commentary said those who wanted foreign media publicity at any cost and who believed they could get it by running down their country should re-examine themselves because what they were doing was counter-productive.


The ban on political activities in Benue State has again been extended by another two weeks with effect from 20th October. The State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Aminu Mallam Fashi, said in Makurdi, the State capital, that the extension had become necessary because of the political disturbances in the State

Alhaji Aminu urged party Supporters and the public to comply with the order. He assured them that the usual police patrol would continue throughout the State to ensure peace and security.


Four thousand, two hundred and twenty six aliens who have no valid documents were sent back at the Seme border between Nigeria and Benin Republic between last month and this month The aliens were mostly Ghanaians, Togolese, Beninois and Guineans. .Also an average of 1,400 people, including traders and visitors, entered Nigeria through the border daily.

According to an immigration officer illegal immigrants entered the country through routes which were unmanned either by immigration customs or Federal Ministry of Health personnel.


President Shagari has promised immediate attention to allegations regarding the integrity of any public officer and appropriate sanctions meted out to any one found guilty.

While swearing in seven special advisers, Secretary to the Federal Government and head of the Civil Service, President Shagari reiterated that under the new dispensation, renewed emphasis will be placed on higher standards of discipline, probity and efficiency in the conduct of public affairs.

He said that the mounting corruption in the society had to be cleared up and the people sanitized and made more humane. He also emphasized that the work of special advisers was a full-time commitment that having been carefully selected for their acknowledged expertise in their various fields, the advisers should show good example in leadership through selfless hard work, dedication, and unflinching loyalty to the goals and aspirations of the present administration.

The special advisers who were sworn in included: Alhaji Yahaya Dikko, petroleum and energy, Alhaji Suleman Takuma, political affairs, Mr Sam Ikoku, National Assembly liaison, and Mr Gamaliel Onosode, budge. Others are: Dr Theophilus Aribisala, agriculture; Prof Shehe Galadanci, national security; and Mr Philip Asiodu, economic affairs. The Secretary to the Federal Government, Alhaji Shehu Musa, and the head of the civil service of the Federation, Mr Gray Longe, also swore to the oath of office and allegiance.


An Italian firm has been awarded a 30,000,000 naira contract for the expansion of the Warri refinery. The contract covers the expansion and modification of the refinery to increase its capacity by 25% to about 125,000 barrels per day. It is expected to be completed by 1985. The firm, Snamprogetti, a member of the Italian ENI GROUP.

A similar expansion programme known as de-bottlenecking is also going on in the Kaduna refinery and is being executed by the Japanese firm, Chiyoda. The programme which is provided for in the fourth National Development Plan (1981 85), will increase domestic refining capacity by 35,000 barrels per day. The country's three refineries have a capacity of 260,000 barrels per day.


The Nigeria High Commission in London is making arrangements to computerize students' records. The High Commissioner Alhaji Shehu Awak said this in London in an address to Nigerian nationals at a party hosted by the Nigerian Union in the United Kingdom to mark the 23 anniversary of Nigeria's independence.

He said that the only way to keep up-to-date records of the over 50,000 Nigerian students in the United Kingdom was to computerize their records.

He stated that computerizing the records would also facilitate the projection of the foreign exchange needs of private students in the United Kingdom on an annual basis, the prompt payment of tuition fees and other allowances of government scholars and prompt answers to enquiries from institutions in respect of Nigerian students.

Alhaji Awak regretted that only a few institutions responded positively to an earlier letter sent to them to furnish the High Commission with information about Nigerian students in their institutions.

It would also save time and money for students "who need not make the usual journeys to the Fleet Street office only to obtain their letters of foreign exchange," he added.

On the remittance of foreign exchange, the High Commissioner said that the Federal Government had made some allocations for foreign exchange as a relief to Nigerian students in Overseas institutions whose applications with the Central Bank of Nigeria had been pending.


President Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea has called for the establishment of a common currency for member states of the Mano River Union. Such a monetary system, he said, will be the first kind of economic identity of the three member states.

Addressing a summit of the Union at the Unity conference centre in Virginia, near Monrovia, the Guinean leader said that even though member states were conscious of the fact that the union does not exist in isolation, a common monetary system for the member states should be one that is typically African.

President Sekou Toure also expressed the view that the union during its ten year existence has laid the foundation for a vigorous and viable socio-economic development in its three member states. And was convinced that it will bring fruitful and rewarding benefits to the peoples of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the near future.

President Sekou Toure was speaking at the Sprigg Payne airfield in Monrovia shortly before departing for home after attending the summit.

The one day conference heard the Liberian leader Dr Samuel Doe emphasizing the need for agricultural development, particularly the development of forestry and fisheries.

Dr Doe also called for improvement of the health needs of the people and the training of more personnel in the fields of forestry and agriculture if the union would serve as a viable organization in the sub-region.

For his part, Dr Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone repeated his country's readiness to work for the development of the union. President Stevens said the union is a concrete reality of African co-operation and unity.


Mali and Upper Volta have decided on the creation of a grand joint commission on co-operation between them. In joint a communique at the end of President Moussa Traore's visit to Upper Volta, the Mali Head of State and President Thomas Sankara agreed to promote, develop and strengthen co-operation on all levels. They expressed the desire to see the commission hold a meeting as soon as possible. The two leaders also expressed their firm political will to work toward a definitive solution to the border dispute between their countries.



The Secretariat of the committees for the Defence of the Revolution has authorised the formation of defence committees at all workplaces in the country and missions abroad.

This is to enable all sincere patriots to participate actively in revolutionizing all sectors of national life.


The National Council of the Revolution in Upper Volta has established revolutionary people's tribunals to hear cases of embezzlement of public funds and all crimes and offences committed by agents and servants of the state in the performance of their duties.

A revolutionary people's tribunal will be composed of three magistrates from the judiciary, three military men, one of whom will be a gendarme, and 12 members of the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution. It will be presided over by a magistrate.

Its members will be appointed by a decree issued by a meeting of the Council of Ministers and will hold as many sittings as is necessary.

Accused persons, witnesses and plaintiffs will be summoned directly to appear before the revolutionary people's tribunal by the security forces. The deadline between the time the summons is issued and the day fixed for appearance before the tribunal will be a minimum of 10 days.

It will sit without a public prosecutor and the accused person will appear without the assistance of a counsel and decisions of the revolutionary people's tribunals wili be passed without the possibility of appeal and can only be challenged by appealing for mercy.

Sentences will be put into effect immediately.


The Secretary of State for Interior and Security, Ernest Ouedrago has warned sinister persons nostalgic for a reactionary past to desist from introducing weapons and ammunition into the country with the intention to destabilise the revolutionary process.

He also called on the revolutionary people to cooperate with the internal security agents and report to the nearest gendermery or police station the presence of any foreigner being harboured in their neighbourhood


The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) has called for bold and stringent sanctions on the racist regime by all countries, in order to make it respect international regulations.

The call was made in a statement on the recent aggression against the Peoples Republic of Mozambique by soldiers of the racist South Africa regime. The OAU said that the attack of Mozambique demonstrated the terrorist and lawless nature of the racist South African regime and that nobody was fooled by the false claim that the attack was aimed at the military bases of the ANC. It also pointed out that the time for united international action against Pretoria's racists was drawing near.

It expressed the hope that the international condemnation which the recent action by the Pretoria regime deserve would include that of the Western nations, and that these nations, who encouraged the ongoing destabilizaion in southern Africa and continuously cooperated with the regime in the economic, political and cultural fields, would desist from their actions


President Hissene Habre of Chad has held talks with the OAU interim Secretary-General, Dr Peter Onu, on prospects for a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Chad

The meeting took place on the sidelines of a summit in Libreville to launch the Economic Community of Central African States.

The meeting came two weeks after the Franco-African summit in Vittel, France, at which the need for a negotiated solution was stressed.


Seventy new doctors including 15 women have been sworn in at the Ghana Medical School. The dean, Dr Nii Lomotey Engman led the new doctors in swearing the Hippocratic oath.


Chairman of the PNDC Flt-Lt. Rawlings led a delegation to Mali last week. In a pre-departure conference at Bamako, Mr P.V.Obeng the PNDC Co-ordinating Secretary announced that there would be co-operation between Ghana and Mali in cotton matters, Ghana is to process Mali cotton in her textile factories and train mali in textile technology, Mali will train Ghanaians in cotton growing.

The Ghana-Mali joint commission is to meet in Accra at the end of the year.


Joint military exercises comprising Army/Navy/Air Force, supported by canoe fishermen have been held.

The exercise codenamed EX Swordfish II was aimed at testing the combat readiness of the Armed Forces with civilian support.


On the orders of the Provisional National Defence Council, all flags were flown at half mast for three days in memory of the assassinated leader of Grenada, Maurice Bishop. A message of condolence was also sent by the PNDC to the people of Grenada on what was described as "the brutal assassination of the revolutionary leader" together with three of his Ministers.


Mr Yakubu Dadinkai, the Acting Editor of the "Weekly Spectator,' a sister publication of the government-owned "Ghanaian Times", has been retired for "gross dereliction and irresponsibility in the performance of his duties," an Information Ministry statement in Accra said.

The statement said that Mr Dadinkai wrote an article in the paper in which he sought to cast a slur on the government in the circumstances surrounding recent allegations by the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah's widow against the government about her up-keep. Madam Fathia Nkrumah has since left the country.


INAPPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY President Daniel arap moi has instructed Government training and public institutions to stop buying electrical ог computerized typewriters forthwith. He observed that such equipment and allied appliances were not immediately suitable and relevant to the level of technology Kenya was developing and said that such involvement does not reflect appropriate technology and must be discouraged at the moment

President Moi was touring the Rift Valley College of Technology where he directed that before a public institution introduces such equipment, sufficient thought must be applied with the whole country borne in mind before a final decision is reached. He advised the youth using sophisticated tools to consider what would happen when they return to the rural areas where there is no electricity. He said that we should aim at equipping the youth for the better instead of producing redundant personnel.

President Moi said we must use scarce available resources in the equipping our people with the kind of technology they can easily apply anywhere within the Republic in bettering their standards of living.



MALI minister of State for Economy and Planning Oumar Coulibaly, returned to Bamako from Moscow on 21st October after a long visit to the Soviet Union. On the same flight was the Interior minister, Lt-Col Abderhamane Maiga, who was returning home at the end of a 120 day private visit to the DPRK:


Chad President Hissene Habre left N'djamena on October 22, for a working visit to Zaire. Two thousand Zairean troops are in Chad to help President Habre fight off Libyan backed forces seeking to overthrow him.


President Joao Baptisa de Oliveira Figueiredo is expected to pay a state visit to Nigeria from November 14-17


President Gnassingbe Eyadema is in the USA for an official visit.

talking drums 1983-10-31 politics of border closures Togo blames Ghana