Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

People, Places, Events



Nigeria has renewed its call for mandatory economic sanctions and total arms embargo against the South African government.

Addressing the current session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, a member of the Nigerian delegation, Shettima Ali Monguno, said that complete isolation of the apartheid regime in the economic and military fields as well as political pressure on the western powers would help to resolve the Namibian question on the basis of the UN resolutions.

He told the delegates that one way the UN could enforce its decisions on apartheid South Africa was through ensuring that the security council asserted its authority without bias.

Shettima Ali Mongune expressed concern over the refusal of South Africa's allies to either impose sanctions on the racist regime or to call the many transnational corporations doing business with it to order.


Nigeria has donated 67 packages of household items worth $37,000 to the Tanzania-based ANC Mahlangu Freedom College.

The College was set up in the wake of the SOWETO massacre to cater for students thrown out of school for political reasons by the South African racist regime.

The college aims at training vital manpower for future free South Africa.

At the presentation ceremony in Dar-es-Salaam, Nigeria's High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr.R.I.Egbuziem, pledged Nigeria's continued diplomatic and material support withing the frame work of the OAU to African Liberation Movements until every inch of the continent was free.

Receiving the gifts, the ANC chief representative in East Africa praised Nigeria's leading role in the whole process of decolonisation in Africa.


Nigeria and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have signed a co-operation agreement providing for the training of personnel in the fields of social development, rural water supply and sanitation in some states.

The agreement also provides for an integrated women and children welfare programme which include a course for day-care attendants and a women's leadership course.

The UNICEF will contribute about three million US dollars each year during the period of the agreement.

The permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Social Development, Youth and Culture, Mr Imafidon Akade, signed for the Federal government, while Mr Richard Reid, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, signed for the organisation.


Two Nigerians have received the British safety council diploma in safety management at an end of course ceremony in London.

The recipients, Mr Daminabo Asoprinye, of the Nigerian AGIP Company, Port Harcourt and Mr. Abisuga Adeyemi, of the American International Insurance Company, Lagos, were among twenty-five others drawn from eleven countries in the world including Egypt, New Zealand, India and a number of Third World countries.

At the ceremony, the Director General of the Council, Mr James Tye, reminded the graduates that they should put the knowledge they have acquired during the course into practice when they return home.


The Federal government has approved an interim grant of N3 million for those affected by the August 1983 rampage in both Ondo and Oyo States, reports Sunday Times of Nigeria.

The hint was dropped in Akure by Chief Akin Omoboriowo in an interview with the Sunday Times. He assured that the money would soon be disbursed to those concerned.

Chief Omoboriowo, however, appealed to the respective state governments to donate generously to the relief and rehabilitation fund in order to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of the rampage.


Immigration Department and Police have renewed their raid to flush out illegal aliens from Nigeria.

According to Sunday Times investigations, illegal aliens, on their part, have embarked on measures, aimed at legalising their stay in the country by obtaining Nigerian passports which cost between N100 and N200 and are usually procured within a period of one to two weeks.

Mr Femi Awe, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that the task of ejecting illegal aliens from Nigeria demands the cooperation of all.

"Government actions in getting rid of illegal aliens would yield more results, if Nigerians would co operate in identifying the location of aliens and assist in passing such information to the law enforcement agents."


Mr Justice Sodeinde Sowemimo, has been appointed the new Chief Justice of Nigeria. He succeeds the former Chief Justice Mr Justice Atanda Fatai-Williams, who retired last month.

President Shehu Shagari's wish to appoint Justice Sowemimo as the new Chief Justice could not go through immediately because of mild opposition by some Senators who wanted to examine the curriculum vitae of the new Chief Justice before he could be confirmed.


The government has set up a seven-member Public Administration Restructuring and Decentralisation Implementation Committee (PARDIĆ) to oversee implementation of the programme to rationalise, restructure and decentralise Ghana's public services.

Local government Secretary, Kwame Dwemoh-Kesse, is the chairman. An official statement said that the committee has been charged to assist the PNDC Regional Secretaries to establish regional district, town, village and area levels.

On the programme the post of Principal Secretary has been abolished. Instead Technical Public servants would have direct access to political heads of ministries. The highest public service post becomes the Chief Director.

Vacancies for these positions are to be advertised and filled by February 1984. The ministries would be headed by secretaries and assisted by under-secretaries.


Fire has destroyed the 13th floor of the Independence Building, headquarters of the Defence Ministry, in Lagos.

The 23-storey building, not far from the NET building, which is also nursing scars from a January 24, fire in which some people died was said to have caught fire due to a defective air-conditioner.

The fire was however contained on the 13th floor, on which Army Adjutant-General, Major General Jalo Waziri and Army Planning Secretary Brigadier Atom Kpers have their offices.


The Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Dr Uma Eleazu has suggested the adoption of multiple exchange rates for the naira as a way out of the country's balance of payment problems. Dr Eleazu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that such a measure would revalue the naira against other currencies.

He called on the central bank to classify all imports and introduce triple exchange rates for luxury items like Mercedes Benz cars, while raw materials and components should attract lesser rates. He said that the measure would go a long way "to mop up excess liquidity in the system and help to render accounts on volume of business, as well as provide data on Country's reserves" foreign the exchange

Dr Eleazu called on the Federal Government to legalise currency trafficking on the "black market" and make all currency dealers to register with the Central Bank as well as render returns to the bank like the "bureau of exchange" in developed countries. "They should be allowed to charge about three naira to the dollar or any other rate set by the bank", he said.

He said that the responsibility of making the foreign currencies available should be that of the accredited dealers, adding that this could bring "excess" naira abroad back to Nigeria, as well as strengthen the Nigerian currency.

On the rising cost of locally assembled vehicles, Dr Eleazu said that the government should desist from controlling the prices and allow market forces to determine prices.


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has discovered oil off the shores of Cross River, the branch superintendent of the company in Port Harcourt, Dr Allan Balogun, has said. Dr Balogun told a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) that the oil well called Emem-1 was drilled by the NNPC with a semi-submersible rig called Sedneth-1 in a water depth of 76.5 m. He said that the oil well was of two levels and that when tested each level produced an initial output of 2,700 barrels per day. Dr Balogun quoted the gravity of the oil as 23.7 degrees at the upper reservoir and 39.40 degrees at the lower reservoir.

On the significance of the new discovery, Dr Balogun said that the oil would save the country a lot of foreign exchange which otherwise would be spent on the importation of heavy oil from Venezuela. He added that the new oil would serve the oil needs of the Kaduna oil refinery, when production begins. The latest oil discovery is the second by the eastern sector of the NNPC since this year and the 16th since 1976, he further added.



Upper Volta President, Thomas Sankara has disclosed that his revolutionary government has irrefutable proof of imminent aggression against the revolution by foreign mercenaries recruited by vengeful politicians who are aided by their imperialist allies.

He advised his people never to forget that there have been and will always be enemies. These enemies, ever since the first day of the revolution have been trying to overthrow the popular power.

President Sankara affirmed that the Upper Volta revolution is not directed against any country.



There have been numerous appeals to the Head of State to reverse the decisions dismissing Brig-Gen Thomas Quiwonkpa from the PRC (People's Redemption Council) and the armed forces of Liberia. The appeals were made at the Unity conference centre in Virginia, outside Monrovia by several chiefs and elders from Liberia's political subdivisions. The chiefs and elders were invited by Dr Doe to witness a presentation of a draft constitution to the PRC by the advisory assembly.

General Quiwonkpa was sacked from the PRC and the Liberian army two weeks ago after what an Executive Mansion release termed as his refusal to take up his new assignment as PRC Secretary General until certain concerns were addressed. In their respective statement, the chiefs begged for forgiveness on behalf of General Quiwonkpa. The Head of State told them that he did not dismiss General Quiwonkpa, but instead the General's removal from the army and the PRC was recommended to him in a letter from Council.

Chairman Doe informed the chiefs and elders that Mr Quiwonkpa would have to write a letter of apology stating what Dr Doe referred to as Quiwonkpa's own mistakes so that the Liberian people will understand.


Liberian Head of State, Dr Samuel Kanyon Doe, says this country needs 975,000,000 dollars to recover from its present economic difficulties. According to a Liberia News Agency dispatch from Bern in Switzerland, this is the minimum level of assistance required to meet Liberia's total aid needs over the next three fiscal years.

Out of the 975,000,000 dollars, Head of State Doe said that 356,000.000 dollars would be needed for direct balance of payment support. The balance would go towards investment and technical assistance to stimulate Liberia's economic recovery.

Dr Doe, who was in Bern was speaking at the Universal Postal Union Headquarters when he opened the donor's conference sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)


The Jerusalem Bank in Israel is to provide technical assistance to the National Bank of Liberia in the areas of project analysis and evaluation, credit procedures and examination of banks.

The Governor of the National Bank of Liberia, Mr Thomas Edward Hanson, who has just returned home from Israel upon the invitation of the Israeli Central Bank, made the disclosure in a press briefing in Monrovia.

The Bank's assistance is the outcome of an agreement of cooperation signed in Israel by the National Bank of Liberia and the Central Bank of Israel.


The Constitutional advisory assembly has presented its revised documents to the Head of State Dr Samuel doe who promised that the proposals would go to the People's Redemption Council (PRC) for final review and that in spite of a delay, the PRC was exerting every effort to return the country to civilian rule.



In a statement issued to mark international solidarity day with the peoples of South Africa and Namibia on 26th October, the OAU has called on world peace and justice-loving powers to strengthen their efforts completely to eradicate the apartheid system which threatens world peace and security.

The OAU, pointed out that the ugly situation in South Africa was worsening and had again affirmed strong opposition to the efforts to link the question of Namibia's independence to the presence of Cuban soldiers in Angola.



Curfew hours in Ghana have been revised to begin at midnight and end at 4.30 am throughout the country. Previous hours were 10pm to 5am.


Mr E.T.Mensah, chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the Accra City Council (ACC), has explained that the political heads of the regions and districts are the Regional and District Secretaries.

The co-ordinators of PDC's and WDC's in these areas are solely in charge of the affairs of these organs, but under the authority of the various Secretaries.

This explanation follows the confusion over the recent disorganization of the Greater Accra Regional and District Defence Committees.

The ACC chairman pointed out that the Secretaries, by virtue of their authorities as heads of the areas as stipulated in the new guidelines of the PDCS/WDCs, could make appointments to the regional and district defence committees.


The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, once regarded as the best in the country, has now lost that status because of shortage of equipment and medical personnel.

For some time now, no major operation has been performed at the hospital because of shortage of oxygen.

Patients on admission have been sleeping on the floor because of shortage of beds and mattresses. These are besides the acute shortage of doctors and other medical personnel.

Dr O.K.Amoah, the hospital administrator, made these disclosures when the Greater Accra Regional Secretary, Nii Abeo Kyerekuanda IV, paid a familiarization visit to the hospital to acquaint himself with the problems facing the hospital

Mr John Bart-Plange, senior technologist at the Pathologist Department, said the Korle-Bu Mortuary was filled to capacity because of the refusal of relatives to claim their corpses. He said trolleys for conveying dead bodies from the wards to the mortuary were all broken down and that had made the work more difficult.

He said that the Korle-Bu Mortuary was catering for many corpses from the regions because almost all the mortuaries in the regions had broken down.


Ghana's Acting High Commissioner to Kenya, Mr Samuel Afrifa-Kyei, has said in Nairobi that Ghana's relations with Kenya remain cordial despite the temporary suspension of the mission. Reacting to a report that the mission was closing down, he said the exercise of suspending several Ghanaian foreign missions was part of a policy measure announced by the government in June last year. He explained that the suspension of the Nairobi mission does not mean that there would be a vacuum in diplomatic links between the two countries.


The British High Commissioner in Ghana, Kelvin Burns, has stated that his government recognizes the hope and opportunity created in the country by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) through its economic policy. He said by contrast, the Limann administration had been a terrible disappointment.

In reference to the PNDC's economic recovery programme, Mr Burns observed that measures being initiated by the government were long overdue. He agreed that these measures would have been easier to carry out if they had been introduced and implemented some five to 10 years ago.

At a meeting with Flt Lt. Rawlings, chairman of PNDCthe High Commissioner said there was no misunderstanding about the intention behind the economic policy, which he described as courageous.

On human rights, Mr Burns said he was happy about the release of most political detainees and steps being taken by the government to review the cases of certain convicted prisoners. He said this process is in the right direction Flt-Lt Rawlings in his reply said the government was in the process of achieving the atmosphere needed for positive social and economic advancement. He disclosed that the investment code was being updated and would soon be made public. The PNDC Chairman expressed appreciation for the contribution so far made by Britain to Ghana.

The High Commissioner in reference to PNDC Coordinating Secretary's remarks about the misuse of the BBC against the revolution, explained that successive British Prime Ministers occasionally expressed concern about the performance of the BBC. He noted that lots of what the BBC carry about Ghana consisted of personal opinions of individuals with little information. He said that the BBC correspondent is based in Abidjan, which is not the most effective place to cover events from Ghana.


Ghana and Yugoslavia have signed a 3.000,000 dollar credit agreement in Belgrade. Under it, Ghana will receive agricultural equipment, including tractors, disk harrows and fertilizer spreaders. The agreement was signed by the Deputy Director of the Social Security Bank, M S.K.Appiah, who led a two-man delegation to Belgrade, while Dr Trekovi Carr Managing Director of PKB, a Yugoslav agro-industrial corporation, initialled for Yugoslavia.

PKB will start a pilot agricultural project at Kumawu in Ashanti where 600 hectares of pilot farm will be established. There is the possibility in the future to expand it 1035,000 hactares or more.

The main crops to be grown will include maize and soya beans. a school will also be established to give intensive training to local farmers. According to the Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug, the delivery of the equipment will be done in two shipments, with the first arriving next month and the second in December.


The Secretary to Defence Professor Mawuse Dake, has said the National Committee (NDC),

that the recent increases in the prices of fuel, beer and cigarettes were the only choice left to the government in its efforts economy. to resuscitate the economy.

This same view, he said, is also held by both capitalist and socialist oriented people he had held discussions with on the issue.

Justifying the price review, Professor Dake regretted that self interest compradors were refusing to utilise the available foreign exchange to bring in the raw materials and goods for the manufacturing industries to operate.

Instead, he said, they were insisting that the government grant them some concessions that would allow them to channel their goods, when production began, to their old customers who were promoting 'kalabule'.

The result was that out of a total of $100 million stand-by loan obtained from Barclays Bank International for the servicing of the manufacturing sector, only $40 million had been used.


Two Private soldiers pounced on a 44-year-old dentist and beat him up to death for daring to warn them to take care not to destroy his sign board.

The soldiers Pte Kudjo Ahiable and Samuel Koomson, both attached to the Mechanical Transport division of the second Infantry Brigade Group at Kwadaso near Kumasi are alleged before the city court to have assaulted the dentist Mr Emmanuel Okutako Gyabi on August 16, this year, causing injuries to his body and resulting in internal bleeding.

Inspector Comfort Safoah told the court, presided over by Mr Osei Agyeman that on August 16, this year, the two soldiers then in military uniform, took three loaves of bread from Yaa Kraa, a baker, and refused to pay the price quoted. The baker also refused to accept the money offered which she felt was too low.

This infuriated the two soldiers who beat and stripped her naked in the street. Kraa's mother Akua Owusuaa who appeared on the scene and pleaded that her daughter should be left alone, also had her share of the assault.

She said while the soldiers were beating the two women up the deceased then standing in front of his shop, saw that his signboard was in danger of being destroyed by the angry soldiers and, therefore, warned them to be careful not to destroy it.

Central African Republic

The Central African Republic has denied rumours about establishing relations with Israel.

A statement by the country's Foreign Affairs Minister confirmed its support for the Arab countries and the Palestinian cause. The Foreign Minister, Salle Michel was speaking at the end of his visit to Saudi Arabia.


A Soviet bauxite team left Ghana on 25th October after conducting feasibility studies on the Kyebi bauxite deposits as a follow-up to the co-operation agreement signed between Ghana and USSR last year; the leader of a Soviet trade union delegation said on arrival in Ghana that its visit was to strengthen the traditional ties between the agricultural workers' unions in the two countries.

The Guinea Bissau Foreign Minister arrived in Portugal on 24th October for talks on strengthening co-operation between the two countries

The Cape Verde Foreign Minister, Silvino Manuel da Luz was in Brazil on an official visit during which he and his Brazilian counterpart chaired the meeting of the Brazil-Cape Verde joint commission.

Zairean president Mobutu Sese Seko is to pay a four day official visit to Portugal on December 12.

talking drums 1983-11-07 which is the voice of the people