Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

People, Places, Events


Plotter confesses

Mr Joseph Cooper, a major figure in the alleged coup plot, has revealed that a raid on the Liberian-American, Swedish Minerals Company (LAMCO) was a prelude to an overthrow of the Liberian government.

Mr Cooper, a retired captain said that following his involvement in the plot he knew that Dokie had told the former commanding General Quiwonkpa that the LAMCO showroom raid was necessary because the government had not treated the Nimba citizens fairly since many officials from that area had been dismissed from the government.

He said as a taxi driver he was chartered to drive those involved in the killings at LAMCO around the area and that he was threatened that if he made any attempt to run away or leak out any of their secrets they would get rid of him.

Davis surrenders

One of the eleven persons wanted by the Defence Ministry in connection with the alleged plot to overthrow the People's Redemption Council government has given himself up. He is Captain Allan Davis, who surrendered to the joint security in Nimba county. He is the first on the list of the wanted men to surrender to the security agents. Ten others on the run include former commanding General Thomas Quiwonkpa and former Deputy Internal Affairs Minister, Samuel Dokie.

Suspected coup plotter

One of the principal suspects in the alleged coup plot, Major Kalago Luo, has reportedly admitted his involvement in the plot.

According to the Liberian News Agency Major Luo is said to have appealed to the PRC government and the Liberian people for mercy on behalf of himself and others involved. He reportedly admitted that he and others had met former armed forces Commanding general Thomas Quiwonkpa, in a forest in Nimba County to discuss what he termed as a plot.

Major Luo however denied any report that he had received instructions from Quiwonkpa to launch a coup in Monrovia while the former commanding general took over Nimba county. He added: even though there was a plot in the making with the consent of the former commanding general, there was no specific plan or date for implementing the plot.

Israeli President on visit

Israeli President Herzog is expected to pay a visit to Liberia, Zaire and Swazi land within the next two months. Meanwhile, Radio ELWA, Monrovia, has reported that Liberia's first Ambassador to Israel, Samuel Pearson, has presented his credentials to President Herzog in Israel. Ambassador Pearson, a close friend of Liberian leader Dr Samuel Doe was his country's former Minister of Defence.


Warning to adventurers

The Central African Republic has marked its 23rd anniversary with a warning from President Kolingba against the 'sordid appetites' of certain people for those who bore responsibility for the country's regression.

President Kolingba said he was aware of the danger such 'mad and blood thirsty adventurers' represented and declared that he would be failing in his duty if he allowed them to pursue their criminal enterprises.

He reported that there was every indication that such adventurers would join with all forces of evil to oppose the country's rise from the abyss into which they had plunged it.

Bokassa in France

The French authorities have initiated diplomatic steps to ensure ex-Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa's departure to another country.

Ex-Emperor Bokassa who arrived in the Ivory Coast after his overthrow was expelled from that country by President Houpouet-Boigny. Meanwhile, a statement read to journalists gathered outside his chateau said: "France has always been my second motherland and I have served her in time of peace and in time of war, with honour, devotion, faith and abnegation. I request the authorization to remain in France but in making a reservation, that I want the people of the Central African Republic to be told that I am prepared to return to my country to serve it, or to begin a peaceful retirement there, under conditions indispensable for my security and for social peace. I decline all offers of asylum abroad..."

But the French Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson also speaking in Athens, said: "In France, where it is undesirable that he, Bokassa, should remain, as was said in a government statement, we are looking for a foreign nation that would be prepared to receive him." The French courts do not recognize the French nationality that Bokassa claims to have; he is a foreigner and consequently he can be invited to leave France.


France-Gabon relations

The media in Gabon has been told by the authorities to resume reports on France's international role and actions. A report on Libreville Africa No.1 radio said Mr Roland Dumas, a personal adviser to French President Mitterand had referred to his visit to Gabon during which he met President Bongo to discuss the various misunderstandings between Gabon and France. Mr Dumas was reported to have noted that the misunderstandings were entertained only by the ill-willed.


Presidential elections

Cameroon's economic miracle has been reinforced with the attainment of a seven per cent increase in its Gross Domestic Product and self-sufficiency in food.

President Paul Biya in a news conference to the national press also announced that there have been salary increases every year while the national budget is balanced

Concerning early Presidential elections, the Head of State confirmed that they would take place on January 14th and that he would be a candidate.

On security, President Biya said the armed forces were being re-organised to adapt and also ensure the mission entrusted to them.

Resume classes

President Biya has asked English speaking students in Yaounde who have been on strike to resume classes. A study by the Ministry of Education reportedly to facilitate equal access for all Cameroonians into institutions of higher learning prompted the strike action.

Meanwhile a study commission comprising English and French speaking academic officials is to be set up on the orders of President Biya to look into the grievances of students.


PDC Chairman on seduction charge

A police officer charged together with a PDC Chairman on corruption and seduction charges was alleged to have slept for three nights with a woman trader arrested by the police for smuggling.

Yet, according to the trader, Madam Felicia Serwaa Cobbina, detective Corporal Peter Yaya did not only fail in his attempt to drop the smuggling case against her but also made her settle the bill for the three days they slept at the African Unity Hotel at Kete-Krachi.

In addition her 17-year-old daughter was also seduced by the PDC Chairman for Kete-Krachi, Mark Dogba for two weeks.

Madam Cobbina who was previously the accused in a smuggling case, told the public tribunal that she also paid an amount of 10,000 cedis and two bottles of schnapps to Chief Inspector Adolf K. Davor before she was granted bail.

The tribunal cautioned and discharged her because the panel felt she had suffered too much. She is being used as a prosecution witness.

The Chief Inspector and the Detective Corporal both of Kete Krachi Police Station are charged with a gift of €10,000 and C40,000 respectively from Madam Cobbina. The PDC Chairman is charged with abusing his office by seducing the daughter of the witness. They have all pleaded not guilty.

A Daily Graphic report said Madam Cobbina testified before the tribunal Islam." that she was arrested together with a young man for smuggling wax prints, cigarettes and other prohibited items into the country from Togo sometime in July at Kete-Krachi.

As a result, Chief Inspector Davor asked her to pay a total amount of C10,000 and two bottles of schnapps as a bail bond for the young man and herself.

After the payment, D/Cpl Yaya, the investigator in the case, came to the house at Kete-Krachi and demanded €60,000 for the impounded items to be released to her.

She could not afford the amount and paid C40,000 to Corporal Yaya and he later slept with her at the African Unity Hotel at Kete-Krachi for three nights. She footed the bill.

According to witness, both the Chief Inspector and Corporal Yaya assured her that the case "won't get anywhere". Sometime later, the PDC Chairman approached her in the house and demanded C10,000 with the promise of getting back the impounded items.

Madam Cobbina said she could not afford the amount, neither was she able to pay the C40,000 he subsequently demanded because she had not a pesewa to buy food to eat. During this transaction, the PDC Chairman saw her 17-year-old daughter, Serwaa Akoto in the house and asked the witness to give her as a substitute and she willingly obliged. "My daughter slept with the PDC Chairman for two weeks, but none of the accused was able to help me."

Alhaji Kwaw Swanzy

Former Ghanaian Attorney General Alhaji Kwaw Swanzy has been appointed and sworn in as Attorney-General of Zanzibar. The swearing-in ceremony at State House, Zanzibar, was attended by the Zanzibar Chief Minister, Ramadhan Haji Faki, among others.

A statement issued on the appointment said Alhaji Kwaw- Swanzy was sent to Zanzibar by the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah in 1961 to defend the Afro-Shirazi Party members who charged with murder by the colonialist were arrested and government. In 1962 Kwaw-Swanzy returned to Ghana where he served as Attorney-General in the Kwame Nkrumah government from 1962 to 1966. He was imprisoned for two years following the overthrow of Nkrumah and it was at this time he converted to Islam

Satisfaction at donors' conference

The Secretary for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwesi Botch- way, has expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the second donor conference on Ghana in Paris. He said the 150,000,000 dollars pledged for Ghana for the first year of her economic recovery programme is more than Ghana had estimated.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Botchway said Ghana did not in the real sense make any concession to get the pledge. She, however, got the support because of the good programme that the Provisional National Defence Council had drawn up for the recovery of the nation's economy.

Dr Botchway said the government is taking the right measures. It is provid- ing incentives to producers and reviving the export sector. On the devaluation and the assertion by some people that Ghana's economy is in the pockets of the IMF, Dr Botchway explained that opposition to the devaluation is what he called mere political by some disgruntled people who, after looting the country's resources, try to rally opposition against the government. He said the people are not deceived by this.

The Secretary was optimistic that with time Ghana would be able to develop a self-reliant and integrated national economy, adding that it should be able to feed itself in due course. he said, with the aid Ghana's balance of payment deficit is expected to fall from 234,000,000 dollars this year to 60,000,000 dollars in 1984.

Sale of bulbs

The workers Defence Council (WDC) of the GNTC Technical Department has started the sale of electric bulbs ordered from China. Mr Yaw Seesi, chairman of the WDC told the People's Daily Graphic during the sale of bulbs to workers in and around the Graphic Corporation that the GNTC will try to cover as many areas as possible in Accra.

Currency rumours

An official of the Bank of Ghana has denied rumours in the rural areas that denominations of 20, 10, 5, 2, and one cedi notes will be withdrawn from circulation following the introduction of 50, 100 and 200 cedis notes.

Mr Asiedu Mante addressing chiefs, farmers, traders and transport owners at Tuobodom told them that the old currency would circulate alongside the new higher denomination..

Cuban magazine

A new magazine from Cuba called Prisma Magazine has been introduced to Ghanaian readers. Copies of the magazine are on sale at Graphic Bookshop, Liberty Avenue, Accra Kotoka Airport and all regional and district offices of the Graphic Corporation.

Power cuts

Power consumers in the country have been divided into various groups for the implementation of the power cuts introduced on 1st December.

In Accra the electricity Corporation has divided the consumers into A and B categories in which one category will have power cut from 7am til 6pm and the other category from 9pm to 6am the next day. The power cuts have been necessitated by the low level of water at the Akosombo dam..

Soldier on murder charge

The son of a man who was recently shot dead by a soldier, Cpl Godfried Azangodo at the Osu Goil Filling station, Accra, has told the public tribunal that his father did not struggle with the soldier. The accused had alleged that his pistol which was under his armpit went off when he was struggling with the deceased over his petrol coupon.

Cpl Azangodo, popularly known as Azaa is accused of murdering barnor Odonkor at the Osu Goil Filling Station on October 29 this year. He has pleaded not guilty.

The deceased's son, Seth Nortey Barnor, said in his evidence that the accused snatched his father's petrol ration coupon from him and shot him in the chest while his father was pleading "I beg you, what have I done?"

A report in the Daily Graphic said the witness was in the queue to buy petrol on october 29 when the accused arrived in a Peugeot 304.

He later saw the corporal arguing with the driver of a Nissan Bus. "He pulled out his pistol from his waist, cocked it, put it back, sat in the car and drove away."

The accused, in mufti returned around 12 noon with two others armed with guns. This time he approached the deceased and demanded to examine his petrol ration coupon. He also asked for a lift to the next junction "to chase his car".

Barnor said before his father could reply the accused forced himself into the front seat of the vehicle and his father drove off. The Corporal then snatched the coupon from his father and asked "do you know who I am?" Barnor said when they were about to join the main road the accused pulled his pistol, opened the door, got out of the vehicle and ordered his father to stop. His father complied and got down.

"Then I heard my father asking the corporal, who was then pointing his pistol at us, why he was threatening his life and the corporal asked my father for his car key and his petrol coupon and said he was going to deal with both of us," witness said. The deceased pleaded with the accused but rather had himself murdered.

Demonstrations in New York

From Our Special Correspondent - A group calling itself The United Front of Ghanaians for the liberation of Ghana held demonstrations in New York last Tuesday requesting the United Nations to send a team to Ghana to investigate widespread violations of human rights by the military regime. Wearing red arm and head bands the demonstrators shouted slogans against the Provisional National Defence Council, Libya, Soviet Union and Cuba.

They also carried placards some of which read 'Ghana for Ghanaians', 'Cuba, Ghana is not Angola', 'Ghana today needs a rescue mission like Grenada', 'Ghana needs help from all friendly nations'. About six other Ghanaians confronted the group and shouted pro-PNDC slogans.

Local government elections

The PNDC has announced the organisation of local government elections next year to reconstitute village, town, area, district and regional councils.

The Chairman of the PNDC Flt-Lt Jerry Rawlings announced this in a keynote address at the fifth annual delegates' conference of the National Association of Local Councils at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration in Accra.

He noted that if the whole idea of decentralisation is to be meaningful, there is a need for active involvement of people in towns and villages through the setting up of town, area and village councils.

Flt-Lt Rawlings also announced that new local government law will be promulgated and urged the delegates to take the matter of preparing the 1984 composite budget very seriously.

Flt-Lt Rawlings warned against foot dragging by public servants who are opposed to the implementation of the PNDC's decentralisation and mobilisation programmes.

New Ambassadors

The Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) has announced the appointment of seven new ambas- sadors. They are, the veteran trade unionist John Tettegah who goes to the U.S.S.R., Lt-Col Twum-Ampofo (rtd) the former Secretary for Health, to Yugoslavia, Mr Kwame Saarah- Mensah, former Secretary for Brong Ahafo Region, to India and Col. Dan Prah (rtd), to Ivory Coast. Prof. Eugene Bortei-Doku the former Secretary for Agriculture is the new Ambassador to Italy, Dr Keli Nordor goes to Upper Volta and Mr Tetteh Tawiah is the Charge d'Affaires in the newly opened embassy in Bulgaria.


Cultural co-operation

A protocol on cultural co-operation has been signed by the governments of the USSR and Upper Volta. Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, Melnikov of the Soviet Union signed on behalf of his country while Upper Volta was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arba Diallo, who expressed satisfaction with the efforts being made by the Soviet Union to strengthen relations of co- operation. He expressed the hope that the signing of this cultural and scien tific agreement would mark a closer friendship between the people of Upper Volta and the Soviet Union. The Minister was accompanied by Mr Prosper Sempaore, director-general of cultural affairs, representing the Minister of National Education, Arts and Culture, Ludovic Ouedrago, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Paul Desire Kabore, director of bilateral cooperation.


Return home

The Minister of National Defence has advised all Sierra Leoneans, claiming to be refugees living on the Liberian Sierra Leonean border, to return to their respective towns and villages in Sierra-Leone. A special announcement from the Ministry of Defence signed by Army Chief of Staff, Lt-Gen Henry Dunbar, said the situation in their home district has returned to normal with the Sierra Leonean army in full control.

The announcement added that it was in the interest of those Sierra Leoneans claiming to be refugees to return to their respective towns. He called on all Sierra Leonean refugees still living on the Liberian border to co-operate and depart immediately. It further warned that anyone harbouring Sierra Leonean refugees in Liberia or assisting them to cross into the country illegally will be doing so against the law of the country and thus bear the full penalty of the law.


Gowon meets Shagari

General Yakubu Gowon shortly after his arrival in Lagos, drove to State House, Ribaldi Road for a courtesy call on President Shehu Shagari.

A Radio Nigeria, State House correspondent said the one-time Head of State and the President had a long closed-door discussion which covered a wide range of issues.

General Gowon accompanied by his wife Victoria and daughter was met on his arrival in Lagos after eight years abroad, by members of the committee of friends who had arranged the visit. The former Nigerian leader told newsmen at the Murtala Muhammed Airport that he and his family were happy to be back and expressed sincere thanks to President Shagari and the entire nation for making his return possible.

He said he would not be involved in partisan politics but would conform with his mission of keeping Nigeria united. He described his return and that of Chief Emeka Ojukwu, his one time arch-rival, as the completion of the reconciliation exercise which began when he was in office.

Shagari orders probe

President Shehu Shagari has ordered an immediate investigation into the plane crash which occured in Enugu on Monday.

A statement from the executive office of the President on Tuesday quoting a message the President sent from India, said that the President also called for special prayers to be held in all Mosques and in all Churches for the repose of the souls of the victims in the air crash.

The President was in India to attend the meeting of The Commonwealth heads of state and government. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that 53 people died in the air disaster while 19 others survived.

Among the dead were Dr. Josephine Nwude Onoh, daughter of the Anambra State Governor and Mrs Uche Offia Nwali, wife of Senator Offia Nwali and her four children. In a nationwide broadcast on Monday night, Vice President Alex Ekwueme, on behalf of President Shehu Shagari, the Government and people of Nigeria offered sincere condolence to the families of the deceased.

A Nigerian Airways F28 type airliner on a scheduled domestic flight from Lagos to Enugu, Anambra State, crashed while making a final approach to land at the Enugu airport.

Try ministers for murder

The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) expects President Shehu Shagari to hand over his two Transport and the whole top manag ministers of, ement of Nigeria Airways to the police for trial on charges of murder.

This observation of the party made in a statement by its national secretary Mit Uche Chukwumerije is in sympathy with the 53 victims of the recent Enugu air disaster. The public, the party said, now knows from the internal memo of the Captain of the Fokker 28 that this particular aircraft had been faulty and that there had been a long standing request for the phasing out of all the Forker 28 series.

'The death of the 50 people is therefore the latest price which the Security. people of this country are daily called upon to pay for a new policy of lethargy and self-indulgence in the management of our public affairs,' the PRP pointed out.

Aliens must go

Senator Edwin Clarke (NPN Bendel) has called on the federal government to adhere strictly to its 'illegal aliens must go' order. The senator, a former Federal Commissioner for Information in General Yakubu Gowon's regime, told the National Concord that the aliens have trooped back into the country en masse.

He concluded that having taken a bad name from international circles for sending the aliens away at first, the government should adhere strictly to the decision.

Work and rest

The House of Representatives will work for 186 days in the current legislative session and spend the remaining 179 as holidays, according to a report in the National Concord.

The holidays are: National Day, Moslem holidays of five days, adjustment recess of seven days between October 14th and 21st, Christmas recess, March 30th to April Portugal has granted Guinea-Bissau a 15th as mid term recess, May 28th to June 3rd and long vacation from August 3rd to September 16th. The holidays also include weekends.

According to the report the constitution of the Federal Republic mandates the Senate and the House of Representatives to sit each for a minimum of 181 working days. Senate committee chairmen Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas has announced the names of Chairmen for Senate committees. Missing from the list was the name of the former Senate leader, Dr Olusola Saraki.

Dr Saraki's loss of the Senate leadership to Senator Jalo Waziri could be linked to the failure of the ruling party (NPN) to recapture the gubernatorial seat in Kwara State in the last elections in which former Governor Adamu Atta lost to his UPN opponent.

The Chairmanship of the committee on Public Accounts went to UPN Senator from Lagos, Sen Abayomi Durosimi while Dr Wayas himself heads the Committee on National

Conference on Chad

Nigeria has expressed willingness to host another round table conference of warring Chadian leaders.

The President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, said this during discussions with his Sierra-Leonean counterpart, President Siaka Stephens, The President, was in India to attend the meeting of The Commonwealth in New Delhi

The two presidents, who were in India for the Commonwealth heads of governments meeting, also discussed the Namibian and the Western Saharan problems.

Alhaji Shagari also received in audience the SWAPO leader, Mr. Sam Nujoma and a delegation of Commonwealth trade union council.

Commonwealth peace initiative

Nigeria and two other countries, India and Australia, have been proposed to join in the current Canadian initiatives aimed at easing the growing tension between the super powers.


Portuguese loan

loan worth 300,000 contos for the settlement of trade arrears. The agreement on the seven year loan was signed at the Finance Ministry in Lisbon by the Secretary of State for the Treasury, Antonio de Almeida, and the Guinea Bissau's Ambassador to Lisbon, Leonel Vieira.


Denial of coup attempt

The country's Ambassador to Spain has denied a report by Madrid radio of an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea. According to the Ambassador, events in his country related to the Secretary of State at the Foreign Ministry being put under house arrest for issuing passports to two North Koreans.

talking drums 1983-12-12 Ghana's labour scene - plans for civil rule in Liberia - us military in Africa