Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


View from the Castle, Osu - a rejoinder

Dear Mrs Sackey,

As a Ghanaian, I have some few questions to ask you and your colleague Mrs Ababio. Both of you are foreigners and your only connection with Ghana is that either you are married or happened to have been married at one time to Ghanaians. But the basic fact remains - you are foreigners, Europeans to be precise.

What then is your business in the political administration of my country as to warrant you to state categorically and even threaten Ghanaians that you have initiated a process and that any Ghanaian who dares to deviate from that chosen path will surely realize that you are determined not to tolerate the disruption of your efforts. Is it the case of the white man's burden towards the natives? Who told you and your friends that Ghanaians like your 'rescue' operation?

Maybe, Mrs Sackey, you have forgotten that Ghanaians started fighting tyranny and domination as far back as the 1830s when the Aborigines Rights Protection Council was formed? You may go to the National Archives to refresh your memories.

You also claim that you do not get extra remuneration for the great job you are doing for the people of Ghana, except that: You get your pay as a teacher, an allowance, free transport, free accommodation with all services paid by the Ghanaian taxpayer.

I want to assure you, Mrs Sackey, that less than 0.1% of the Ghanaian population receive such generous conditions of service. Most of the Ghanaian diaspora who love their country more than you, as a foreigner do and are better educated will readily return home if they were offered half of what you are receiving having got yourself installed in the Castle.

As for Mrs Ababio, she just moved from her little house on Sola Loop to one of the government's comfortable bungalows at the Cantoments and changed her rickety VW car for a government Stanza! Sacrifice indeed! Who would not sacrifice for such perks?

For people like you, Mrs Sackey, through their homes, to the Banks. things have changed for the better. They will never be satisfied. no corruption, no mad rush for riches etc. To us the masses of Ghana, of course, there has been a change - a change for the worst. Vagabonds and satisfy. inexperienced people have found their way to the Castle, thanks to the Ghana Armed Forces, so that today we cannot have a meal a day. We cannot talk, we have to go to bed when the Mrs Sackeys deem it appropriate, you go to prison when the super brains in the Castle wish.

But as for corruption, it continues unabated.

Mrs Sackey, are you not aware that just before the killer budget of May, the then Secretary for Rural Development and a member of the Economic Review Committee issued a cheque (Co-op Bank cheque) to Crocodile Matchets, Tema for 15,000 cartons of cutlasses at C14.50 per cutlass only to resell the cutlasses to the 'masses' at C50 per cutlass after the budget and pocketed the 'kalabule' profit of over C2 million? The Secretary has lost his job but the other person is still around.

And as for the Secretary whose children are attending private schools here in England, it is no secret. Ask the Ghana High Commission in London.

Mrs Sackey, the people of Ghana are watching. They are quiet but not sub- dued. They see the changes taking place in personalities. They see Kojo Tsikata having discarded his Renault 4 junk for a brand new Mazda 929 coupe. They sweat for a few gallons of petrol whilst revolutionaries at the Castle fill their tanks free of charge to roam the streets of Accra. They will react and when that happens the Mrs Sackeys and Mrs Ababios will definitely not find their way back to Europe.

Osei-Mensah, London

Co-operation and understanding

Allow me space to comment on an article in the Talking Drums of December 5th, 1983. "Two Years of Suffering" by Mr Benjamin Otoo of Bunkenstieg, W. Germany.

I quote: "Has Rawlings and his team of strange bed-fellows comprising Socialists/Marxists, capitalists, young so-called revolutionaries and intellectuals of all shades of political persuasion managed to improve the situation in Ghana?" Flt-Lt Jerry Rawlings is not a topic for discussion in Ghana's present situation. The co-operation and understanding of the people in Ghana is the main topic for discussion. I am sure that Mr Otoo knows as much as myself that many Ghanaians are too greedy and that, unless gold is channelled To rule a country like Ghana is not an easy task. Ghanaians are too sensitive and therefore are very difficult to satisfy.

Rawlings and his fellows as you described them, are not the cause for the high cost of living in Ghana. They are only trying to rectify the situation like any other government, civilian or military. And since they are not magicians, let us not be so impatient. Have Ghanaians got any particular person in mind who can solve the present situation overnight? Take over from Jerry John and hand it over to John Smith and the whole situation would be worse than anticipated.

Let us give words of encouragement to Rawlings and to any future ruler of Ghana. Co-operation, understanding and satisfaction are what we need in Ghana today.

A.A. Boaten, Thornton Heath, Surrey

The Delhi communique

The Commonwealth Heads of government meeting held in the Indian capital New Delhi from November 23rd to 29th has clearly demonstrated how the spirit of compromise can help steer such international gatherings from the brinks of irreparable rift into "a consensus on the issues covered".

Judging from the reports of the acrimonious attacks on the Caribbean supporters of the Grenada issue and the strong reposite from Mrs Ghandi and President Nyerere when the Prime Minister of Barbados compared the Grenada invasion with that of India in Bangladesh and Tanzania in Uganda, one would have feared a break-down of the meeting.

The best piece of diplomatic sleight of hand (or was it footwork?) was achieved in the communique which did not condemn either the US or the Caribbean states involved in the invasion and succeeded in drawing attention to the needs of small states.

To me the meeting was as usual, an occasion for letting off steam. Nothing much has been achieved. With the leaders safely back into their countries, their problems would continue to stare them in their faces.

Sonny Kambia, Birmingham

talking drums 1983-12-19-26 Government through mob action - kotoko win africa cup