Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

People, Places and Events


Students re-apply under protest

Students of the three universities resident in Accra, have agreed to re apply under protest for re-admission to the universities.

They however demanded an assurance from the government that all their leaders who have either been declared wanted or are being harassed can also re-apply and join them.

They said they were re-applying under protest because they were suspicious of the government's intention regarding the re-application. According to Mr Ali Masmadi Jehu-Appiah, President of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) they have made every effort possible to ensure a peaceful and smooth re-opening of the universities.

He said they had even gone to the extent of withdrawing the statement that if the government doesn't step down they would not only go to school which was hindering the re-opening of the universities.

Mr E.K. Quainoo, President of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of Legon, called on the government to assure the students, their parents and the whole world to reopen the univer- sities unconditionally if it has no ill motives behind the re-application.

He said they could not understand why they should be made to re-apply after the closure of the universities but not after the Task Force exercise since both activities equally interrupted academic work.

Minimum wage proposal

The Trades Union Congress has proposed a minimum wage of £300.00 a day and a tax free level of 85 per cent on the minimum wage, for the Ghanaian worker.

These were contained in a memorandum sent by the labour movement to Mr Ebo Tawiah, the workers representative on the PNDC, Mr Ato Austin, Secretary for Labour and Social Welfare, and Dr Kwesi Botchwey, PNDC Secretary for Finance and Economic Planning.

Defending its proposals, the congress argued that "since the adoption of the C25.00 rationalisation wage in June, 1983, the cost of living has been rising steadily and has reached a stage that calls for a review."

On the present cost of living, the Congress gave its assessment of the daily cost of feeding an average family of four (i.e. husband, wife and two children) as C300.00 a day.

Miss Aryee's message to journalists

The PNDC is building a nation and not a government. Contributions by individuals must therefore not be seen as helping the Council to stay in power the use of weapons. but as part of a long-term effort to make Ghana what it should be.

In the same vein, whoever criticizes destructively or engages in acts of sabotage must see his action as destroying Ghana, not the PNDC.

The Secretary for Information, Miss Joyce Aryee, made these observations when she addressed the annual general meeting of the Ghana Journalists Association in Accra. Miss Aryee said it was obligatory for every journalist to utilize his skills and knowledge effectively to analyse and explain issues better to the society.

Student-worker relations

Regular consultation between workers and students in the three universities is necessary to forestall the recurrence of events that led to the closure of the universities last May, Mr F. Sonni-Ali, a trade unionist, has opined.

Mr Sonni-Ali, leader of the 3,500-strong Legon branch of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), said the element of confrontation in the worker-student relationship could be removed by periodic meetings between representative bodies of both groups.

He said workers and students should consider instituting a permanent joint consultative body to discuss matters affecting their common interests. Such a mechanism he said could prevent any actions likely to disrupt academic life.

Population census in Ghana

Accra radio has reported that a census would be conducted on "11th of next March". The Provisional National Defence Council has instructed the Central Bureau of Statistics to make all the necessary preparations. The last census was held in 1970.

Training for fishermen

The Provisional National Defence Coucil (PNDC) has organised another extensive training exercise for fishermen in the use of military weapons to defend themselves and the revolution in the event of any attack by dissidents.

This is the second time that fishermen at Osu have learnt how to use the weapons. Last month, the Chairman of the PNCD, Flt-Lt Rawlings spent about two hours teaching fishermen

Later the fishermen told newsmen that they hoped the training would go on to enable most of their colleagues to know much about the use of the weapons in view of recent reports that the Togolese authorities had intercepted and turned away a ship carrying arms and ammunition to Ghanaian dissidents based in Togo.


Expulsion of Libyan diplomats

Mauritian Prime Minister Aneerood Jugnauth has explained that Libyan diplomats in Port Louis were expelled because they were interfering in the Island's affairs and had tried to destabilise the country.

Mr Junauth in his first comment on the expulsion, told a news conference: "The situation had become so intolerable and our decision was taken so as to safeguard the dignity and sovereignty of our country".

"The moment has come when we cannot tolerate more and we had to expel them and to ask for the closure of their embassy," the Prime Minister

He said that the Libyan "people's bureau" had issued a document by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the past few days which was an "insult to the Christian religion".

Cereal deficit

There has been a fall in the country's cereal production this year. Only 6% of the country's needs in cereal will be covered by domestic production. This was announced by Maj Cheickh Elahmed Ould Dahamani, the permanent representative of the Military Committee for National Salvation.


Why Chad talks broke down

A Chadian Minister has denied that his government was responsible for the failure of the roundtable conference arranged by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) with the aim of seeking a permanent peace for Chad.

The conference collapsed with the blame put directly on the intransigence of the delegation from N'djamena. A communique released by the office of the OAU chairman, Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haile Mariam, said the N'djamena government 'delegation had declined' to negotiate with the rival Weddeye alliance unless its right to legitimacy was recognized, and its right to put the national flag in front of it respected. A member of the N'djamena delegation, Livestock Minister Adoum Moussa Seif, said the delegation had tive costs. honoured all the agreements made in advance with the OAU.

Mr Seif added that the petty problems that led to the failure could have been worked out in advance. The communique had said the talks floundered because of the N'djamena government delegation's emphasis on "marginal and protocol issues".

Mr Seif however praised the efforts of the OAU chairman to reconcile the opposing views of the delegations. He said the Chad delegation hoped that society. another meeting could be arranged under more auspicious conditions under the aegis of the OAU or other friendly nations.

US must review decision

The Interim Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity Dr Peter Onu has told the American government that its withdrawal from said. UNESCO would have disastrous consequences.

According to Addis Ababa Radio, Dr Onu's view was contained in a letter sent to the charge d'Affaires at the US embassy in Addis Ababa. He referred to the astonishment of OAU members at the decision and had expressed the hope that President Reagan would re-consider his position.


Guinean President postpones visit to Nigeria

Lagos radio said on January 23rd that the proposed visit by President Sekou Toure had been postponed. No reason had been given for the postponement but it was said that the visit would be rescheduled.

Loan for road project

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has extended a loan of 20,250,000 dollars to Guinea for a road project estimated to cost 97,170,000 dollars, consisting of civil engineering works on a 132km road from Gueckedou through Macenta to Soundedou, passing through rough mountainous terrain lined with thick forest.

The loan is repayable over 24 years with an interest rate of 1.5% with an extra half per cent to cover administrative costs.


Leader's New Year message

The Liberian leader Dr Samuel K. Doe has called on Liberians to renew their determination and work committedly for the building of a more vibrant He said peace and prosperity can only be assured if Liberians learned to work in unity and harmony.

The statement was contained in Dr Doe's New Year's message read on New Year's Day by Foreign Minister T. Earnest Eastman at a reception in Israel. Monrovia.

"We should not, and indeed, must not, lose sight of our ability to learn from the past nor relent in our determination to march forward until we have fully achieved the objectives we have set for ourselves", Dr Doe said

He said the realization of the goals and objectives of the Liberian people depended on how quickly they can achieve economic recovery to overcome the critical financial situation confronting the nation.

Dr Doe also noted that the realization of Liberia's goals and objectives also depended on an effective foreign policy and the dedication of those ordered responsible for the day-to-day implementation of such policy. He said, in this light, a national foreign policy commission whose members would be drawn from government, institutions of learning, the business community, youth organisations and the media has been constituted to study Liberia's foreign policy.

On Liberia's economy, Dr Doe said in spite of the deterioration in our terms of trade due in part to the collapse in demand for our primary export commodities, the hard debt burden and the worldwide recession. "Liberia was able to maintain its economic stability during the past year."

He said: "In our determination to address the serious economic situation facing the nation, government has sought to institute domestic economic policy reforms, as well as cultivate the support and understanding of the international community."

The Liberian leader said it was in this light that an international conference of donors was convened in Bern, Switzerland for the purpose of mobilizing "much needed assistance for the development of Liberia".

Israel pledges aid

Visiting President Herzog of the State of Israel has pledged his country's unfettered assistance to Liberia's development objectives. This was contained in a joint communique signed by General Samuel Doe and President Herzog. The two leaders expressed satisfaction with efforts underway to re-activate co-operation in various fields and reaffirmed full adherence to the principles of the first communique signed last April when Gen. Doe visited

They also reaffirmed that renewed efforts will be placed in the intensification of co-operation in the medical and agricultural fields.

President Hertzog expressed his government's deepest appreciation for Liberia's bold decision to re-establish diplomatic relations with his country and noted that efforts to isolate Israel will not contribute to finding a lasting solution to problems in the Middle East.

Investigate sinking of ship

Senior Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs Mr Fred Lininger has a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sinking of a Liberian cargo ship, the Radiant Med with the loss of sixteen lives.

Meanwhile Capt. K.J. Bruce, officer in charge of Liberian Marine safety office in London has been appointed the investigation officer and will proceed to Guernsey to interview Survivors.


Buhari not a millionaire

The Federal Military Government intends to mount propaganda campaigns to counter the "vicious Campaigns abroad by those declared wanted".

Brigadier Idiagbon, Chief of Staff was reacting to recent press statements made in London by Alhaji Isiyaku brahim making allegations of Corruption against members of the new military regime.

“I don't expect any compliments From the likes of Isiyaku Ibrahim'', the Chief of Staff said, but he assured reporters that General Buhari was not a millionaire.

Congress calls for support The Nigerian Labour Congress has called for support of the Federal Military Government. The President of the congress, Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu, at a news conference in Lagos asked the Government to pursue vigorously a progressive, self-reliant and patriotic programme aimed at saving the nation's economy. Nigerian borders reopened The Military Government has ordered the reopening of all borders, Lagos radio reported. All officials at border posts have been directed to maintain the highest vigilance. Nigeria's borders had been closed on December 31st following the military takeover.

Lofty contracts to go

Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is to review or cancel "all lofty and flamboyant contracts", the Minister in charge of the Ministry, Dr E.A. Nsan has said in Lagos. Address ing officials of the Ministry, Dr Nsan said that the Government was in a hurry to rescue the nation from economic ruins and urged them to be dedicated and efficient. He warned the officials not to think of "10 percent kickbacks" when awarding contracts, but to be prudent in all their undertakings. Dr Nsan advised the officials to adopt an open door policy in order to achieve good results.

Warning against IMF

The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu, has again warned against the IMF loan, saying that it was a danger to the country's sovereignty. Speaking at a seminar organized by the Oyo State branch of the NLC, Alhaji Sunmonu described some of the measures the country was required to adopt to get the loan as a "bitter pill", which, he said, Nigeria could ill afford.

He urged the Federal Military Government to ask former members of the National Assembly to declare their assets publicly so that members of the public could verify them, adding that the NLC had workers all over the from the accounts of NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) before the election, ostensibly for rural electrification.

Ojukwu pledges loyalty

The Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Brig. Tunde Idiagbon has said that though former President Shehu Shagari was being detained by the military government, he was not at the Kirikiri maximum security prison. The Chief of Staff told newsmen that the former National Chairman of the NPN, Chief Adisa Akinloye, and the former Attorney General, Mr Richard Akinjide, were in Britain.

Brig. Idiagbon said that the Ikemba of Nnewi, Chief Emeka Ojukwu, had written to the Head of State pledging his loyalty and offering "useful advice". He disclosed that the Government had written to former Senator Arthur Nzeribe on his reported offer to lend the nation 10,000,000 dollars and also pledged to send an aircraft to bring him home, but it had not got a response.

Federation who had access to vital information. He said the Federal Government should also investigate the allegation that 300,000,000 naira was withdrawn

World Bank gives £27m

The World Bank has approved a loan of about 27.6 million pounds for the Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industries (NECI) for the development of small and medium scale industrial projects in the country, the bank said

in a statement in Lagos. The resident representative of the bank in Nigeria, Dr Ishrat Husain, said in the statement that the loan would be used to provide credit and technical advice to industrialists as well as for training extension workers.

The projects, the first phase of a long-term programme, would be carried out in five states - Cross River, Imo, Niger, Ondo and Plateau. The programme is estimated to cost 46 million pounds with the World Bank providing about 27.6 million pounds.

The Nigerian government will provide about 4.05 million pounds, the NBCI about 6.7 million pounds while participating industrialists will be responsible for about 7.4 million pounds.

The loan will be repaid in 17 years, including four years of grace, with a variable interest rate linked to the cost of the borrowing.

Details of detainees

Four hundred and sixty two public office holders under the defunct civilian administration are being detained all over the country. Out of this figure, 71 persons are being held at the maximum security prison at Kirikiri, Lagos. This was announced in Lagos by the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Brig. Tunde Idiagbon, while briefing media executives.

Brig. Idiagbon said that nearly 200 others had been interrogated and subsequently released. He denied a newspaper report that the former Inspector General of Police, Mr Sunday Adewusi, had been released and stated that the former Inspector General was under arrest in his house.

Brig. Idiagbon said the former National Secretary of the banned National Party of Nigeria, Alhaji Buba Ahmed, was never arrested by the authorities. He explained that when his plane touched down at the airport and he learned of the coup, he took off. On the former Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas, the Chief of Staff stated that Dr Wayas was at the time of the coup on official duty in the United States. He told the media executive that on hearing of the coup, the former Senate President surrendered himself and his diplomatic passport to the Nigerian Embassy in New York and further requested for a Nigerian passport to enable him to return home. On Dr Umaru Dikko, the Chief of Staff explained that he was never arrested during the coup, adding, a top journalist who helped him to escape was now under detention.

A breakdown of the detentions and releases are as follows: At least 648 persons were detained throughout the Federation but 266 had been released. The figures showed that 26 of the 69 persons held in Benue had been released, while 52 of the 56 detainees in Gongola had also been released.

In Lagos State with the highest number of detainees, 104 out of the 106 held had been set free. In Plateau, 17 out of the 62 detainees had been released, while 18 of the 22 persons arrested in Sokoto State had been freed.

According to the figures, 49 out of 105 soldiers detained have also been re leased. State by state number of present detainees are: Anambra, two; Bauchi, six; Bendel, six; Borno, 43; Cross River, 32; Gongola, four; Imo, 52; Kaduna, 16; Kano, three and Kwara, 18. Others include: Lagos, two; Niger, four; Ogun, 33; Ondo, two; Oyo, four; Plateau, 45; Rivers, 18; and Sokoto, four.

Below is the full list of all the people detained at the Kirikiri prison: Alhaji Mohammed Wanka, Alhaji Garba Idi Inuwa, Mr Victor Masi, Mr S.G. Ikoku, Mr Klaus Seemuth, Dr Ibrahim Tahir, Mr Ladi Netimar, Olu Adebanjo (Chief), Alhaji Muhammed Ibrahim Hassan, Mrs Nene Archibong, Mr Aper Aku, Chief Roy Umenyi, Dr N. Falaye Aina, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, Alhaji Yahaya A. Dikko, Alhaji Usman Sani, Chief Adebisi Ogedengbe, Mr P.C. Amadike, Mr Mark Okoye, Prof. G.A. Odenigwe, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Michael Ajasin, Chief Bola Ige, Alhaji Adamu Atta, Chief Jim Nwobodo, Prof Ambrose Ali, Chief Akin Omoboriowo, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief S.M. Afolabi, Alhaji Jimoh Shittu, Mr C. Ugwu, Alhaji Iro Dan Musa, Alhaji Ndagi Mamudu, Dr Olufemi Olaifa, Alhaji Ali Baba, Mr Dele Ige, Mrs U. Akinloye, A.U. Obikoya, C.A. Ogungbade, Alhaji Abba Musa Rimi, Mr S.D. Lar, Chief S.O. Mbakwe, Dr Clement Isong, Prince J.O. Uzoigwe, Alhaji Ibrahim Anas, Alhaji Adamu Tafawa Balewa, Chief Eteng Okoi-Obuli, Alhaji Buba Ahmed, Dr I.C. Madubuike, Dr Sylvester U. Ugoh, Dr Rowland A. Anyanwu, Chief Collins Obih, Alhaji and Ahmed Musa, Alhaji Magaji Muazu, Alhaji M. Bello Kirfi, Mr Victor Akan, Alfred Rewane, Ralph Kanu Obioha, Alhaji Mohammed Goni, Dr Fidelis R.C. Ezemenari, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim, Alhaji Idrisu Alhasan Kpaki, K. Asinobi (Mrs), Bisi Onabanjo (Chief), Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Alhaji Sabo Bakin Zuwo, Alhaji Abdu Dawakin Tofa, Alhaji Ahmed Tijani, Alhaji Mohammadu Abdullahi, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai.

Warning to the media

The Federal Military Government has invited the Nigerian media to join it in restoring life to the country and hope to the people.

Addressing media executives at a press briefing in Dodan Barracks the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Brig. Tunde Idiagbon, said the main contribution of the media should be to disseminate correct information and give positive guidance to the nation.

Brig. Idiagbon noted, however, that this had not happened in all cases and that some of the stories and suggestions that had appeared in the media had not been helpful. He said that many of them seemed to demonstrate a lack of understanding of and sympathy for the objectives of the Government which the media hailed only two weeks ago.

Some newspapers have gone to the extent of publishing half-truths and downright falsehoods which are capable of creating confusion and causing dissension in the society, he said.

He warned that the Military Government would not tolerate instigation and innuendo calculated to create dissension among the people. He, however, assured the media of the Government's co-operation and reasonable access to the agencies of the government. "In return, we expect restraint, respect for facts and commitment to our stated objectives", he added.

Neimeiri ends official visit The President of Sudan, Field Marshal Gaafar Neimeiri has left Lagos after a two-day official visit to Nigeria.

During the visit, both President Neimeiri and Head of State, Major General Mohammed Buhari, had two rounds of talks.

The visit is the first by any African Head of State since the change of government in Nigeria on December 31st last year.

Ministers to declare assets

Nigeria's new Head of State, Major-General Buhari, has told the newly appointed ministers that the supreme military council will not tolerate a situation where public office holders live in affluence while the ordinary people continue to wallow in abject poverty.

He declared: "The Supreme Military Council will keep a keen and watchful eye on your performance, your lifestyle and general public conduct while in office."

He added that the Supreme Military Council will not hesitate to take appropriate corrective measures to politicians. ensure their public accountability at all times.

General Buhari who was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the ministers directed them to declare their assets within six weeks.

The General then asked the ministers to undertake a critical review of all major projects and programmes being undertaken by their ministries or department and parastatals.

He explained that the exercise is designed to determine the priority and scope of each project, its stage of im- plementation, the quantity of work already done and the amount of fund committed.

The home banks

Chief of Staff Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon has told reporters in Lagos about the monies that have been recovered from the homes of arrested persons.

An amount of N3.4 million cash was taken from the residence of the former Governor of Kano State, Bakin Zuwo. Former Governors Sam Mbakwe had over N1 million, Aper Aku of Benue State who was said to have been arrested from the Republic of Cameroon had N204,000 and 10,000 pounds sterling.

The former vice-president had N42,000 at his home and Alhaji Shehu Musa, Secretary to the civilian administration had N80,000. The Chief of Staff recounted the names of other political notables and the monies found on them in either Naira or foreign currencies.

House cleaning the police

A house cleaning operation aimed at producing a disciplined police organization is now going on in the Nigerian police force. The Inspector General of Police, Mr Etim Inyang, who announced this said that the exercise was in line with a directive from the Commander-in-Chief of armed forces in consonance with the ideals of the new military administration.

talking drums 1984-01-30 isiyaku ibrahim - why democracy failed in Nigeria - restructuring Ghana's legal system